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Underhill v. Kardis

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

January 3, 2020

RICKY UNDERHILL, Plaintiff,
v.
EMILY KARDIS, et al. Defendants.

          ORDER SCREENING COMPLAINT, DISMISSING INSUFFICIENT CLAIMS, AND DIRECTING ISSUANCE OF PROCESS

          JAMES PATRICK HANLON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Ricky Underhill, an inmate at Plainfield Correctional Facility, brings this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action alleging that the defendants failed to protect him from other inmates.

         I. Screening Standard

         Because Mr. Underhill is a prisoner, the Court must screen his complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a), (c). The Court must dismiss any claim that is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). 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 alleged.

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Pro se complaints like Mr. Underhill's 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).

         II. The Complaint

         The complaint names nine defendants: (1) Emily Kardis, (2) Dushan Zatecky, (3) Bob Turney, (4) Vedora Hinshaw, (5) Laura Bodkin, (6) Jennifer Gibson, (7) Yovanne Shepherd (8) John Doe #1, and (9) John Doe #2.

         The complaint alleges that another inmate attacked Mr. Underhill on November 8, 2018. Mr. Underhill sustained head and face injuries. Both John Doe defendants failed to intervene during the attack and failed to escort Mr. Underhill to the medical office afterward. Mr. Underhill was placed on cell-lock status, which prevented any further attacks.

         Mr. Underhill wrote letters to defendants Ms. Kardis, Mr. Zatecky, Mr. Turney, and Ms. Hinshaw asking for help getting medical treatment, but none responded. Mr. Underhill later wrote letters to the same defendants telling them that he continued to receive threats from the inmate who had attacked him. On November 13, 2018, defendant Mr. Turney took pictures of Mr. Underhill's face.

         On November 26, 2018, defendants Ms. Bodkin and Ms. Shepherd refused to let Mr. Underhill file grievances against the John Doe officers for failing to intervene and failing to help Mr. Underhill get medical treatment. Defendants Ms. Kardis, Mr. Zatecky, Mr. Turney, Ms. Hinshaw, and Ms. Gibson refused to help Mr. Underhill re-file the grievances.

         On December 7, 2018, Mr. Underhill was removed from cell-lock status and transferred from D House (“D1 side”) to C House.

         On December 13, 2018, Mr. Underhill was returned to D House (“D2 side”). He told defendants Ms. Kardis, Ms. Hinshaw, and Ms. Gibson that other inmates had been threatening him. Upon arrival his arrival in D House, other inmates began extorting him for money.

         On December 17, 2018, Mr. Underhill notified defendants Ms. Kardis, Mr. Zatecky, Mr. Turney, Ms. Hinshaw, and Ms. Gibson that inmates were assaulting, extorting, and threatening him. Mr. Underhill also filed formal grievances, ...


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