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Rogers v. Godinez

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

May 2, 2013

JAMES L. ROGERS, # N32117, Plaintiff,
v.
S.A. GODINEZ, VICTOR DOZIER, MARY HALFORD, KIM REEDER, and HEALTH CARE PROVIDER, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

G. PATRICK MURPHY, District Judge.

Plaintiff James L. Rogers, currently incarcerated at Vandalia Correctional Center ("Vandalia"), has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is serving a five year sentence for theft; he is slated for release in approximately May 2013. The complaint asserts that the defendant prison officials and health care providers were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Plaintiff is HIV-positive and also has Hepatitis C. In December 2011 he had an intake physical at Stateville Correctional Center; he was prescribed a medication regimen and a therapeutic "double portion" diet ( see Doc. 1, p. 8). Approximately one week later, Plaintiff was transferred to Vandalia where an unidentified physician informed him that that institution does not permit therapeutic diets. Defendant Mary Halford, the director of nursing at Vandalia, was consulted after Plaintiff filed a grievance. Halford stated that no therapeutic diet had been ordered ( see Doc. 1, p. 14). Plaintiff asserts that Halford actually removed the prescription from Plaintiff's medical file. It is further alleged that Defendants Warden Victor Dozier and Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC") Director S.A. Godinez subsequently concurred with the denial of Plaintiff's grievance, and by extension with Halford ( see Doc. 1, pp. 14-15). Plaintiff also sues Defendant Kim Reeder, an HIV Clinic nurse, who was "negligent" for ignoring Plaintiff's "cry for help" and not helping him secure a therapeutic diet.

Regarding the prescribed medication regimen, it is alleged that an unidentified doctor informed Plaintiff that he did not have "ample time" to complete the Hepatitis C medication regimen before his release date. Nursing director Mary Halford was consulted again, after Plaintiff filed a grievance. Halford confirmed that when there is not "ample time" to complete the treatment series, treatment is not commenced ( see Doc. 1, p. 17). Warden Dozier and Director Godinez subsequently concurred with the denial of Plaintiff's grievance, thereby agreeing with Halford ( see Doc. 1, pp. 17-18).

Plaintiff further asserts that the IDOC has denied him treatment in violation of the Eighth Amendment, although the IDOC is not a named defendant. An unidentified "Health Care Provider" is named as a defendant, for providing the physician who failed to provide treatment.

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, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (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, however, the 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).

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

Analysis

Mary ...


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