The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harold A. Baker United States District Judge
This cause is before the court for consideration of Defendant Hastings motion to dismiss the complaint [d/e 31] and plaintiff Crowley's motion for summary judgment. [d/e 34]. The court finds that the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is not a dispositive motion, but a response to the motion to dismiss. The court will consider it as a response.
The plaintiff, a federal prisoner, filed this lawsuit pursuant to Bivens v.Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). The plaintiff claims her Eighth Amendment rights were violated at the Pekin Federal Prison Camp in Pekin, Illinois. On September 25, 2005, the court conducted a merit review of the plaintiff's complaint and found that the plaintiff had adequately alleged that Defendant Suzanne Hastings violated her Eighth Amendment rights when she failed to provide lower dentures for the plaintiff.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) authorizes dismissal of complaints that state no actionable claim. It is well established that pro se complaints are to be liberally construed. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972), reh'g denied, 405 U.S. 948 (1972). See also Tarkowski v. Robert Bartlett Realty Co., 644 F.2d 1204 (7th Cir. 1980). They can be dismissed for failure to state a claim only if it appears "beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Haines, 404 U.S. at 521.
When considering whether to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim, the court takes the allegations in the complaint as true, viewing all facts and reasonable inferences drawn from those facts in the light most favorable to the Plaintiff. Bethlehem Steel Corp. v. Bush, 918 F.2d 1323, 1326 (7th Cir. 1990).
The defendants are asking the court to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The Prison Litigation Reform Act provides:
No action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted. 42 U.S.C. §1997e(a).
The defendant is relying on the statements and documentation provided in the plaintiff's complaint. The plaintiff filed an Inmate Attempt at Informal Resolution on July 21, 2003. The plaintiff said she needed a lower denture made soon in order to eat properly. The plaintiff received a response and denial on August 18, 2003. (Pl. Ex. A). The response stated that on October 3, 2000, it was noted that the plaintiff had both and upperandlower denture, but that she did not wear the full lower denture. The plaintiff was also told that the lower ridge wears away without natural teeth to support it and "[t]here is nothing we can do to stop this natural process of the lower ridge from wearing away." (Pl. Ex. A)
The plaintiff then filed a Request for Administrative Remedy on August 19, 2003. The plaintiff stated that she had never had her lower dentures while in custody. She asked that a lower denture be made to slow the deterioration of her lower ridge. The plaintiff also claimed that she had not seen a dentist since her arrival at the correctional center.
The Warden responded on September 12, 2003 and denied the request. (Pl. Ex. B). The response stated that the plaintiff did receive an initial dental exam on October 30, 2000 which was done by a staff dentist. It was noted that the plaintiff did have both upper and lower dentures, but did not wear the lower dentures. The response further stated that the plaintiff "had been added to the waiting list for dentures. Dentures are considered routine care and are done as time and staffing allows." (Pl. Ex. B)
Lastly, the response stated:
This response is provided for informational purposes only. If you are not satisfied with this response, you may appeal on the appropriate form to the Regional Director within twenty ...