HILL v. COLE et al
ENTRY Discussing Complaint and Directing Further Proceedings - These allegations shall proceed against all defendants as a claim that the defendants violated his First Amendment right to access the courts. If the plaintiff believes that addition al claims were alleged in the complaint, but not identified by the Court he shall have through March 12, 2018, in which to identify those claims. The defendants have already appeared in this action. They shall have twenty- one days to answer the complaint. See entry for details. Signed by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on 2/14/2018. (Copy mailed to Plaintiff) (MEJ)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
Entry Discussing Complaint and Directing Further Proceedings
Plaintiff Charles Hill, an inmate at the Pendleton Correctional Facility, brought this
action in Madison Superior Court alleging that the defendants have violated his right to access to
the courts when they held his legal papers for forty-one days. The defendants have removed the
action to this Court.
I. Screening of the Complaint
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 dismissal,
[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).
Hill alleges that the defendants withheld his legal papers and this resulted in the dismissal
of his case in front of the Indiana Court of Appeals. These allegations shall proceed against all
defendants as a claim that the defendants violated his First Amendment right to access the courts.
This summary of claims includes all of the viable claims identified by the Court. All
other claims have been dismissed. If the plaintiff believes that additional claims were alleged in
the complaint, but not identified by the Court he shall have through March 12, 2018, in which
to identify those claims.
II. Duty to Update Address
The pro se plaintiff shall report any change of address within ten (10) days of any change.
The Court must be able to locate the plaintiff to communicate with him. If the plaintiff fails to
keep the Court informed of his or her current address, the action may be subject to dismissal for
failure to comply with Court orders and failure to prosecute.
III. Further Proceedings
The defendants have already appeared in this action. They shall have twenty-one days to
answer the complaint.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Electronic distribution to all electronically registered counsel via CM/ECF and by U.S. mail to:
PENDLETON - CF
PENDLETON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
4490 West Reformatory Road
PENDLETON, IN 46064
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