NAYLOR v. WILLIAMS et al
Entry Screening Complaint and Directing Further Proceedings. The Court notes, however, that on the same date the plaintiff filed this action, he filed another action in this Court against Dr. Talbot. See Case No. 1:17-cv-2380-TWP- TAB. Thus rather t han opening a new action against Dr. Talbot, if the plaintiff's claims against Dr. Talbot are to proceed at all, he may present them in Case No. 1:17-cv-2380-TWP-TAB. Those claims are dismissed without prejudice from this action. The clerk is directed to terminate Dr. Talbot as a defendant in this action. Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 8/23/2017.(JDC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
DONALD WILLIAMS Lt.,
PAUL TALBOT Dr.,
Entry Screening Complaint and Directing Further Proceedings
The plaintiff is a prisoner currently incarcerated at Pendleton Correctional Facility
(“Pendleton”). Because the plaintiff is a “prisoner” as defined by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(h), this Court
has an obligation under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b) to screen his complaint before service on the
defendants. 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 Lagerstrom v. Kingston, 463 F.3d 621, 624 (7th Cir. 2006). To survive
[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. Obriecht v. Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489, 491 n.2 (7th Cir. 2008).
The plaintiff’s Complaint contains claims against defendants Lt. Donald Williams and Dr.
Paul Talbot. He alleges that Lt. Williams harassed him and encouraged others to harass him, which
ultimately resulted in the plaintiff being attacked by another inmate. As to Dr. Talbot, the plaintiff
alleges he failed to properly treat his injuries, including a several week delay in necessary
treatment. He also alleges that Dr. Talbot would not place him in the infirmary, which led him to
be housed in a normal cell block where he sustained further injuries, including due to repeatedly
falling down the stairs.
The claims against Dr. Talbot are misjoined, so the Court will discuss these claims before
turning to the claims against Lt. Williams.
In George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007), the Seventh Circuit explained that
“[u]nrelated claims against different defendants belong in different suits.” When unrelated claims
are brought in the same suit, “[t]he court may . . . sever any claim against a party.” Fed. R. Civ.
P. 21. The purpose of this rule is “not only ‘to prevent the sort of morass’ produced by multiclaim, multi-defendants suits like this one, but also to ensure that prisoners pay all fees required
under the Prison Litigation Reform Act.” Owens v. Hinsley, 635 F.3d 950, 952 (7th Cir. 2011)
(quoting George, 507 F.3d at 952).
The Eighth Amendment medical claims against Dr. Talbot are unrelated to the Eighth
Amendment claims against Lt. Williams stemming from his harassment and encouragement of the
same. The claims against Dr. Talbot are therefore misjoined and cannot proceed in this action.
The Court notes, however, that on the same date the plaintiff filed this action, he filed another
action in this Court against Dr. Talbot. See Case No. 1:17-cv-2380-TWP-TAB. Thus rather than
opening a new action against Dr. Talbot, if the plaintiff’s claims against Dr. Talbot are to proceed
at all, he may present them in Case No. 1:17-cv-2380-TWP-TAB. Those claims are dismissed
without prejudice from this action.
Properly Joined Claims
The plaintiff’s allegations against Lt. Williams are sufficient state an Eighth Amendment
claim. Therefore, this action shall proceed against Lt. Williams.
Given the foregoing, the following claims shall proceed:
An Eighth Amendment claim against Lt. Williams.
The clerk is designated pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(3) to issue process to defendants (1)
Lt. Donald Williams in the manner specified by Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(d). Process shall consist of the
complaint (docket 2), applicable forms (Notice of Lawsuit and Request for Waiver of Service of
Summons and Waiver of Service of Summons), and this Entry.
The clerk is directed to terminate Dr. Talbot as a defendant in this action.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
PENDLETON - CF
PENDLETON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
Electronic Service Participant – Court Only
By Electronic Service to IDOC:
Lt. Donald Williams – Pendleton Correctional Facility
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