Lockhart v. Sevier et al
OPINION AND ORDER re 1 COMPLAINT filed by Cleverly Lockhart. The federal claims contained in the Complaint are DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Any state law claims contained in the Complaint are DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c). Signed by Judge Theresa L Springmann on 1/3/17. (cc: Cleverly Lockhart). (cer)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
MARK SEVIER, et al.,
CAUSE NO.: 3:16-CV-841-TLS
OPINION AND ORDER
Cleverly Lockhart, a prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a Civil Rights Complaint [ECF No.
1], alleging that Robert Eutz, a supervisor at the Miami Correctional Facility (Miami) assaulted
him during an argument on December 26, 2013. He further alleges that Miami officials, Mark
Sevier and Lorna Harbaugh, ignored the assault, effectively condoning it. Lockhart brings both
State and federal claims.
“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
As a threshold matter, it is too late for Lockhart to assert any federal claims. He signed
his Complaint on November 21, 2016, nearly three years after his claims arose. Although the
statute of limitations is an affirmative defense, dismissal is appropriate where the complaint
makes clear that the claims are time barred. Cancer Found., Inc. v. Cerberus Capital Mgmt., LP,
559 F.3d 671, 674 (7th Cir. 2009). Indiana’s two-year limitations period applies to his § 1983
claims. Behavioral Inst. of Ind., LLC v. Hobart City of Common Council, 406 F.3d 926, 929 (7th
Cir. 2005). Therefore, Lockhart’s federal claims are untimely.
Although it is usually necessary “to give pro se litigants one opportunity to amend . . .
that’s unnecessary where, as here, it is certain from the face of the complaint that any
amendment would be futile or otherwise unwarranted.” Carpenter v. PNC Bank, Nat. Ass’n, No.
633 Fed. Appx. 346, 348 (7th Cir. Feb. 3, 2016) (quotation marks omitted). See Luevano v. WalMart, 722 F.3d 1014 (7th Cir. 2013) and Hukic v. Aurora Loan Servs., 588 F.3d 420, 432 (7th
Cir. 2009) (“[C]ourts have broad discretion to deny leave to amend where . . . the amendment
would be futile.”). Here, Lockhart brought his federal claims nearly a year after the statute of
limitations expired and no amendment could cure that defect.
With the federal claims dismissed, the court turns its attention to Lockhart’s state law
claims. Lockhart alleges the Defendants violated his state constitutional rights under Article 1,
Sections 15, 16 and 18 of the Indiana Constitution. This Opinion does not purport to adjudicate
any such claims. Instead, the Court will dismiss these claims without prejudice should Lockhart
wish to pursue them in state court. See Doe-2 v. McLean Cnty. Unit Dist. No. 5 Bd. of Dirs., 593
F.3d 507, 513 (7th Cir. 2010) (“Ordinarily, when a district court dismisses the federal claims
conferring original jurisdiction prior to trial, it relinquishes supplemental jurisdiction over any
state-law claims under 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c).”). The Court offers no opinion about the wisdom of
pursuing this course or the merit of any potential claim the Plaintiff may have.
For these reasons, the federal claims contained in the Complaint [ECF No. 1] are
DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and any state law claims contained in the
complaint are DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c).
SO ORDERED on January 3, 2017.
s/ Theresa L. Springmann
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FORT WAYNE DIVISION
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?