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Jordan v. Flowers

December 9, 2008

TEOLIA JORDAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COMMANDER FLOWERS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Harry D. Leinenweber

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

In November of 2006, Plaintiff Teolia Jordan (hereinafter, the "Plaintiff"), currently an inmate at Danville Correctional Center, filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against Kane County Lieutenant Gregory Flowers (hereinafter, the "Defendant"). Plaintiff alleged that, while he was a pretrial detainee at Kane County Jail between July 2004 and September 2005, he developed a rash from the jail's deodorant. His family brought deodorant for Plaintiff, but Defendant refused to allow Plaintiff to have it. Plaintiff suggested in his complaint that Defendant's refusal may have been racially motivated.

Defendant has filed a motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff has filed a response. Defendant has filed a reply, and Plaintiff has responded to the reply. For the following reasons, the Court grants the motion for summary judgment and dismisses this case.

I. FACTS

Plaintiff's amended complaint alleges the following: He was detained at the Kane County Jail from July 2004 to September 2006. The jail's deodorant caused his glands to swell and a serious rash to develop. The jail's doctor informed Plaintiff that the jail did not have another type of deodorant for Plaintiff, but that he could have his family bring him a hypoallergenic one. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant would not allow Plaintiff to receive the deodorant brought by his family but allowed another, non-African-American inmate, Matthew Quigley, to use Proactiv for his acne and Dial body wash, which had been brought by Quigley's family. See Amended Complaint, Docket Entry, 13, pp. 6-7.

Defendant's Local Rule 56.1 Statement of Uncontested Facts contains the following documents: Plaintiff's deposition, Defendant's affidavit, medical records from the Kane County Jail, and a handbook provided to inmates. See Defendant's Rule 56.1 Statement, Docket Entry 55, Exhibits A-D. Plaintiff has attached his own affidavit to his response to the summary judgment motion. See Plaintiff's Response, Docket Entry 66. Plaintiff's response to Defendant's reply contains another affidavit from Plaintiff and an affidavit from another inmate stating the difficulty Plaintiff has in litigating his case. See Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Reply, Docket Entry 72.

The summary judgment evidence shows the following: Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Kane County Jail from 2004-2006. He developed a rash under his arms (peeling skin, burning, and a knot from swollen glands) from the deodorant provided by the jail (Maximum Security). See Plaintiff's Deposition, pp. 7, 9, Exhibit B of Defendant's Rule 56.1 Statement, Docket Entry 55. He saw the doctor several times (at least twice) about this condition. Id. at pp. 8, 11. The doctor told Plaintiff to stop using the deodorant and to simply wash under his arms with soap and water. The doctor stated that the condition should improve and that he would write something to Commander Flowers to allow Plaintiff's family to bring a different deodorant. Id. at p. 9. Plaintiff does not know if the doctor informed Flowers of the need for a deodorant, but a nurse told Plaintiff that Flowers denied the request and said that Plaintiff could not have it. Id. at p. 10. Clarifying his visits with the doctor, Plaintiff stated that he saw the doctor twice about his rash and that the doctor stated on the second visit that he would talk to Flowers. Id. at p. 12.

Plaintiff stated that his family called the jail several times to talk to Flowers, but Flowers was never available. Plaintiff's deposition, p. 13, Exhibit B of Defendant's Rule 56.1 Statement, Docket Entry 55. Plaintiff wrote several requests to Flowers to receive a deodorant from outside the jail. Id. at p. 14. Flowers refused, once in writing and once in person. Id. at pp. 14-15.

According to Plaintiff, he asked Flowers why Plaintiff could not have the deodorant his family brought, and Flowers responded, "'cause you can't have it,' and he walked away." Id. at p. 16. Plaintiff then decided to file this suit. Id.

Plaintiff stated that the jail's doctor told Plaintiff that there was no medication to prescribe for him, and that he should simply wash under his arms with soap and water. Id. at p. 18. Plaintiff's rash improved when he stopped using the deodorant, and Plaintiff never received further treatment from the jail's doctor for the rash. Id. at pp. 23-24.

Plaintiff saw the jail's nurse bring fellow inmate Matthew Quigley Proactiv and Dial Body Wash. See Plaintiff's Deposition, pp. 19-20, Exhibit B of Defendant's Rule 56.1 Statement, Docket Entry 55. Quigley told Plaintiff that the jail's doctor had prescribed both items and told Quigley to have his family bring them. Quigley told Plaintiff that Quigley's mother spoke to Flowers about Quigley receiving these items. Id. at pp. 20-21. Plaintiff stated that his girlfriend brought Dove deodorant to the jail and left it with someone at the front desk, but that Plaintiff never received it. Id. at pp. 22, 26, 28-29.

Plaintiff's medical records reveal that he saw a physician at the jail on numerous occasions for a variety of conditions during his stay at the Kane County Jail. See Exhibit C, Defendant's Rule 56.1 Statement, Docket Entry 55. The only entries that indicate complaints of a skin rash appear to be from December 2004 and the beginning of 2005. Id. at pp. 26-27. These records indicate that hydrocortisone was prescribed. Id.

Plaintiff submitted his own affidavit with his response to Defendant's summary judgment motion. Plaintiff states that he submitted numerous written requests to Defendant for a deodorant from outside the jail, that the jail doctor recommended that Plaintiff be able to receive an outside deodorant, but that Defendant refused to allow Plaintiff to receive an outside deodorant. See Plaintiff's Response, pp. 4-5, Docket Entry 66. Plaintiff also states that he was ...


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