Farris v. Miami Correctional Medical-Exc
OPINION AND ORDER: The court GRANTS the motion to reopen 18 ; VACATES the dismissal order 15 and judgment 16 ; GRANTS Jacob Walter Farris until 02/16/2023, to file an amended complaint; and CAUTIONS Mr. Farris if he doesnt respond by February 16, this case will be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A without further notice because the current complaint does not state a claim for which relief can be granted. Signed by Judge Robert L Miller, Jr on 01/17/2023. (jdb)
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SOUTH BEND DIVISION
JACOB WALTER FARRIS,
CAUSE NO. 3:22-CV-318-RLM-MGG
MIAMI CORRECTIONAL MEDICALEXC,
OPINION AND ORDER
Jacob Walter Farris, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a motion asking to
reopen this case. This case was dismissed because Mr. Farris didn’t respond to a court
order even after the deadline was enlarged twice. See ECF 11, 13, and 14. The
dismissal order explained, “It appears he has abandoned this lawsuit.” ECF 15. Based
on his promptly filed motion to reopen, it’s clear that Mr. Farris didn’t choose to stop
litigating this case. In the interests of justice, the court will reopen the case and
screen the complaint.
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. 28
U.S.C. § 1915A. “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).
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Mr. Farris alleges he was denied constitutionally adequate medical care in
February 2022. The complaint names only one defendant: Miami Correctional
Medical-Exc. Mr. Farris might be trying to sue Centurion Health of Indiana, LLC,
the company contracted to provide healthcare services to inmates at the Miami
Correctional Facility. A private company performing a State function can be held
liable to the same extent as a municipal entity under Monell v. Dep’t of Soc. Servs. of
City of New York, 436 U.S. 658 (1978); Rice v. Corr. Med. Servs., 675 F.3d 650, 675
(7th Cir. 2012). “Corporate liability exists “when execution of a [corporation’s] policy
or custom . . . inflicts the injury.” Calhoun v. Ramsey, 408 F.3d 375, 379 (7th Cir.
2005). Mr. Farris make no mention of a policy or custom. He hasn’t alleged facts from
which it can be plausibly inferred that he was denied medical treatment for any
reason other than the decisions of individual medical employees. There is no
supervisory liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. “Only persons who cause or participate
in the violations are responsible.” George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 609 (7th Cir. 2007).
“[P]ublic employees are responsible for their own misdeeds but not for anyone
else’s.” Burks v. Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592, 596 (7th Cir. 2009).
This complaint doesn’t state a claim for which relief can be granted. If Mr.
Farris believes he can state a claim based on (and consistent with) the events
described in this complaint, he may file an amended complaint because “[t]he usual
standard in civil cases is to allow defective pleadings to be corrected, especially in
early stages, at least where amendment would not be futile.” Abu-Shawish v. United
States, 898 F.3d 726, 738 (7th Cir. 2018). To file an amended complaint, he needs to
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write this cause number on a Pro Se 14 (INND Rev. 2/20) Prisoner Complaint
form which is available from his law library. After he properly completes that form
addressing the issues raised in this order, he needs to send it to the court.
For these reasons, the court:
(1) GRANTS the motion to reopen (ECF 18);
(2) VACATES the dismissal order (ECF 15) and judgment (ECF 16);
(3) GRANTS Jacob Walter Farris until February 16, 2023, to file an amended
(4) CAUTIONS Mr. Farris if he doesn’t respond by February 16, this case will
be dismissed under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A without further notice because the current
complaint does not state a claim for which relief can be granted.
SO ORDERED on January 17, 2023
s/ Robert L. Miller, Jr.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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