United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
ENTRY GRANTING MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT AND
SCREENING THE AMENDED COMPLAINT
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
plaintiff filed a motion to amend the complaint on September
3, 2019. See dkt. 11. The plaintiff’s motion
to amend the complaint, dkt. , is
granted. The clerk is
directed to re-docket the proposed amended
complaint, dkt. [11-2], as the first amended complaint in
this action. The amended complaint is now subject to
plaintiff Blake Alexander Johnson is a pre-trial detainee at
the Jefferson County Jail (the “Jail”). Because
the plaintiff is a “prisoner” as defined by 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(c), this Court has an obligation under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(b) to screen his amended complaint before
service on the defendants.
plaintiff’s amended complaint sets forth additional
details about his confinement, but none of the underlying
claims that the Court noted in its original screening entry,
dkt. 9, have changed.
plaintiff brings this cause of action against (1) Sheila
Harrison, Jail Commander; (2) Chyenne Jarrett, Captain; (3)
Andre Garcia, Captain; and (4) Dave Thomas, Jefferson County
Sheriff. The plaintiff seeks money damages and injunctive
plaintiff alleges that Andre Garcia and Chyenne Jarrett moved
a known member of the Ku Klux Klan into a dorm with multiple
inmates of color. The inmate who is a member of the Ku Klux
Klan was attacked by other inmates. The plaintiff alleges
that he was charged with battery by Sheila Harrison, Andre
Garcia, Chyenne Jarrett, and Sheriff Dave Thomas due to his
race. As a result, on April 11, 2019, the plaintiff was
placed in administrative segregation and labeled a threat to
the security of the facility. This occurred without proof and
without the plaintiff receiving a write-up or going in front
of a disciplinary board.
plaintiff asserts that on or about April 7, 2019, the
plaintiff was told to pack his belongings and moved to a
temporary cell on orders from Sheriff Dave Thomas. While in
segregation, the plaintiff’s clothing, legal and
personal mail, hygiene items, and religious effects were
confiscated. In addition, all visits and phone calls were
also denied to the plaintiff. The plaintiff’s legal
mail and hygiene items were returned April 28, 2019. His
religious items have still not been returned.
Discussion of Claims
action is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. To state
a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the
violation of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of
the United States and must show that the alleged deprivation
was committed by a person acting under color of state law.
L.P. v. Marian Catholic High Sch., 852 F.3d 690, 696
(7th Cir. 2017) (citing West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42,
48 (1988)). The threshold inquiry in a § 1983 suit, is
to “identify the specific constitutional right”
at issue. Manuel v. City of Joliet, Ill., 137 S.Ct.
911, 920 (2017) (quoting Albright v. Oliver, 510
U.S. 266, 271 (1994)). Constitutional claims are to be
addressed under the most applicable provision. See
Conyers v. Abitz, 416 F.3d 580, 586 (7th Cir. 2005).
After pinpointing that right, courts still must determine the
elements of, and rules associated with, an action seeking
damages for its violation. Manuel, 137 S.Ct. at 920.
the plaintiff is a pre-trial detainee, his claims are
understood to be brought under the Fourteenth Amendment.