United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Hammond Division
OPINION AND ORDER
T. MOODY JUDGE
Andrew Lohnes is a pretrial detainee in the Lake County Jail.
Without a lawyer, he filed a complaint. “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.
“In order to state a claim under [42 U.S.C.] §
1983 a plaintiff must allege: (1) that defendants deprived
him of a federal constitutional right; and (2) that the
defendants acted under color of state law.” Savory
v. Lyons, 469 F.3d 667, 670 (7th Cir. 2006).
alleges Mrs. Johnson yelled at him in early November 2018 in
front of 36 other inmates because he was filing grievances
and lawsuits. He alleges she threatened to punish those
inmates by unnecessarily searching them to provoke them to
attack him. 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). Lohnes is alleging Mrs. Johnson was trying to
punish him. However, even “in 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, 135 S.Ct. 2466, 2473 (2015)
(quoting Bell). Either way, Lohnes has stated a
claim against Ms. Johnson for attempting to provoke other
inmates to attack him in violation of the Fourteenth
alleges he gave Mrs. Johnson two civil complaints in 2018 so
they could be mailed to this court. He alleges he gave Mrs.
Archer a civil complaint in July 2018 to be mailed to this
court. He alleges he gave Officer Toth two letters to be
mailed to the ACLU. He alleges none of them reached their
destination. There are many reasons why mail may not reach
its intended destination. Here, Lohnes has not plausibly
alleged that any of these defendants personally prevented his
mail from proceeding to its intended recipients. “Only
persons who cause or participate in the violations are
responsible.” George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605,
609 (7th Cir. 2007). A complaint must contain sufficient
factual matter to “state a claim that is plausible on
its face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A claim has facial plausibility
when the pleaded factual content 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) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at
556). “Factual allegations must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level, on the
assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true
(even if doubtful in fact).” Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555 (quotation marks, citations, and footnote omitted).
“[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court
to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the
complaint has alleged-but it has not shown-that the pleader
is entitled to relief.'” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 679 (quotation marks and brackets omitted). Thus, “a
plaintiff must do better than putting a few words on paper
that, in the hands of an imaginative reader, might suggest
that something has happened to her that might be redressed by
the law.” Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d
400, 403 (7th Cir. 2010) (emphasis in original). Therefore,
none of these allegations state a claim.
alleges Mrs. Johnson tore up a copy of a docket sheet from
one of his cases. The Fourteenth Amendment provides that
state officials shall not “deprive any person of life,
liberty, or property, without due process of law.” But,
a state tort claims act that provides a method by which a
person can seek reimbursement for the negligent loss or
intentional depravation of property meets the requirements of
the due process clause by providing due process of law.
Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 533 (1984)
(“For intentional, as for negligent deprivations of
property by state employees, the state's action is not
complete until and unless it provides or refuses to provide a
suitable post deprivation remedy.”) Indiana's tort
claims act (Ind. Code § 34-13-3-1 et seq.) and
other laws provide for state judicial review of property
losses caused by government employees, and provide an
adequate post deprivation remedy to redress state
officials' accidental or intentional deprivation of a
person's property. See Wynn v. Southward, 251
F.3d 588, 593 (7th Cir. 2001) (“Wynn has an adequate
post deprivation remedy in the Indiana Tort Claims Act, and
no more process was due.”). Therefore, these
allegations do not state a claim.
alleges he has complained to several defendants about his
missing mail. However, “public employees are
responsible for their own misdeeds but not for anyone
else's.” Burks v. Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592,
596 (7th Cir. 2009). He alleges several defendants are
supervisors at the jail. However, there is no general
respondeat superior liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Burks v. Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592, 594 (7th Cir.
2009). Therefore, he has not stated a claim against Oscar
Martinez, Jr., Michael Zenk, O'Connor, Menchaca, or
names Jane Doe as a defendant, but “it is pointless to
include lists of anonymous defendants in federal court; this
type of placeholder does not open the door to relation back
under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15, nor can it otherwise help the
plaintiff.” Wudtke v. Davel, 128 F.3d 1057,
1060 (7th Cir. 1997) (citations omitted). Therefore, Jane Doe
must be dismissed.
alleges his grievances are not properly handled. However,
“the inadequacies of the grievance procedure . . .
cannot form the basis for a constitutional claim.”
Kervin v. Barnes, 787 F.3d 833, 835 (7th Cir. 2015).
Therefore, these allegations do not state a claim.
these reasons, the court:
GRANTS James Andrew Lohnes leave to proceed
against Mrs. Johnson in her individual capacity for
compensatory damages for threatening to punish 36 other
inmates by unnecessarily searching them to provoke them to
attack him in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment;
DISMISSES all other claims;
DISMISSES Oscar Martinez, Jr., Mrs. Archer,
Michael Zenk, O'Connor, Menchaca, Neary, Toth, and Jane
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
Complaint (DE # 1) on Mrs. Johnson at the Lake County Jail;
ORDERS, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1997e(g)(2), Mrs. Johnson to respond, as provided for in the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and N.D. Ind. L.R. 10-1(b),
only to the claim for which the ...