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Hauschild v. Powers

July 8, 2009


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


Plaintiff, Joseph Hauschild, an inmate at the Tamms Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Hauschild seeks compensatoryand punitive damages as relief for alleged inadequate medical care under the Eighth Amendment and for discrimination and retaliation. With his original complaint, he filed a motion seeking to be excused from using the complaint forms provided in this District. Since then, he filed an amended complaint that was prepared on this District's forms; thus, his motion (Doc. 2) is DENIED as moot.

This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the amended complaint (Doc. 6) 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). Upon careful review of the complaint and the supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to exercise its authority under § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.


Hauschild alleges that he was running in the Tamms yard on February 23, 2007, when he felt a sharp pain throughout his right knee. On the following day, he claims his right knee gave out while he was standing and swelled to about twice the size of his left knee, causing excruciating pain. Hauschild then alleges a pattern of deliberate indifference to his medical needs by the defendants. He claims that staff consistently failed to respond to his medical requests in a timely fashion. He further alleges that the pain and swelling in his knee was never adequately addressed. While Hauschild admits that the medical staff prescribed a variety of anti-inflammatories for his knee, he claims that he was not given proper instructions about how to take the medication. He further claims the lack of instruction caused him stomach pain and vomiting. Hauschild also claims that the medication never resolved the pain and swelling in his knee and that he was forced to stay in his cell most of every day and hop around on one leg. He claims that his multiple requests to see a specialist or get an MRI on his knee were denied. He also claims Defendant Powers turned down his requests for an ice pack, an ace bandage, and a lower gallery permit.

Hauschild further claims that at one point, he told Defendant Powers he was an atheist, and Powers told him he did not deserve medical care because of his atheist beliefs. Hauschild also alleges that the prison's grievance procedures failed him in that the officers failed to investigate the swelling in his knee and arbitrarily denied his requests.

Based on the allegations of the complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide Hauschild's complaint into threecounts. 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.


Hauschild alleges that the medical staff treated him with deliberate indifference because they did not adequately address the swelling and tissue damage in his knee, refused to refer him to a specialist, and failed to arrange for an MRI. He alleges the staff failed to warn him about taking medication without eating and that they were insensitive to the stomach pain caused by certain prescribed anti-inflammatories. He also claims that staff showed indifference to some of his complaints and failed to take his vitals on some occasions. Hauschild makes this claim against Defendants ...

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