MARTIN v. FOWLER et al
ENTRY GRANTING IN FORMA PAUPERIS STATUS, GRANTING MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT, SCREENING COMPLAINT, AND DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS - This matter is before the Court on pro se Plaintiff, Anthony C. Martin's ("Martin") Motion for Leav e to Proceed in forma pauperis, Dkt. 2 , and Motion to Amend Complaint, Dkt. 5 . Martin's Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis, Dkt. 2 , is granted. Martin's Motion to Amend Complaint, Dkt. 5 , is granted. The Clerk is direc ted to docket the proposed amended complaint, Dkt. 5-1, as the Second Amended Complaint. Martin's Second Amended Complaint is of the "kitchen-sink" variety. Therefore, the Second Amended Complaint must be dismissed. Martin shall hav e through May 21, 2018, in which to file an amended complaint containing only properly related claims. In organizing his complaint, Martin may benefit from utilizing the Court's complaint form. The Clerk is directed to include a copy of the prisoner civil rights complaint form along with Martin's copy of this Entry. (See Entry.) Copy to Plaintiff via US Mail. Signed by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on 4/16/2018. (Attachments: # 1 Prisoner Complaint Form) (BRR)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
ANTHONY C. MARTIN,
) Case No. 1:18-cv-00992-TWP-DML
LARRY FOWLER, LISA ASH, DUSHAN
ZATECKY, Mr. ALSIP, Mr. LIGONIER, Mr.
COLE, MICHELLE RAINS, PENNY EDEN, Ms. )
POTTER, DAVIS, Property Officer, LONG,
Internal Affairs, STANFORD, Internal Affairs,
SARAH PECKHAM, Counselor, Offr.
STURGELL, Offr. HAMILTON, Sgt. PRESTEL, )
Sgt. MCKINNLEY, Lt. KAYLOR, Offr.
BOULES, Cpt. PEROLE, Cpt. GUILLE, Cpt.
CONYERS, DUNKIN, Internal Affairs, Major
ELLIOTT, Sgt. MILLER, Offr. WEDDELL, Sgt. )
REED, Sgt. GARHAM, Offr. POP, Sgt.
BAGENSKI, Sgt. COMMANDER, Offr.
ZARATE, PAULA DICKSON, ALICIA
MCCULLOUGH, Dr. TALBOT, Dr. PERRY,
BOLMAN, MHP, RICHARDSON, MHP, Dr.
DWENGER, Dr. BADE, CORIZON, and
WEXFORD HEALTH SERVICES,
ENTRY GRANTING IN FORMA PAUPERIS STATUS, GRANTING MOTION TO
AMEND COMPLAINT, SCREENING COMPLAINT,
AND DIRECTING FURTHER PROCEEDINGS
This matter is before the Court on pro se Plaintiff, Anthony C. Martin’s (“Martin”) Motion
for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis, Dkt. , and Motion to Amend Complaint, Dkt. . The
Court grants the Motions in accordance with the directions set forth below.
I. IN FORMA PAUPERIS STATUS
Martin’s Motion for Leave to Proceed in forma pauperis, Dkt. , is granted.
Notwithstanding the foregoing ruling, Martin still owes the entire filing fee. “All [28 U.S.C.]
§ 1915 has ever done is excuse pre-payment of the docket fees; a litigant remains liable for them,
and for other costs, although poverty may make collection impossible.” Abdul-Wadood v. Nathan,
91 F.3d 1023, 1025 (7th Cir. 1996) (emphasis in original).
MOTION TO AMEND COMPLAINT
Martin is incarcerated at Pendleton Correctional Facility. On March 29, 2018, Martin filed
a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against 42 defendants. On April 3, 2018,
Martin filed an Amended Complaint, Dkt. , also against 42 defendants, and a Motion to Amend
Complaint, Dkt. , to which he attached a proposed complaint against 48 defendants. Martin’s
Motion to Amend Complaint, Dkt. , is granted. The Clerk is directed to docket the proposed
amended complaint, Dkt. -1, as the Second Amended Complaint.
III. SCREENING OF SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT
The Second Amended Complaint is now subject to the screening required by 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b). This statute directs that the court dismiss a complaint or any claim within a complaint
that “(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. “A complaint is
subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim if the allegations, taken as true, show the plaintiff
is not entitled to relief.” Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 215 (2007).
The Second Amended Complaint alleges a variety of civil rights abuses, including
excessive force, deliberate indifference, and retaliation in unrelated incidents spanning a nineteen
month period beginning in August 2016. Martin seeks compensatory damages and injunctive
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 18 permits a plaintiff to bring, in one lawsuit, every claim
he has against a single defendant. Fed. R. Civ. P. 18(a). However, to join multiple defendants in
a single action, Rule 20 requires that the plaintiff assert at least one claim against all of them
“arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences” and that
“any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action.” Id. 20(a)(2).
Working together, these two rules mean that “[u]nrelated claims against different defendants
belong in different suits” so as to prevent prisoners from dodging the fee payment or three strikes
provisions in the Prison Litigation Reform Act. George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir.
2007). Consequently, “multiple claims against a single party are fine, but Claim A against
Defendant 1 should not be joined with unrelated Claim B against Defendant 2.” George, 507 F.3d
at 607. Rule 20 applies as much to cases brought by prisoners as it does to any other case. Id.
Martin’s Second Amended Complaint violates Rules 18 and 20 insofar as it advances
unrelated claims against multiple defendants for various discrete episodes occurring during
Martin’s incarceration. While it is arguable that most of his claims stem from the conditions of
his confinement, the fact that he is incarcerated is not a “transaction” or “occurrence” under the
Rules. As a result, there must be more tying each episode together.
IV. DISMISSAL OF SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT
Martin’s Second Amended Complaint is of the “kitchen-sink” variety. Put differently, it
appears to represent Martin’s catalogue of everything that happened to him while incarcerated to
which he takes exception. The George court instructed that such “buckshot complaints” should
be “rejected.” Id. Therefore, the Second Amended Complaint must be dismissed.
OPPORTUNITY TO AMEND COMPLAINT
Martin shall have through May 21, 2018, in which to file an amended complaint
containing only properly related claims. Should he wish to pursue the multiple unrelated claims
asserted in his Second Amended Complaint, he may file additional civil rights complaints. If
Martin chooses to file additional complaints, he will be required to pay the $400.00 filing fee for
each complaint, or demonstrate that he lacks the financial ability to do so. Suits under § 1983 use
the statute of limitations and tolling rules that states employ for personal-injury claims. In Indiana,
the applicable statute of limitations period is two (2) years. See Richards v. Mitcheff, 696 F.3d
635, 637 (7th Cir. 2012); Ind. Code § 34–11–2–4.
In filing an amended complaint, Martin shall conform to the following guidelines: (a) the
amended complaint shall comply with the requirement of Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure that pleadings contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader
is entitled to relief. . . . ,” which is sufficient to provide the defendant with “fair notice” of the
claim and its basis. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 93 (2007) (per curiam) (citing Bell Atl. Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) and quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2)); (b) the amended
complaint must include a demand for the relief sought; and (c) the amended complaint must
identify what legal injury Martin claims to have suffered and what persons are responsible for each
such legal injury. Martin must state his claims “in numbered paragraphs, each limited as far as
practicable to a single set of circumstances.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 10(b).
In organizing his complaint, Martin may benefit from utilizing the Court’s complaint form.
The Clerk is directed to include a copy of the prisoner civil rights complaint form along with
Martin’s copy of this Entry.
Any amended complaint should have the proper case number, 1:18-cv-00992-TWP-DML,
and the words “Third Amended Complaint” on the first page. If an amended complaint is filed as
directed above, it will be screened. If an amended complaint is not filed as directed above, it will
not be screened. If no amended complaint is filed, this action will be dismissed for the reasons set
Anthony C. Martin, #945288
Pendleton Correctional Facility
4490 West Reformatory Road
Pendleton, Indiana 46064
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