DAVIS v. CORIZON et al
ENTRY Screening Complaint and Directing Further Proceedings - The retaliation claims asserted against Kim Hobson an employee of Corizon, Internal Affairs, and Grievance Specialist Teresa Littlejohn must be dismissed. The clerk is directed to termi nate all defendants except Dr. Jimmerson on the docket. The clerk is designated pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(3) to issue process to defendant Dr. Jimmerson in the manner specified by Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(d). Process shall consist of the compl aint (docket 2), applicable forms (Notice of Lawsuit and Request for Waiver of Service of Summons and Waiver of Service of Summons), and this Entry (SEE ENTRY FOR DETAILS). Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 11/20/2017. Copies distributed pursuant to distribution list. (DW) Modified on 11/20/2017 (DW).
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
TERRE HAUTE DIVISION
CORIZON Kim Hobson,
TERESA LITTLEJOHN Specialist,
Entry Screening Complaint and Directing Further Proceedings
Plaintiff Samuel Davis, who is incarcerated at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility,
filed a pro se complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his civil rights were violated. The
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental
entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must
dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous
or malicious,” that fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that seek monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. § 1915A(b).
To state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading system, the plaintiff is
required to provide a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is entitled to
relief[.]” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). It is not necessary for the plaintiff to plead specific facts, and his
statement need only “give the defendant fair notice of what the ... claim is and the grounds upon
which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson,
355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)); see Christopher v. Buss, 384 F.3d 879, 881 (7th Cir. 2004). However, a
complaint that offers “labels and conclusions” or “formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause
of action will not do.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555). To state a claim, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, “that is
plausible on its face.” Id. “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.” Id. The complaint allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; Christopher, 384 F.3d at 881.
In considering whether a complaint states a claim, courts should follow the principles set
forth in Twombly by first “identifying pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions,
are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Legal conclusions must be
supported by factual allegations. Id. If there are well-pleaded factual allegations, the Court must
then “assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.” Id.
To state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that: (1) he was
deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) the deprivation
was visited upon him by a person or persons acting under color of state law. Buchanan-Moore v.
County of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824, 827 (7th Cir. 2009); see also Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635,
640 (1980). The Court is obliged to give the plaintiff's pro se allegations, “however inartfully
pleaded,” a liberal construction. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle
v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).
Mr. Davis has sued Kim Hobson an employee of Corizon, Internal Affairs, Corizon Dentist
Dr. Jimmerson, and Grievance Specialist Teresa Littlejohn. Mr. Davis alleges that he was retaliated
against for pursuing grievances and lawsuits at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.
To state a claim for retaliation, Mr. Davis needs only to allege that he engaged in conduct
protected by the First Amendment, and that the defendants retaliated against him based on that
conduct. See Walker v. Thompson, 288 F.3d 1005, 1008–09 (7th Cir. 2002). A complaint states a
claim for retaliation when it sets forth “a chronology of events from which retaliation may
plausibly be inferred.” Zimmerman v. Tribble, 226 F.3d 568, 573 (7th Cir. 2000) (quoting Cain v.
Lane, 857 F.2d 1139, 1143 n.6 (7th Cir. 1988)). “Conversely, alleging merely the ultimate fact of
retaliation is insufficient.” Murphy, 833 F.2d at 108.
The complaint alleges that when Mr. Davis told Dr. Jimmerson that she was causing him
pain she snatched his hat off his head. In addition, Dr. Jimmerson gave him partial dentures instead
of full dentures even though she knew the partials would mess up his teeth. This was allegedly
done out of retaliation for filing grievances.
These allegations are sufficient to state an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim
and a First Amendment retaliation against Dr. Jimmerson.
No other viable claims were identified in this action. The retaliation claims asserted against
Kim Hobson an employee of Corizon, Internal Affairs, and Grievance Specialist Teresa Littlejohn
must be dismissed. This is because the only allegation against them is that they reported the results
of their investigation into Mr. Davis’s grievances and that Mr. Davis disagreed with the result. Just
as “[a] single retaliatory disciplinary charge that is later dismissed is insufficient to serve as the
basis of a § 1983 action,” an unfavorable result to a grievance, without more is insufficient to serve
as the basis of a § 1983 action. Bridges v. Gilbert, 557 F.3d 541, 555 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Bart
v. Telford, 677 F.2d 622, 625 (7th Cir. 1982) (“A tort to be actionable requires injury. It would
trivialize the First Amendment to hold that harassment for exercising the right of free speech was
always actionable no matter how unlikely to deter a person of ordinary firmness from that
The clerk is directed to terminate all defendants except Dr. Jimmerson on the docket.
The clerk is designated pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(c)(3) to issue process to defendant
Dr. Jimmerson 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.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
Wabash Valley Correctional Facility
Electronic Service Participant -- Court Only
Dr. Jimmerson -- Employee
Wabash Valley Correctional Facility
6908 S. Old U.S. Highway 41
P.O. Box 500
Carlisle , IN 47838
Katz Korin Cunningham PC
334 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204-1708
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