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Hughes v. Maue

July 13, 2006

STEVEN HUGHES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TOM MAUE, JOE HARPER, PAM GRUBMAN, ED MARTIN, DR. BAIG, DR. FAISA AHMED AND DR. VALLABHANENI, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate in the Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

EXCESSIVE FORCE

In this action, Plaintiff first alleges that on three separate occasions in early 2003, Defendant Maue ordered the tactical team into Plaintiff's cell, where they violently beat him and confiscated his wheelchair. He further alleges that a similar incident occureed in March 2003, at the direction of Defendant Martin.

The intentional use of excessive force by prison guards against an inmate without penological justification constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment and is actionable under Section 1983. Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 6-7 (1992); DeWalt v. Carter, 224 F.3d 607, 619 (7th Cir. 2000). "[W]henever prison officials stand accused of using excessive physical force in violation of the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause, the core judicial inquiry is . . . whether force was applied in a good-faith effort to maintain or restore discipline, or maliciously and sadistically to cause harm." Hudson, 503 U.S. at 6-7.

Applying these standards to the allegations in the complaint, the Court is unable to dismiss this claim against Maue or Martin at this point in the litigation. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

MENTAL ILLNESS

The primary claim in this action is Plaintiff's allegation that he suffers from mental illness, yet Defendants have all refused to provide him with mental health treatment. He alleges that over a period of 10 months in 2003, each Defendant observed him smearing feces on his body and cell walls, as well as actually eating his own feces, yet they collectively accused him of pretending to be crazy in an attempt to be transferred out of Menard.

Prison officials have a duty, in light of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, to "ensure that inmates receive adequate food, clothing, shelter, and medical care." Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811 (1994). To determine whether an inmate's Eighth Amendment rights were violated by a deprivation, we examine the alleged violation both objectively and subjectively. See id. at 834, 114 S.Ct. 1970. "First, the deprivation alleged must be, objectively, sufficiently serious." Id. (quotation omitted). Second, the mental state of the prison official must have been "one of deliberate indifference to inmate health or safety." Id. (quotation omitted).

Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 733 (7th Cir. 2001). The Seventh Circuit has found that "the need for a mental illness to be treated could certainly be considered a serious medical need." Id. at 734; Wellman v. Faulkner, 715 F.2d 269 (7th Cir. 1983). See also Gibson v. County of Washoe, Nev., 290 F.3d 1175 (9th Cir. 2002); Waldrop v. Evans, 871 F.2d 1030, 1035 (11th Cir. 1989). Accordingly, the Court is unable to dismiss any of these claims at this point in the litigation. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

OTHER MEDICAL CLAIMS

Plaintiff states that he is paraplegic. He needs a wheelchair to move about, yet he alleges that he was denied a wheelchair for over ten months in 2003. Therefore, in order to move about, he had to slide about on the floor, which was covered with feces. He also claims that for a period of nine months, he did not receive any showers. Finally, he states that he suffers from diabetes, yet his diabetes went untested and untreated for many months.

Based on the standards set forth above, see generally Farmer, 511 U.S. 825, the Court is unable to dismiss any of these claims at this point in the ...


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