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Jones v. Gardner

November 6, 2008

GREGORY D. JONES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
OFFICER GARDNER, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate at the Pontiac Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff seeks injunctive and monetary relief for allegedly being denied adequate medical care and for being issued false disciplinary tickets violations of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which 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).

THE COMPLAINT

Plaintiff's complaint refers to a prior civil action, Jones v. Walker, No. 3:06-cv-330-MJRDGW (S.D. Ill.), which he filed in this Court and which is currently pending before it. In that prior case, Plaintiff alleged that, while confined in the Menard Correctional Center, he was denied adequate medical care for several ailments in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. One of the medical problems Plaintiff complained about in the prior action was described by this Court in its threshold review order as "painful bone callouses." Jones v. Walker, No. 3:06-cv-330-MJR-DGW (S.D. Ill., Memorandum and Order filed May 18, 2007). The Court further stated that "[l]eft untreated, the callouses cause [Plaintiff] great pain and difficulty walking." Id. Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court found that Plaintiff had adequately alleged that the Defendants had been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs.*fn1 Id.

The allegations of the instant complaint concern events occurring after the denial of medical care alleged in Jones v. Walker, No. 3:06-cv-330-MJR-DGW (S.D. Ill.), and after that case was filed with the Court. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that in September 2006, Defendant Gardner twice denied Plaintiff access to adequate medical care "after doctors made several attempts to comply to [sic] requests to [sic] needed medical care . . . [concerning] a progressively worse limp."*fn2 Plaintiff contends that Defendant Gardner refused him access to doctors despite Plaintiff possessing "call passes" for medical appointments.

Additionally, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Gardner issued him a false disciplinary ticket for insolence and threats in an attempt to "cover-up" Gardner's alleged interference with Plaintiff's medical care. As a consequence, it appears that Plaintiff was found guilty of the disciplinary charges and transferred to administrative segregation for 30 days. Plaintiff asserts that Defendants Maue and Moore signed the disciplinary ticket knowing that the charges were false. Defendant Maue is additionally alleged to have "colluded in contriving false information in attempt to conceal the effects of denied medical care." Plaintiff contends that Defendant Condor "was informed of staff misconduct, but refused to intervene" and that Defendant Summers refused to respond to his grievances.

Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide Plaintiff's pro se action into three counts. The parties and the Court will use these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The designation of these counts does not constitute an opinion as to their merit.

COUNT 1: Against Defendant Gardner for allegedly denying Plaintiff adequate medical care in violation of Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights.

COUNT 2: Against Defendants Gardner, Maue, and Moore for allegedly issuing Plaintiff a false disciplinary ticket to "cover up" Defendant Gardner's denial of medical care all in violation of Plaintiff's rights ...


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