United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
JAREL T. HAINES, Plaintiff,
KENNY FREEMAN, et al. Defendants.
ENTRY SCREENING COMPLAINT, SEVERING CLAIMS, AND
DIRECTING ISSUANCE OF PROCESS
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
Jarel Haines is an inmate at the Jennings County Jail.
Because Mr. Haines is a “prisoner” as defined by
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(c), this Court has an obligation under
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) to screen his complaint before
service on the defendants.
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b), the Court must dismiss the
complaint if it is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim for relief, or seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. In 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
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Pro se
pleadings such as that filed by the plaintiff are construed
liberally and held to a less stringent standard than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers. Perez v. Fenoglio, 792
F.3d 768, 776 (7th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation omitted).
Haines' complaint describes several incidents that took
place in June and July of 2019. Some of these incidents
appear to be unrelated to one another except to the extent
that they involve Mr. Haines.
Mr. Haines' allegations support claims that will proceed
in this action. Some are sufficient to support claims that
cannot be properly joined in one case and must be severed
into separate actions. Others are insufficient to support
plausible claims for relief and must be dismissed.
Use of Force on July 8, 2019
Haines alleges that, on July 8, 2019, Lieutenant Evan Ponsler
beat him, leaving him with broken bones, and denied him
medical attention. Mr. Haines further alleges that Lieutenant
Ponsler beat him at the direction of Jail Commander Jason
Bliton. Based on these allegations, this action shall
proceed with claims against Defendants Ponsler and
Bliton pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Eighth or
Denial of Kosher Diet
Haines alleges that his religious beliefs require him to
maintain a kosher diet and that Commander Bliton has denied
him such a diet. This allegation supports a colorable claim
that Commander Bliton (in his individual capacity) and
Sheriff Kenny Freeman (in his official capacity) limited Mr.
Haines' ability to practice his religious beliefs in
violation of the First Amendment or the Religious Land Use
and Institutionalized Persons Act ...