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James Dolis, # R-42411 v. Brad Robert

August 22, 2012

JAMES DOLIS, # R-42411, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BRAD ROBERT, DR. SANTOS, KREBS, MCABEE, PITTS, C/O BURTON, BENTON, TAYLOR, GAETZ, S. A. GODINEZ, UNKNOWN PARTY, AND WEXFORD HEALTH SERVICES, INC., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, currently incarcerated at Pontiac Correctional Center ("Pontiac"), has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims that as a result of unconstitutional retaliation, he was found guilty of a false conduct violation and held in segregation under harsh conditions. Further, the prison doctor was deliberately indifferent to a serious medical condition.

More specifically, Plaintiff claims that after he began to file grievances over the denial of medical treatment, Defendant McAbee issued a false disciplinary ticket against him on April 10, 2011. Defendant McAbee then directed the hearing committee (consisting of Defendants Pitts and Burton) to find Plaintiff guilty and give him the maximum punishment because of his activity in filing grievances (Doc. 1, pp. 3-5). During the hearing, Plaintiff was not permitted to present documentary evidence in his defense. The committee found Plaintiff guilty and sanctioned him with 6 months in segregation, loss of 6 months good conduct credit,*fn1 and a disciplinary transfer (Doc. 1, pp. 6, 16).

Soon after, Plaintiff was transferred to Pontiac, where he remained in segregation for several more months. He complains that while in segregation, he was not allowed to receive prompt follow-up care for medical problems he experienced after undergoing an operation; was forced to eat food containing soy, which made him ill; developed an eye infection due to exposure to black mold; was denied sufficient exercise; and was housed in an unsanitary cell (Doc. 1, pp. 6-8).

Plaintiff also claims that he was diagnosed by an outside specialist with "Peyroneis disease"*fn2 and a "severe urethral stricture" (Doc. 1, p. 2). The specialist prescribed vitamin E capsules and surgery. However, Defendant Doctor Santos denied Plaintiff the prescribed vitamin E (Doc. 1, pp. 2-3; 9-10). Defendant Krebs (the Health Care Unit Administrator) also denied the vitamin E because it was not an approved prescription, and told Plaintiff to buy multi-vitamins at the commissary (Doc. 1, p. 10). Unfortunately, the multi-vitamins contained no vitamin E, and Plaintiff thus could not get that prescribed remedy. Plaintiff did ultimately have surgery.

In addition to damages, Plaintiff requests injunctive relief in the form of a transfer to a different facility, back pay, and expungement of his disciplinary ticket.

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court is required to conduct a prompt threshold review of the complaint. Accepting Plaintiff's allegations as true, the Court finds that Plaintiff has articulated a colorable federal cause of action against Defendants McAbee, Pitts, and Burton for retaliation (Count 1) and deprivation of a liberty interest without due process (Count 2), and against Defendants Santos and Krebs for deliberate indifference to medical needs (Count 3). However, to the extent that Plaintiff may be asserting an Eighth Amendment claim regarding the conditions of his confinement at Pontiac, such a claim is not reviewable herein. Should Plaintiff wish to pursue that matter, he must bring the claim in the Central District of Illinois, where the claim arose and where the Pontiac defendants are located.

The claims against Defendants Robert, Taylor, Gaetz, and Godinez are dismissed on initial review because the doctrine of respondeat superior is not applicable to § 1983 actions. Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724, 740 (7th Cir. 2001) (citations omitted). Likewise, Defendant Benton shall be dismissed, because she merely reviewed and concurred with the denial of Plaintiff's grievances. See Owens v. Hinsley, 635 F.3d 950, 953 (7th Cir. 2011). Plaintiff has not alleged that any of these Defendants were "personally responsible for the deprivation of a constitutional right." Id. Accordingly, these Defendants shall be dismissed with prejudice.

Plaintiff makes no allegations in the body of his complaint against Defendants Unknown Party (Utilization Review Board), or Wexford Health Services, Inc., thus, he fails to state a claim against them. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007). Therefore, these Defendants shall also be dismissed, but without prejudice.

In George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605 (7th Cir. 2007), the Seventh Circuit emphasized that unrelated claims against different defendants belong in separate lawsuits, "not only to prevent the sort of morass" produced by multi-claim, multi-defendant suits "but also to ensure that prisoners pay the required filing fees" under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. George, 507 F.3d at 607 (citing 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b), (g)). Plaintiff's claims in Counts 1 and 2 against Defendants McAbee, Pitts, and Burton for retaliation and deprivation of a liberty interest without due process are unrelated to the deliberate indifference claims in Count 3 against Defendants Santos and Krebs. Therefore, the claims in Count 3 shall be SEVERED into a new case as outlined below.

Disposition

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Defendants ROBERT, BENTON, TAYLOR, GAETZ, and GODINEZ are DISMISSED from this action with prejudice. Defendants UNKNOWN PARTY and WEXFORD HEALTH SERVICES, INC., are DISMISSED from this action without prejudice.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's deliberate indifference claim (COUNT 3), which is unrelated to the retaliation and due process claims, is SEVERED into a new case. That new case shall be: Claim against DEFENDANTS SANTOS and KREBS for deliberate indifference to medical needs. The new case SHALL BE ASSIGNED to the undersigned District Judge for ...


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