MASON v. CORIZON, INC.
Entry Granting Motion to Proceed in forma pauperis, Discussing Complaint, and Directing Further Proceedings - Plaintiff Michael Mason's motion to proceed in forma pauperis Dkt. 4 is granted. He shall have through June 2, 2017, to pay an ini tial partial filing fee of $51.93. Mason's complaint must be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The dismissal of the complaint will not in this instance lead to the dismissal of the action at present. Instead, the plaintiffs shall have through June 2, 2017, in which to file an amended complaint. (See Entry.) Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 5/8/2017. (RSF)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
TERRE HAUTE DIVISION
MICHAEL D. MASON,
Entry Granting Motion to Proceed in forma pauperis,
Discussing Complaint, and Directing Further Proceedings
Plaintiff Michael Mason’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis Dkt. is granted. He
shall have through June 2, 2017, to pay an initial partial filing fee of $51.93.
Because Mason is a “prisoner” as defined by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(h), the complaint is
subject to the screening requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). Pursuant to this statute, “[a]
complaint is subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim if the allegations, taken as true, show
that plaintiff is not entitled to relief.” Jones v. Bock, 127 S. Ct. 910, 921 (2007). To survive a
motion to dismiss, the complaint “must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state
a claim to 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, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009) (quotations
omitted). Pro se complaints such as that filed by Mason, are construed liberally and held to a less
stringent standard than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers. Erickson, 551 U.S. at 94; Obriecht
v. Raemisch, 517 F.3d 489, 491 n.2 (7th Cir. 2008).
This action was severed from the complaint in Case No. 2:15-cv-145-WTL-MJD. The
claims in this action revolve around Mason’s allegations that in July of an unidentified year, he
was seen by an unidentified nurse because he was vomiting blood. The nurse did not treat him
for this condition and he was sent back to his housing unit. The next day, he fainted and after
examination, it was determined that he had bleeding ulcers.
This complaint must be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted because Mason has failed to properly identify a defendant who is responsible for the
alleged inadequate medical care. While he states that he saw a nurse, he does not name that nurse
and bringing suit against unnamed, or “John Doe,” defendants in federal court is generally
disfavored by the Seventh Circuit. Wudtke v. Davel, 128 F.3d 1057, 1060 (7th Cir. 1997) (“it is
pointless to include [an] anonymous defendant [ ] 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.”) (internal citations omitted). If Mason is able to learn the name of the unknown
defendant, he may seek leave to add a claim against her. Next, Mason also mentions Dr. Byrd in
his statement of facts, but he does not allege that Dr. Byrd participated in any of the care that is
the basis of his complaint. He has therefore failed to state a claim against Dr. Byrd. Matz v.
Klotka, 769 F.3d 517, 528 (7th Cir. 2014) (“A damages suit under § 1983 requires that a
defendant be personally involved in the alleged constitutional deprivation.”); Minix v. Canarecci,
597 F.3d 824, 833 (7th Cir. 2010) (“[I]ndividual liability under § 1983 requires ‘personal
involvement in the alleged constitutional deprivation.’”). Finally, although Mason has named
Corizon as a defendant, he has failed to state a claim against it. The reason for this is that this
defendant is not vicariously liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the alleged misdeeds of their
employees, but if the injury alleged is the result of a policy or practice. Rodriguez v. Plymouth
Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816 (7th Cir. 2009). Mason has made no allegation of a policy or
practice on the part of Corizon that resulted in the alleged constitutional deprivations.
For the reasons discussed in Part II of this Entry Mason’s complaint must be dismissed
for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
The dismissal of the complaint will not in this instance lead to the dismissal of the action
at present. Instead, the plaintiffs shall have through June 2, 2017, in which to file an amended
In filing an amended complaint, the plaintiff 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; (c) the
amended complaint must identify what legal injury they claim to have suffered and what persons
are responsible for each such legal injury; and (d) the amended complaint must include the case
number referenced in the caption of this Entry. The plaintiff is further notified that “[u]nrelated
claims against different defendants belong in different suits.” George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607
(7th Cir. 2007).
In organizing his complaint, the plaintiff 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 the plaintiff’s copy of this Entry.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
MICHAEL D. MASON
WABASH VALLEY - CF
WABASH VALLEY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY - Inmate Mail/Parcels
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