Craig v. Cohn, No. 3:99-CV-0689 AS.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
Writing for the CourtAllen Sharp
Citation80 F.Supp.2d 944
Decision Date07 January 2000
Docket NumberNo. 3:99-CV-0689 AS.
PartiesLarry CRAIG aka Abdul Aziz, Muhammad Ahmad, Jamal Hardin, Daniel Grundy, Darryl Newman, Juan D. Mockabee, Kevin Redman, Darrell Lillard, Larry Jones, Michael Bayliff, Lawrence Fogle, Kenneth Guthrie, Richard Horton, Jeffrey Lewis, Kenny Morris, Darryl Rucker, Richard Tillery, Eldridge Wade, Joseph Lewis, and Adrian Walters, Plaintiffs, v. Edward COHN, Robert Ohlemiller, Doris Woodruff, Michael Pavese, Daniel McBride, Dawn MacMillian, Jane Aicher, Steven Green, and Donald Salisbury, Defendants.

Page 944

80 F.Supp.2d 944
Larry CRAIG aka Abdul Aziz, Muhammad Ahmad, Jamal Hardin, Daniel Grundy, Darryl Newman, Juan D. Mockabee, Kevin Redman, Darrell Lillard, Larry Jones, Michael Bayliff, Lawrence Fogle, Kenneth Guthrie, Richard Horton, Jeffrey Lewis, Kenny Morris, Darryl Rucker, Richard Tillery, Eldridge Wade, Joseph Lewis, and Adrian Walters, Plaintiffs,
v.
Edward COHN, Robert Ohlemiller, Doris Woodruff, Michael Pavese, Daniel McBride, Dawn MacMillian, Jane Aicher, Steven Green, and Donald Salisbury, Defendants.
No. 3:99-CV-0689 AS.
United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division.
January 7, 2000.

Page 945

Larry Craig, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Muhammad Ahmad, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Jamal Hardin, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Daniel Grundy, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Darryl Newman, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Juan D. Mockabee, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Kevin Redman, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Darrell Lillard, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Larry Jones, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Michael Bayliff, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Lawrence Fogle, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Kenneth Gunthrie, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Richard Horton, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Jeffery Lewis, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Kenny Morris, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Darryl Rucker, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Richard Tillery, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Eldridge Wade, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Joseph Lewis, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

Adrian Walters, Westville, IN, plaintiff pro se.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

ALLEN SHARP, District Judge.


The plaintiffs, prisoners confined at the Indiana Department of Correction's Westville Correctional Facility, submitted a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and were granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the court must review the merits of a prisoner complaint and dismiss it if the allegation of poverty is untrue or if the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) provides for the dismissal of a complaint, or any portion of a complaint, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The court will apply the same standard under § 1915A as when addressing a motion under Rule 12(b)(6).

Page 946

A complaint states no actionable claim when it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts consistent with his complaint that would entitle him to relief. Hishon v. King & Spalding, 467 U.S. 69, 73, 104 S.Ct. 2229, 81 L.Ed.2d 59 (1984), citing Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957); Panaras v. Liquid Carbonic Indus. Corp., 74 F.3d 786, 791 (7th Cir.1996). When reviewing pro se complaints, the court must employ standards less stringent than if the complaint had been drafted by counsel. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 92 S.Ct. 594, 30 L.Ed.2d 652 (1972). The court must accept the well-pleaded factual allegations as true, and "construe such allegations in favor of the plaintiff." Sherwin Manor Nursing Ctr. v. McAuliffe, 37 F.3d 1216, 1219 (7th Cir.1994); cert. denied, 516 U.S. 862, 116 S.Ct. 172, 133 L.Ed.2d 113 (1995). Although ambiguities in the complaint should be interpreted in the plaintiff's favor, Canedy v. Boardman, 16 F.3d 183, 188 (7th Cir.1994), the court need not strain to find inferences favorable to the plaintiff which are not apparent on the face of the complaint, Coates v. Illinois State Bd. of Educ., 559 F.2d 445, 447 (7th Cir.1977), or ignore factual allegations set forth in the complaint that undermine the plaintiff's claim. City Nat'l Bank of Florida v. Checkers, Simon & Rosner, 32 F.3d 277, 281 (7th Cir.1994).

The plaintiffs seek to have this case certified as a class action. A class action can be maintained, however, only if the class representative "will fairly and adequately represent the interests of the class." Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a)(4). "Every court that has considered the issue has held that a prisoner proceeding pro se is inadequate to represent the interests of his fellow inmates in a class action," Caputo v. Fauver, 800 F.Supp. 168, 170 (D.N.J.1992) (citations omitted), and the court agrees in this case.

The plaintiffs bring this action primarily under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,1 which provides a cause of action to redress the violation of federally secured rights by a person acting under color of state law. Bell v. City of Milwaukee, 746 F.2d 1205 (7th Cir.1984). To state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must satisfy two elements: he must allege violation of rights secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States, and he must show that the alleged deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 108 S.Ct. 2250, 101 L.Ed.2d 40 (1988); Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 100 S.Ct. 1920, 64 L.Ed.2d 572, (1980); accord, Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. 137, 99 S.Ct. 2689, 61 L.Ed.2d 433, (1979). The first inquiry in every § 1983 case is whether the plaintiff has been deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States. Juriss v. McGowan, 957 F.2d 345, 349 n. 1 (7th Cir.1992); Baker v. McCollan, 443 U.S. at 140, 99 S.Ct. 2689.

The complaint alleges that the defendants recently established or implemented policies that violate the United States Constitution's First Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, and the due process clauses of the Fifth Amendment. The defendants seek both damages and injunctive relief. Any request by the plaintiffs for damages from the defendants in their official capacities, runs afoul of the Eleventh Amendment. Alabama v. Pugh, 438 U.S. 781, 98...

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52 practice notes
  • Wrinkles v. Davis, No. 3:03-CV-0888 AS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • March 17, 2004
    ...due process clause applies only to acts of the federal government and does not limit actions of state officials. Page 739 Craig v. Cohn, 80 F.Supp.2d 944, 947 (N.D.Ind.2000). The Fourteenth Amendment provides that states may not deprive persons of "life, liberty, or property" without due pr......
  • Liggins v. Barnett, No. 4-00-CV-90080 (S.D. Iowa 5/15/2001), No. 4-00-CV-90080.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Southern District of Iowa
    • May 15, 2001
    ...of certain absolute constitutional rights will support claim for nominal damages without showing actual injury); Craig v. Cohn, 80 F. Supp.2d 944, 947 (N.D.Ind. 2000) (stating that although § 1997e(e) limits prisoner's ability to recover for mental and emotional distress, he may still seek ......
  • Stanko v. Sheridan Cnty., 8:20CV294
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Nebraska
    • November 13, 2020
    ...of his fellow inmates in a class action." Coleman v. Newton, 2009 WL 1936265, at *1 (D. Neb. June 29, 2009) (quoting Craig v. Cohn, 80 F.Supp.2d 944, 946 (N.D.Ind. 2000)); see Oxendine v. Williams, 509 F.2d 1405, 1407 (4th Cir. 1975) ("[l]t is plain error to permit this imprisoned litigant ......
  • In re Bernard L. Madoff Inv. Sec. LLC, Bankruptcy No. 08-01789 (BRL)
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Second Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Southern District of New York
    • November 30, 2010
    ...process clause, however, applies only to acts of the federal government and does not limit actions of state officials."); Craig v. Cohn, 80 F.Supp.2d 944, 947 (N.D.Ind.2000). The Answering Defendants do not allege, however, that the Trustee's actions constitute actions of the federal govern......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
52 cases
  • Wrinkles v. Davis, No. 3:03-CV-0888 AS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • March 17, 2004
    ...due process clause applies only to acts of the federal government and does not limit actions of state officials. Page 739 Craig v. Cohn, 80 F.Supp.2d 944, 947 (N.D.Ind.2000). The Fourteenth Amendment provides that states may not deprive persons of "life, liberty, or property" without due pr......
  • Liggins v. Barnett, No. 4-00-CV-90080 (S.D. Iowa 5/15/2001), No. 4-00-CV-90080.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Southern District of Iowa
    • May 15, 2001
    ...of certain absolute constitutional rights will support claim for nominal damages without showing actual injury); Craig v. Cohn, 80 F. Supp.2d 944, 947 (N.D.Ind. 2000) (stating that although § 1997e(e) limits prisoner's ability to recover for mental and emotional distress, he may still seek ......
  • Stanko v. Sheridan Cnty., 8:20CV294
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Nebraska
    • November 13, 2020
    ...of his fellow inmates in a class action." Coleman v. Newton, 2009 WL 1936265, at *1 (D. Neb. June 29, 2009) (quoting Craig v. Cohn, 80 F.Supp.2d 944, 946 (N.D.Ind. 2000)); see Oxendine v. Williams, 509 F.2d 1405, 1407 (4th Cir. 1975) ("[l]t is plain error to permit this imprisoned litigant ......
  • In re Bernard L. Madoff Inv. Sec. LLC, Bankruptcy No. 08-01789 (BRL)
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Second Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Southern District of New York
    • November 30, 2010
    ...process clause, however, applies only to acts of the federal government and does not limit actions of state officials."); Craig v. Cohn, 80 F.Supp.2d 944, 947 (N.D.Ind.2000). The Answering Defendants do not allege, however, that the Trustee's actions constitute actions of the federal govern......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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