PAYNE v. CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA et al
ORDER Screening Amended Complaint, Dismissing Deficient Claims,and Directing Issuance and Service of Process. Mr. Payne's claim against Corrections Corporation of America shall proceed. All other claims in the amended complaint are dismissed. T he clerk is directed to terminate defendant Marion County Jail from the docket. The clerk is directed to issue service to defendant Corrections Corporation of America. Process shall consist of the amended complaint, dkt. 7 , applicable forms (Notice of Lawsuit and Request for Waiver of Service of Summons and Waiver of Service of Summons), and this Order. Signed by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt on 6/2/2021 Distribution made via US Mail(CBU)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
CARLO X. PAYNE,
CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF
AMERICA, et al.
Order Screening Amended Complaint, Dismissing Deficient Claims,
and Directing Issuance and Service of Process
Plaintiff Carlo X. Payne brings this civil rights action alleging that the defendants were
deliberately indifferent to his diabetes symptoms when he was incarcerated at the Marion County
Jail and Marion County Jail II. The court screened and dismissed Mr. Payne's original complaint.
Mr. Payne has filed an amended complaint that is now subject to screening.
The Court must screen Mr. Payne's amended complaint, dismissing any and all claims that
are frivolous or malicious, fail to state a claim for relief, or seek monetary relief against a defendant
who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a)−(c). In determining whether a 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 Cesal v. Moats, 851 F.3d 714, 720 (7th Cir. 2017).
To survive dismissal, the amended 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).
The Amended Complaint
The amended complaint names eight defendants: (1) Corrections Corporation of America,
(2) Marion County Sheriff's Department, (3) Marion County Nurse 1, (4) Marion County Nurse 2,
(5) CCA Nurse 1, (6) CCA Nurse 2, (7) CCA Nurse 3, and (8) CCA Head Nurse (Melissa).
In the amended complaint, Mr. Payne alleges that he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes
in 2009. From 2009 through 2013, he managed his symptoms with medication. From 2013 to 2018,
he managed his symptoms with diet and exercise alone. In October 2018, Mr. Payne was arrested
and booked into the Marion County Jail, which is operated by the Marion County Sheriff's
Department. Within days, he was transferred to Marion County Jail II, which is operated by private
contractor Corrections Corporation of America.
While being booked in at Marion County Jail II, Mr. Payne notified a nurse that he was
diabetic. After a week on a regular diet, Mr. Payne began experiencing night sweats, shakes, and
fatigue. Mr. Payne submitted a medical request, and a few days later a nurse checked his blood
sugar level. The reading was low, so the nurse ordered blood sugar checks for the next two weeks.
Different nurses performed the blood sugar checks, but they were always performed within
hours after Mr. Payne had eaten. Mr. Payne's blood sugar was always within normal levels, but he
continued to have "an adverse physical condition," mostly at nights. Dkt. 7 at 5−6.
On November 9, 2018, lab tests were done on Mr. Payne's blood. A nurse reported that
Mr. Payne was not diabetic but anemic. Mr. Payne never saw the results himself. He received
another blood test in December 2018. The results again indicated that Mr. Payne was not diabetic.
Mr. Payne was transferred back to the Marion County Jail on February 14, 2019. At intake,
he notified a nurse ("Marion County Nurse 2") that he was diabetic. The nurse told him he would
be put in for blood work, but no blood tests were performed.
Mr. Payne was transferred to Hamilton County Jail on August 29, 2019. When medical
staff tested Mr. Payne's blood sugar levels at Hamilton County Jail, they were very high. Mr. Payne
has now been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, which requires daily insulin injections.
Mr. Payne alleges that Corrections Corporation of America maintains a policy of testing
blood sugar at incorrect times, such that they can never detect an inmate's diabetes. He alleges that
Marion County Sheriff's Department "had a policy, practice and procedure that left his condition
undiagnosed and untreated while he was incarcerated." Dkt. 7 at 9. The complaint offers no
description of this alleged policy, practice, and procedure.
Claim to Proceed
Mr. Payne's Fourteenth Amendment claim 1 against Corrections Corporation of America
based on a policy or widespread practice of conducting blood sugar checks exclusively after meals
Claims Dismissed as Untimely
Any claims against the nurses at Marion County Jail II—"CCA Nurse 1," "CCA Nurse 2,"
"CCA Nurse 3," and "CCA Head Nurse (Melissa)"—are dismissed as frivolous because they are
"[I]n § 1983 actions, federal courts apply the statute of limitations governing personal
injury actions in the state where the injury took place. In Indiana, such claims must be brought
within two years." Serino v. Hensley, 735 F.3d 588, 590 (7th Cir. 2013) (citation omitted).
Untimeliness is an affirmative defense, but a complaint may be dismissed sua sponte if "the
existence of a valid affirmative defense is so plain from the fact of the complaint that the suit can
The complaint suggests that Mr. Payne was a pretrial detainee while in custody at Marion County Jail and Marion
County Jail II. If he was instead a convicted inmate, his claim shall proceed under the Eighth Amendment.
be regarded as frivolous." Muhammad-Ali v. Final Call, Inc., 832 F.3d 755, 763 (7th Cir. 2016)
(quoting Walker v. Thompson, 288 F.3d 1005, 1009–10 (7th Cir. 2002)); see also Koch v. Gregory,
536 F. App'x 659, 660 (7th Cir. 2013) (when complaint's allegations plainly show it is untimely,
dismissal under § 1915A is appropriate).
Once Mr. Payne was transferred out of Marion County Jail II on February 14, 2019,
the nurses at that facility no longer had "the power to do something about his condition."
Heard v. Sheahan, 253 F.3d 316, 318 (7th Cir. 2001); cf. Heard v. Elyea, 525 F. App'x 510, 511
(7th Cir. 2013) ("[W]hen a person resigns or retires from his public employment, the claim accrues
on that date."). The statutory limitations period thus began running on February 14, 2019, for the
claims related to Mr. Payne's time at Marion County Jail II. Mr. Payne had until February 14, 2021,
to file claims against the Marion County Jail II nurses, but he did not name them in his original
complaint, and he filed his amended complaint on March 22, 2021. 2 The claims against the Marion
County Jail II nurses do not "relate back" to Mr. Payne's original complaint because the original
complaint did not name them as defendants or otherwise give them notice that an action was being
brought against them. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(c)(1)(C). These claims are therefore dismissed as
Claims Dismissed for Failure to State a Claim Upon Which Relief
May Be Granted
Mr. Payne's claims against Marion County Nurse 1 and Marion County Nurse 2 are
dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Prison officials have a duty to ensure that inmates receive adequate medical care. Farmer
v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 835 (1994). To prevail on a claim of inadequate medical care in violation
Even using the amended complaint's signature date of March 8, 2021, dkt. 7 at 9, these claims
of the Fourteenth Amendment, Mr. Payne must allege facts sufficient to establish that a plausible
claim that (1) the defendant "acted purposefully, knowingly, or perhaps even recklessly when they
considered the consequences of their handling of [his care]," and (2) that the defendant's actions
were objectively unreasonable. Miranda v. County of Lake, 900 F.3d 335, 353−54 (7th Cir. 2018);
Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 576 U.S. 389, 395 (2015).
According to Mr. Payne, he told Marion County Nurse 1 that he had diabetes on
October 21, 2018, and he was transferred to a different facility on October 24 or 25, 2018. Until
his arrest, he had controlled his sugar levels from 2013 to 2018 with diet and exercise. Marion
County Nurse 1's failure to take action on this information for the three or four days before
Mr. Payne's transfer was not objectively unreasonable.
Mr. Payne alleges that he informed Marion County Nurse 2 of his diabetes in
February 2019 upon his return to Marion County Jail. She said he would be put in for blood work,
but no blood tests were done before Mr. Payne was transferred to Hamilton County Jail in
August 2019. Standing alone, these allegations might warrant an inference that the nurse's actions
were objectively unreasonable. But Mr. Payne also alleges that he received blood tests in
November and mid-to-late December 2018. Neither of these tests indicated that Mr. Payne had
diabetes. Marion County Nurse 2's failure to perform further tests based on his statement at intake
was not objectively unreasonable. Additionally, Mr. Payne's claims against Marion County
Nurse 2—and all the nurses whom the complaint does not identify by name—are dismissed
because "it is pointless to include . . . 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) (citations omitted).
Mr. Payne's claim against the Marion County Sheriff's Department also is dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. To state a claim for relief against the
Marion County Sheriff's Department, Mr. Payne must allege that the defendant's policy, practice,
or custom, caused a constitutional violation. Whiting v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., 839 F.3d
658, 664 (7th Cir. 2016). Mr. Payne alleges only that the Marion County Sheriff's Department
"had a policy, practice and procedure that left his condition undiagnosed and untreated while he
was incarcerated." This is a conclusion, not an allegation. Mr. Payne does not state what the policy
was or how it might have caused his constitutional injury.
Directing Issuance and Service of Process
Mr. Payne's claim against Corrections Corporation of America shall proceed. All other
claims in the amended complaint are dismissed.
The clerk is directed to terminate defendant Marion County Jail from the docket.
The clerk is directed to issue service to defendant Corrections Corporation of America.
Process shall consist of the amended complaint, dkt. , applicable forms (Notice of Lawsuit and
Request for Waiver of Service of Summons and Waiver of Service of Summons), and this Order.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
CARLO X. PAYNE
18102 Cumberland Road
Noblesville, IN 46060
Corrections Corporation of America
c/o: CT Corporation Systems, as Registered Agent
150 West Market Street, Suite 800
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
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