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Juan Plata v. Venerio M. Santos and Dr. Shicker

April 12, 2011

JUAN PLATA,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
VENERIO M. SANTOS AND DR. SHICKER, DEFENDANTS.



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

#R-08490,

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate in the Centralia Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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.

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, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). Upon careful review of the complaint and supporting exhibits, the undersigned Judge concludes that Plaintiff's complaint must be dismissed under § 1915A(b)(1).

Facts:

The following version of the facts of this case is gleaned from Plaintiff's complaint (Doc. 1). In April 2008, Plaintiff began experiencing a medical condition wherein small bumps formed on one of his eyelids. Plaintiff was seen by Defendant Santos in May 2008, who prescribed him eye drops. In 2009, the condition spread to the other eye, so that both of Plaintiff's eyelids had bumps on them that caused itching, headaches, and pain. Plaintiff was on a consistent therapy of eye drops for the condition. In February 2010, Plaintiff complained to Defendant Santos that the problem still persisted, despite the use of eye drops. Nothing more was done to treat Plaintiff's condition. Plaintiff then filed a grievance, requesting to be seen by a doctor outside of the prison. Plaintiff was referred to an optometrist, who also prescribed eye drops for the condition.

Based on Plaintiff's treatment by the optometrist, his grievance was denied. When Plaintiff appealed the denial, the chairperson of the administrative review board sent the grievance to Defendant Shicker for review. Ultimately Defendant Shicker also denied the grievance, stating that the problem had been diagnosed and was being treated with eye drops.

Discussion:

Plaintiff alleges that the treatment he received from Defendants Santos and Shicker amounts to deliberate indifference to his medical needs. The Supreme Court has recognized that "deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners" may constitute cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976); Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825 (1994); see Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam). This encompasses a broader range of conduct than intentional denial of necessary medical treatment, but it stops short of "negligen[ce] in diagnosing or treating a medical condition." Estelle, 429 U.S. at 106. See also Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 734 (7th Cir. 2001).

To prevail on an Eighth Amendment claim, a plaintiff must show that the responsible prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. See Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994); Dunigan ex rel. Nyman v. Winnebago County, 165 F.3d 587, 590 (7th Cir. 1999). Deliberate indifference involves a two-part test. The plaintiff must show that (1) the medical condition was objectively serious, and (2) ...


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