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Walters v. Crank

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

January 3, 2020

LANCE WALTERS, Plaintiff,
v.
STEPHANIE CRANK, et al. Defendants.

          ENTRY GRANTING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS, SCREENING COMPLAINT, AND DIRECTING ISSUANCE OF PROCESS

          James Patrick Hanlon United States District Judge

         This action is before the Court for resolution of Plaintiff Lance Walters' motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, dkt. 2; for screening of his complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a); and for issuance of process on the defendants.

         I. Motion for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

         Mr. Walters' motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, dkt. [2], is GRANTED. Notwithstanding the foregoing ruling, Mr. Walters remains liable for the full amount of the filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). However, the assessment of even an initial partial filing fee is waived because the plaintiff has no assets and no means by which to pay a partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4). Accordingly, no initial partial filing fee is due at this time.

         II. Screening

         Mr. Walters is an inmate at Putnamville Correctional Facility (PCF). Because Mr. Walters 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.

         A. Screening Standard

         Pursuant 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 alleged.

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Pro se complaints 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).

         B. The Complaint

         Mr. Walters' complaint concerns his treatment by the PCF staff for lupus since mid-October of 2019. He presents a litany of allegations against eleven defendants. While some of Mr. Walters' allegation support plausible claims that will proceed in this action, others are insufficient and must be dismissed.

         1. Claims That Will Proceed

         Wexford Health Sources, Inc., has contracted with the Indiana Department of Correction to treat inmates at PCF. Wexford's employees at PCF include Dr. Pablo Perez, Nurse Practitioner ...


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