United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
ORDER SCREENING COMPLAINT AND DISMISSING INSUFFICIENT
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
Angela Menna filed this wrongful death action on behalf of
the estate of Reno Riggle, who at the time of his death was a
pretrial detainee in the Lawrence County Jail in Bedford,
Indiana. The action was filed by counsel, and the filing fee
has been paid. The Court shall screen the complaint under its
inherent authority to do so. See Mallard v. United States
Dist. Ct., 490 U.S. 296, 307-08 (1989) (in forma
pauperis statute “authorizes courts to dismiss a
‘frivolous or malicious' action, but there is
little doubt they would have power to do so even in the
absence of this statutory provision”); Rowe v.
Shake, 196 F.3d 778, 783 (7th Cir. 1999)
(“[D]istrict courts have the power to screen complaints
filed by all litigants, prisoners and non-prisoners alike,
regardless of fee status.”).
determining whether the complaint states a claim, the Court
applies the same standard as when addressing a motion to
dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
See Cesal v. Moats, 851 F.3d 714, 720 (7th
Cir. 2017). To survive dismissal,
[the] complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face. A claim has facial plausibility when
the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
complaint names as defendants (1) The Lawrence County
Sheriff's Department, (2) Mike Branham (in his official
capacity), (3) Travis Sanders (in his official capacity), (4)
Michael Ramos (in his individual and official capacities),
(5) William Miller (in his individual and official
capacities), (6) Michael Roll (in his individual and official
capacities), (7) Jane Doe and John Doe jail officers (in
their individual and official capacities), and (8) Advanced
Correctional Healthcare, Inc.
complaint alleges that on the night of October 19, 2017, or
early morning of October 20, 2017, Mr. Reno died in the
Lawrence County Jail following symptoms of alcohol withdrawal
and delirium tremens.
complaint alleges that defendants Ramos, Roll, and Miller,
along with unknown John and Jane Doe jail officials, observed
Mr. Reno suffering from these symptoms but failed to seek
complaint alleges that defendants Branham, Sanders, and the
Lawrence County Sheriff's Department failed to properly
staff the Lawrence County Jail and train jail officials to
monitor the safety and wellbeing of individuals in jail
complaint alleges that no medical provider from defendant
Advanced Correctional Healthcare, Inc., checked on Mr. Reno
from 10:30 a.m. on October 19, 2017, until 12:05 a.m. on
October 20, 2017.
complaint alleges that Ramos, Roll, Miller, and the John and
Jane Doe jail officials were deliberately indifferent to his
serious medical need in violation of the Fourteenth
Amendment. The complaint alleges that Branham and Sanders
were deliberately indifferent for failing to properly staff
and train the Lawrence County Jail in violation of the
Fourteenth Amendment. Finally, the complaint alleges a
state-law negligence claim against all defendants. The
plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages.