Holland v. Unknown officers and nures of the Indana Department of Corrections
OPINION AND ORDER striking 1 Pro Se Complaint, filed by Dakota Holland. The Court GRANTS Dakota Holland to and including December 8, 2017, to file anamended complaint and CAUTIONS him that if he does not respond by the deadline, this case will be dismissed without further notice. Signed by Senior Judge James T Moody on 11/8/17. (Copy and form mailed as directed in Order)(kjp)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SOUTH BEND DIVISION
DAKOTA A. HOLLAND,
UNKNOWN OFFICERS AND NURSES
OF THE INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF
No. 3:17 CV 271
OPINION and ORDER
Dakota A. Holland, a pro se prisoner, filed a vague complaint. (DE # 1.) Under
federal pleading standards, a complaint must state a claim for relief that is plausible on
its face. Bissessur v. Indiana Univ. Bd. of Trs., 581 F.3d 599, 602-03 (7th Cir. 2009). “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.”
Id. at 603. 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).
Upon review, Holland’s complaint does not satisfy these standards. He appears
to be trying to assert a claim for denial of medical care because he was not immediately
given a breathing treatment upon request on January 20, 2017. However, he does not
provide the necessary details for this court to determine if that claim presents a
constitutional violation. To start, Holland has not identified any possible defendant. He
sues “unknown officers and nurses of the Indiana Department of Corrections.” He
apparently does not know the identity of the officers and nurses involved in denying
him a breathing treatment. As a practical matter his case cannot proceed against
unnamed defendants. See Wudtke v. Davel, 128 F.3d 1057, 1060 (7th Cir. 1997) (“[I]t 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.”).
Moreover, even if Holland had named the officers and nurses involved in not
immediately providing him a breathing treatment, the complaint is still too vague to
state a claim. In medical cases, the Constitution is violated only when a defendant was
deliberately indifferent to an inmate’s serious medical needs. Gutierrez v. Peters, 111 F.3d
1364, 1369 (7th Cir. 1997). Holland has not explained or identified his “breathing
condition.” Nor has he identified what “breathing treatment” he sought and was
denied. Moreover, he has not identified whether any defendant was aware of his
breathing condition and need for breathing treatment.
Without a named defendant, a clear description of the nature of his medical
problem(s), and allegations establishing that the defendants were deliberately
indifferent, it is impossible to discern whether he has a plausible claim. When a
complaint is vague, confusing, or lacking in necessary detail, the court is “within its
rights” to dismiss the complaint with leave to replead. Loubser v. Thacker, 440 F.3d 439,
443 (7th Cir. 2006). Accordingly, the court will strike the complaint and afford Holland
an opportunity to file an amended complaint. He should describe in as much detail as
possible the events giving rise this suit, including what occurred, when it occurred,
where it occurred, and who was involved. He should clearly explain the nature of his
medical problem(s) and explain how the named defendants were deliberately
indifferent. He should also include any information he can provide that may assist in
identifying the officers and nurses, including a physical description or badge number.
For these reasons, the court:
(1) STRIKES the complaint (DE # 1);
(2) DIRECTS the Clerk to place this cause number on a blank Prisoner
Complaint form and send it to Dakota Holland;
(3) GRANTS Dakota Holland to and including December 8, 2017, to file an
amended complaint; and
(4) CAUTIONS him that if he does not respond by the deadline, this case will be
dismissed without further notice.
Date: November 8, 2017
s/James T. Moody
JUDGE JAMES T. MOODY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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