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Hubbard v. Cope

June 11, 2008

DUKE HUBBARD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. ASCUNCION R. COPE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate in the Danville Correctional Center, brings this action pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. § 2671 et seq. It also appears that Plaintiff brings this action for violations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and for violations of his statutory privacy rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In this action, Plaintiff seeks damages for an alleged denial of medical care, the alleged violation of his privacy rights, an alleged warrantless arrest. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Also before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel (Doc. 6).

Title 28 U.S.C. § 1915A provides:

(a) Screening

The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.

(b) Grounds for Dismissal

On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint--

(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or

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

28 U.S.C. § 1915A. 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). An action fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted if it does not plead "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 1974 ( 2007). Upon careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; this action is subject to summary dismissal.

THE COMPLAINT

Liberally construing the complaint and attached exhibits, it appears that Plaintiff had been placed under house arrest pending disposition of state criminal charges. On November 26, 2005, while under house arrest, Plaintiff went to Hamilton Memorial Hospital ("Hospital"). At the Hospital, Plaintiff stated that he had "pain deep in his brain," that he wanted to be admitted to the Hospital, and that he intended to commit suicide. Plaintiff also alleges that he sought treatment for his "COPD,"*fn1 for chest pains, and for "mental illness including schizophrenia."*fn2

Plaintiff was placed in a suture room and evaluated by Defendants Hayes, Miller, and Cope. Although Plaintiff states that he was denied all medical treatment, his allegations (and the attached exhibits) indicates that some "lab work" was performed and, specifically, that a toxicology report was made.*fn3 Beyond the evaluation and performing some "lab work," however, it appears that Plaintiff received no further medical treatment. Specifically, Plaintiff's Exhibit B to the complaint states that Defendant Miller "talked to Dr. Cope about doing an EKG [but] she said [']No, not at this time.[']"

While Plaintiff was at the Hospital, it appears that Defendants Campbell and Craddock, police officers for the City of Mcleansboro Police Department, were investigating a complaint made by Paulene Hubbard that Plaintiff had left his residence and was yelling at her. After consulting with the Rob Irvin, prosecuting attorney for Hamilton County, Illinois, and acting on Irvin's directions, Defendants Campbell and ...


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