United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
ROBERT K. DECKER, #51719-074, Plaintiff,
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
PHIL GILBERT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Robert Decker, an inmate who is in the custody of the Federal
Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) and currently
incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre
Haute, Indiana (“FCI-Terre Haute”), filed this
action for alleged violations of his constitutional rights by
persons acting under color of federal authority. See
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971).
In his Complaint, Plaintiff challenges his public safety
factor designation and custody classification. (Doc. 3, p.
3). He seeks correction of both. (Id.).
Complaint is before the Court for preliminary review under 28
U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court to screen
prisoner complaints and filter out nonmeritorious claims. 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss any portion of
the Complaint that is legally frivolous or malicious, fails
to state a claim for relief, or seeks money damages from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b). The factual allegations are liberally construed.
Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816,
821 (7th Cir. 2009).
makes the following allegations in his Complaint (Doc. 3):
The BOP allegedly denied Plaintiff due process of law by
wrongfully assigning him a public safety factor
(“PSF”) designation based on a presentence report
(“PSR”) that erroneously disclosed an arrest or
conviction for enticement of a child/relative under the age
of sixteen and second degree harassment or physical contact.
(Id. at p. 3). Plaintiff maintains that he was
actually arrested for second degree custodial interference.
(Id.). As a result of this error in his PSR,
Plaintiff's custody classification included a PSF
designation that limits his range of safe housing options and
prevents his smooth reintegration into society.
(Id.). When Plaintiff notified his unit teams at
FCI-Terre Haute and the United States Penitentiary at Marion,
Illinois (“USP-Marion”) of these errors, they
took no action to correct his PSF or custody classifications.
on the allegations summarized above, the Court finds it
convenient to designate a single count in this pro
Count 1: Defendant denied Plaintiff due
process of law in connection with his PSF designation and
parties and the Court will use this designation in all future
pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial
officer of this Court. Any claim encompassed by the
allegations in the Complaint but not
addressed herein is considered dismissed without prejudice
as inadequately pled under
Complaint does not survive screening. Liability under
Bivens hinges on personal responsibility for a
constitutional violation. Del Raine v. Williford, 32
F.3d 1024, 1047 (7th Cir. 1994). In other words, “an
individual defendant must have caused or participated in a
constitutional deprivation.” Id. Plaintiff
does not name an individual defendant in the Complaint. He
names the BOP as the only defendant. However, the BOP is not
a person and is also not a proper defendant under
Bivens. See Ziglar v. Abbasi, -- U.S. --,
137 S.Ct. 1843, 1860 (2017) (Bivens claim is brought
against the individual official for his or her own acts and
not the acts of others); Sterling v. United States,
85 F.3d 1225, 1228-29 (7th Cir. 1996) (“[T]he point of
Bivens was to establish an action against the
employee to avoid the sovereign immunity that would block an
action against the United States.”). Count 1 cannot
proceed against the BOP and shall be dismissed without
Plaintiff's proposed First Amended Complaint, he
identifies the Department of Justice, United States Attorney
General, and Acting BOP Director as defendants. However, he
does not mention any of these individuals in the statement of
his claim. He still refers to the BOP. While it is true that
he occasionally refers to “Defendants” as a
group, Plaintiff's use of vague phrasing to identify the
defendants is insufficient to connect specific individuals to
illegal acts, even at this early stage. Brooks v.
Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 580 (7th Cir. 2009) (citation
omitted) (rejecting the use of “vague phrasing”
to connect defendants to specific acts of misconduct). The
First Amended Complaint presents essentially the same problem
as the original Complaint.
proposed Second and Third Amended Complaints pose a different
problem. In both, Plaintiff omits all references to Count 1.
He focuses on an entirely new due process claim. Plaintiff
challenges the BOP's practice of changing disciplinary
rules and regulations without first publishing them for
comment by the public or inmate population. The Court cannot
discern whether Plaintiff intended to abandon Count 1 by
omission or simply add this claim to his prior complaint(s).
Plaintiff must clear up this issue before the Court can
proceed with its Section 1915A review of this matter.
do so by filing an Amended Complaint that sets forth all
claims he intends to pursue in this action. The Court does
not accept piecemeal amendments. An amended complaint
supersedes and replaces all prior versions of the complaint
and renders them void. See Flannery v. Recording Indus.
Ass'n of Am., 354 F.3d 632, 638 n. 1 (7th Cir.
2004). Therefore, Plaintiff's Amended Complaint must
stand on its own without reference to any prior pleading.
Until Plaintiff files an amended complaint that comports with
these requirements, the Court cannot determine which claims
form the basis of this action and screen them under Section