BOWLING v. JORDAN et al
ENTRY discussing Complaint, Dismissing Insufficient Claims and Directing Service of Process. Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 2/28/2017 (dist made)(CBU)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
STEVEN B. BOWLING,
STANLEY KNIGHT Supt.,
JOHN DOE #1,
JANE DOE #1,
KEITH HARTZEL Asst. Supt.,
JOHN DOE #2,
JANE DOE #2,
Entry Discussing Complaint, Dismissing Insufficient Claims,
and Directing Service of Process
The complaint is subject to the screening requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). This
statute directs that the Court dismiss a complaint or any claim within a complaint which “(1) is
frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.” Id.
The plaintiff, Steven B. Bowling (“Mr. Bowling”), is confined at the New Castle
Correctional Facility. The alleged incidents occurred at Plainfield Correctional Facility
(“Plainfield”). He names the following defendants: 1) Tina Jordan; 2) Corizon; 3) Superintendent
Stanley Knight; 4) Assistant Superintendent Keith Hartzel; and 5) John and Jane Does. He seeks
compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief. The Court discerns that his claims are
brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, under which a plaintiff must allege that a state actor
violated his constitutional rights.
Mr. Bowling alleges that on December 25, 2015, he broke his nose and Nurse Jordan
refused to see him to treat his nose. He alleges that Nurse Jordan falsely represented that Mr.
Bowling refused treatment.
Mr. Bowling alleges that Corizon failed to properly supervise Nurse Jordan and assure
that she was following protocol. He does not allege that his injuries were the result of a policy or
practice of Corizon. Corizon is a corporate entity that is not vicariously liable for misdeeds of its
employees, and can only be liable if it maintains a policy or practice that causes a constitutional
harm. “The central question is always whether an official policy, however, expressed…caused
the constitutional deprivation.” Glisson v. Indiana Department of Correction, et al., No. 151419, 2017 WL 680350 (7th Cir. Feb. 21, 2017); see also Johnson v. Dossey, 515 F.3d 778, 782
(7th Cir. 2008); Woodward v. Correctional Medical Services of Illinois, Inc., 368 F.3d 917, 927
(7th Cir. 2004) (Corizon can be liable “if it maintains a policy that sanctions the maintenance of
prison conditions that infringe upon the constitutional rights of the prisoners.”) (internal
quotation omitted). Based on these allegations, the claim against Corizon is dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Mr. Bowling further alleges that Superintendent Knight and Assistant Superintendent
Hartzel are responsible for assuring that their employees are following protocol. These claims are
based on these defendants’ supervisory positions. “Liability depends on each defendant’s
knowledge and actions, not on the knowledge or actions of persons they supervise.” Burks v.
Raemsich, 555 F.3d 592, 594 (7th Cir. 2009). Merely naming supervisors or high level officials
as defendants who did not participate in or direct or consent to the constitutional violation does
not state a viable claim because respondeat superior is not sufficient to support a § 1983 claim.
See Childress v. Walker, 787 F.3d 433, 439-40 (7th Cir. 2015); Gayton v. McCoy, 593 F.3d 610,
622 (7th Cir. 2010) (“It is well established that there is no respondeat superior liability under §
1983.”); Harper v. Albert, 400 F.3d 1052, 1065 (7th Cir. 2005). The claims against
Superintendent Stanley Knight and Assistant Superintendent Keith Hartzel are dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
Mr. Bowling also alleges that John or Jane Doe is the officer in charge of assisting Nurse
Jordan in retrieving offenders from their cell for sick call and for assuring that offenders sign a
refusal for treatment. To state a civil rights claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must name
the individuals who personally participated in the alleged wrongdoing. Any claim brought
against John or Jane Doe Officers is dismissed because “it 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.” Wudtke v. Davel,
128 F.3d 1057, 1060 (7th Cir. 1997) (internal citations omitted).
Any claim for injunctive relief is denied as moot because Mr. Bowling is no longer
incarcerated at Plainfield. Lehn v. Holmes, 364 F.3d 862, 871 (7th Cir. 2004) (“[W]hen a
prisoner who seeks injunctive relief for a condition specific to a particular prison is transferred
out of that prison, the need for relief, and hence the prisoner’s claim, become moot.”); Higgason
v. Farley, 83 F.3d 807 (7th Cir. 1996) (same).
No partial final judgment shall issue regarding the claims that are dismissed in this Entry.
II. Service of Process
Only the claim of deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, under the Eighth
Amendment, shall proceed against Nurse Tina Jordan.
The clerk is designated pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c) to issue process electronically to
defendant Tina Jordan in the manner specified by Rule 4(d). Process shall consist of the
complaint filed on February 15, 2017 (docket 1), applicable forms (Notice of Lawsuit and
Request for Waiver of Service of Summons and Waiver of Service of Summons), and this Entry.
The plaintiff shall report any changes of address within seven (7) days.
The clerk shall update the docket to reflect the dismissal of the claims against Corizon,
Superintendent Stanley Knight, Assistant Superintendent Keith Hartzel, and the John and Jane
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
By United States mail to:
STEVEN B. BOWLING
NEW CASTLE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
1000 Van Nuys Road
NEW CASTLE, IN 47362
Nurse Tina Jordan
Plainfield Correctional Facility
Electronic Service Participant – Court Only
NOTE TO CLERK: PROCESSING THIS DOCUMENT REQUIRES ACTIONS IN ADDITION TO DOCKETING AND DISTRIBUTION.
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