United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
DEGUILIO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Ryan, a pretrial detainee at the LaPorte County Jail, filed
an amended complaint without a lawyer. “A document
filed pro se is to be liberally construed, and a pro se
complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007) (quotation marks and citations omitted). Nevertheless,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court must review the
merits of a prisoner complaint and dismiss it if the action
is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief.
alleges Dr. Tchetthcat cancelled his medications in May 2019
without examining him or individually reviewing his medical
condition. Ryan alleges he suffers from depression, anxiety,
sleeplessness, suicidal ideations, and physical pain from
sciatic nerve damage. He alleges Dr. Tchetthcat is the
physician at the jail, but refuses to see or treat him for
these conditions. “In evaluating the constitutionality
of conditions or restrictions of pretrial detention . . . the
proper inquiry is whether those conditions amount to
punishment of the detainee.” Bell v. Wolfish,
441 U.S. 520, 535 (1979). “[I]n the absence of an
expressed intent to punish, a pretrial detainee can
nevertheless prevail by showing that the actions are not
‘rationally related to a legitimate nonpunitive
governmental purpose' or that the actions ‘appear
excessive in relation to that purpose.'”
Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 576 U.S. __, __; 135 S.Ct.
2466, 2473 (2015) (quoting Bell). Here, Ryan has
stated a claim against Dr. Tchetthcat for violating his
Fourteenth Amendment rights.
also alleges Quality Correctional Care, LLC, has a policy or
practice of cancelling inmate medications without an
individual medical review by a physician. He alleges his
medications were cancelled in May 2019 as a result.
“[A] private corporation is not vicariously liable
under § 1983 for its employees' deprivations of
others' civil rights.” Johnson v. Dossey,
515 F.3d 778, 782 (7th Cir. 2008). However, a private company
performing a state function can be held liable to the same
extent as a state actor under Monell v. Dep't of Soc.
Servs. of City of New York, 436 U.S. 658 (1978).
Rice v. Corr. Med. Servs., 675 F.3d 650, 675 (7th
Cir. 2012). Pursuant to Monell, 436 U.S. 658 (1978),
such claims can be brought for injuries caused by their
policies, practices, or customs. Here, Ryan has stated a
claim against Quality Correctional Care, LLC, for violating
his Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Ryan is trying to sue the LaPorte County Jail for various
conditions at the jail. However, the jail is a building. It
is not a suable entity. Smith v. Knox County Jail,
666 F.3d 1037, 1040 (7th Cir. 2012). Therefore, he cannot
state a claim against the Jail. Moreover, his allegations
about the conditions at the jail are unrelated to his medical
claims. “[U]nrelated claims against different
defendants belong in different suits . . ..” George
v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). See
also Owens v. Evans, 878 F.3d 559, 566 (7th Cir. 2017).
Therefore the LaPorte County Jail must be dismissed.
these reasons, the court:
(1) GRANTS Kevin Ryan leave to proceed against Dr. Tchetthcat
for compensatory and punitive damages for cancelling his
medications in May 2019 without examining him or individually
reviewing his medical condition in violation the Fourteenth
Amendment because doing so was not rationally related to a
legitimate nonpunitive governmental purpose or was excessive
in relation to a legitimate purpose;
(2) GRANTS Kevin Ryan leave to proceed against Dr. Tchetthcat
for compensatory and punitive damages for refusing to examine
or treat him for depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, suicidal
ideations, or physical pain from sciatic nerve damage in
violation the Fourteenth Amendment because doing so was not
rationally related to a legitimate nonpunitive governmental
purpose or was excessive in relation to a legitimate purpose;
(3) GRANTS Kevin Ryan leave to proceed against Quality
Correctional Care, LLC, for compensatory and punitive damages
for enforcing a policy or practice in May 2019 which resulted
the cancellation of his medications without an individual
medical review by a physician in violation of the Fourteenth
(4) DISMISSES all other claims;
(5) DISMISSES LaPorte County Jail;
(6) DIRECTS the clerk and the United States Marshals Service,
as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d), to issue and serve
process with a copy of this order and the Amended Complaint
(ECF 7) on Dr. Tchetthcat at the LaPorte County Jail and
Quality Correctional Care, LLC, at 12900 N. Meridian St.,
Suite 140, Carmel, IN 46032; and
(7) ORDERS, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(g)(2), Dr.
Tchetthcat and Quality Correctional Care, LLC, to respond, as
provided for in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and N.D.
Ind. L.R. 10-1(b), only to the claims for which the plaintiff