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Hampton v. St. Clair County Jail

March 10, 2009

PERNELL HAMPTON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ST. CLAIR COUNTY JAIL, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, formerly a detainee in the St. Clair County Jail, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. To facilitate the orderly management of future proceedings in this case, and in accordance with the objectives of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8(f) and 10(b), the Court finds it appropriate to break the claims in Plaintiff's pro se complaint and other pleadings into numbered counts, as shown below. 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 Defendants Ampadu and Nursing Staff for deliberate indifference to his medical needs regarding his sickle cell disease.

COUNT 2: Against Defendants Ampadu and Nursing Staff for deliberate indifferent to his medical needs regarding his back injury.

COUNT 3: Against Defendant East St. Louis Police Department for filing false charges against him.

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). Upon careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

COUNT 1

Plaintiff states that he suffers from sickle cell disease. Before he was taken into custody, he was under the care of an unspecified doctor who had prescribed an assortment of medications to treat the painful symptoms of this condition. Upon his arrival at St. Clair County Jail, Plaintiff advised Defendants Ampadu and the nursing staff of his condition. He alleges that Ampadu provided him with a very low dosage of his medications, so little that he was in constant pain. He also alleges that when he had a sickle cell crisis, Defendants accused him of "faking it" and left him in his cell, suffering in pain, for almost eight hours.

[F]or a pretrial detainee to establish a deprivation of his due process right to adequate medical care, he must demonstrate that a government official acted with deliberate indifference to his objectively serious medical needs. See Qian, 168 F.3d at 955. This inquiry includes an objective and subjective component. The objective aspect of the inquiry concerns the pretrial detainee's medical condition; it must be an injury that is, "objectively, sufficiently serious." Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811 (1994) (internal quotations omitted); see also Henderson v. Sheahan, 196 F.3d 839, 845 (7th Cir. 1999). "A 'serious' medical need is one that has been diagnosed by a physician as ...


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