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Padilla v. Powers

June 13, 2006

JESUS PADILLA, JR., INMATE #, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARVIN POWERS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gilbert, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate in the Tamms Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This action was originally filed in Illinois state court and removed to this forum by Defendant Powers, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441. Defendant Powers has paid the filing fee for the action.

The Court will first perform a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), which provides:

Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that --

(A) the allegation of poverty is untrue; or

(B) the action or appeal --

(i) is frivolous or malicious;

(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or

(iii) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). An action or claim is frivolous if "it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Upon careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds that none of the claims in the complaint may be dismissed at this point in the litigation.

Factual Allegations

In his complaint, Plaintiff states that on April 20, 2004, he began to experience severe low back pain that prevented him from walking. He was taken from his cell to the infirmary by a nurse and an extraction team. Defendant Powers came to his cell in the infirmary and ordered Plaintiff to come to the door. Plaintiff told Defendant Powers that he was unable to move due to the severe pain. Defendant responded by telling Plaintiff he was "faking it" and that if he did not come to the door, Defendant would authorize a use of force by the tactical team to place Plaintiff in restraints. Plaintiff continued to state that he was unable to move. The tactical unit then entered the cell and restrained Plaintiff by slamming a shield onto Plaintiff's painful back, flipping him onto his stomach, grabbing and straightening his ankles, forcedly bending his knees to place him in leg restraints, and wrenching his arms behind his back to handcuff him. This process was extremely painful, and caused Plaintiff to cry out "in pain and anguish." Defendant Powers then ordered Plaintiff to sit up so that he could conduct an examination. Plaintiff stated that he could not sit up due to the pain. Defendant Powers then told him again that he was "faking" and ordered the tactical unit to sit Plaintiff up by force and hold him in that position. Plaintiff continued to scream in pain. Plaintiff states that Defendant Powers conducted a cursory examination ("about 5 seconds of running a pinwheel up and down plaintiffs legs"), and prescribed Motrin, Robaxin, and an unknown muscle relaxant. Plaintiff continued taking the Robaxin for two weeks and the Motrin for approximately four weeks. Defendant Powers did not order further testing.

Plaintiff states that on May 6, 2004, when he was released form the infirmary, he was escorted by the tactical unit. According to Plaintiff, his high degree of pain and inability to walk or stand was so apparent to the officers in the tactical unit that they asked Defendant Powers to allow them to escort Plaintiff in a wheelchair. Defendant Powers denied the request because Plaintiff was "faking." Plaintiff states that the trip from the infirmary to his living unit (normally a five minute walk) took 45 minutes.

Plaintiff states that on May 18, 2004, Corrections Officer K. Hamilton and Nurse Donna Swank (not defendants) saw Plaintiff struggling to walk by himself and requested a wheelchair from the medical unit to transport Plaintiff from his living unit to the Bureau of Identification. Defendant Powers denied the request. Plaintiff states that it took approximately 55 minutes to carry and drag him to the Bureau of Identification. The next day, May 19, 2004, as Defendant Powers was making rounds in Plaintiff's living unit, Plaintiff showed him bruises that had been caused from his having ...


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