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Joseph Robert Marshall, Jr., # S03863 v. Bobby Unfried

June 26, 2012

JOSEPH ROBERT MARSHALL, JR., # S03863, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BOBBY UNFRIED, DEFENDANT.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff Marshall, an inmate currently located in Vandalia Correctional Facility, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, based on an incident of alleged deliberate indifference to medical need that occurred while Plaintiff was housed at Madison County Jail. Plaintiff is serving a four-year sentence for burglary, and two years for theft. 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). Conversely, a complaint is plausible on its face "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009).

Although the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations as true, see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th Cir. 2011), some factual allegations may be so sketchy or implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009). Additionally, Courts "should not accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a cause of action or conclusory legal statements." Id. At the same time, factual allegations of a pro se complaint are to be liberally construed. See Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

The Complaint

The complaint alleges that Defendant Bobby Unfried, Head Nurse at Madison County Jail, ignored Plaintiff's need for medical treatment of an infected tooth. Plaintiff arrived at the facility October 29, 2010. He visited the nurse with complaints of a sore back tooth and a burst cyst. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant looked at the tooth and told him it was okay. When he insisted the tooth was infected, Defendant told him to leave. Plaintiff states he visited Defendant roughly ten times without result. Significantly, Plaintiff claims that a physician examined him and wrote an order for Plaintiff to see a dentist which the Defendant subsequently discarded. Plaintiff was not allowed to visit the dentist. Plaintiff describes the tooth as painful, containing a black tar-like substance, and bleeding daily. Plaintiff states he threw up blood and experienced migraines due to the infected tooth.

Discussion

Count 1 - Deliberate Indifference

In certain instances, a constitutional claim may lie if a prison official's actions amount to a failure to treat a serious medical condition.

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 Cnty., 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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