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Cooper v. Monroe County Sheriff's Dept.

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

September 26, 2013

JOHN COOPER, Plaintiff,


G. PATRICK MURPHY, United States District Judge

This matter is before the Court on the motion for summary judgment filed by Defendants Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Daniel Kelly, and Dennis Schrader (Doc. 48). Plaintiff John Cooper filed this pro se lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged violations of his constitutional rights while he was incarcerated at the Monroe County Jail. Specifically, Plaintiff claims Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, and Defendant Kelly and Defendant Schrader’s indifference was in retaliation for complaints Plaintiff previously made. For the following reasons, summary judgment as to Defendants Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Daniel Kelly, and Dennis Schrader is granted.


Plaintiff was incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”) and serving a two-year sentence for a felony criminal conviction (Doc. 48-3). On December 16, 2010, Plaintiff was delivered on a writ from Menard to the Monroe County Jail so that he could appear in Monroe County Court on another criminal matter (Doc. 48-3). Plaintiff was a detainee at the Monroe County Jail from December 16, 2010 through January 17, 2011 (Doc. 48-3). At all times relevant to this case, Defendant Daniel Kelley (“Sheriff Kelly”) was the Sheriff of Monroe County, Illinois and the Chief Officer of the Monroe County Jail (Doc. 48-2). Defendant Dennis Schrader (“Captain Schrader”) was a Captain and the Chief Deputy of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, and the Administrator of the Monroe County Jail (Doc. 48-3).

The Monroe County jail did not have an in-house physician to provide medical services to prisoners (See Doc. 48-2; Doc. 48-3; Doc. 60, p. 34). Instead, the jail retained Dr. Chung Khan, a private physician, to provide general medical services (Doc. 48-3). The jail’s correctional officers were responsible for providing appropriate health care to prisoners under the medical supervision of Dr. Khan (Doc. 48-2; Doc. 48-3). When a prisoner arrived at the Monroe County Jail from another facility with medications, the medicine was administered as directed on the prescription label (Doc. 48-3). If a prisoner needed a medication refill, the correctional officers at the jail were responsible for contacting the prisoner’s doctor or Dr. Khan (Doc. 48-3; Doc. 60 p. 36).

When Plaintiff arrived at the Monroe County Jail on December 16, 2010, the jail staff was given a list of his medications (Doc. 48-1, p. 3). Plaintiff’s prescriptions included Simvastatia for treatment of high cholesterol, Ibuprofen for back pain and headaches, and Venlafaxine and Mirtazapine for anxiety and depression (Doc. 48-1; Doc. 48-4). Plaintiff received ibuprofen as prescribed on each of the 33 days that he was in the custody of the Monroe County Jail, and he received his other three medications on 29 of the 33 days.[1] When Plaintiff’s medications ran out on December 30, 2010, pursuant to jail policy, staff at the jail contacted Dr. Khan to refill Plaintiff’s prescriptions (Doc. 48-3). Dr. Khan promptly ordered another 14-day supply (Doc. 48-3; Doc. 48-1, pp. 11–12).

On January 5, 2011, Plaintiff was sentenced in the criminal matter in Monroe County Court (Doc. 48-3). However, the sentence was stayed and Plaintiff was ordered not to be released from the Monroe County Jail until he appeared in Court on Friday, January 14, 2011 for hearings on two family law matters (Doc. 48-3). Plaintiff’s medications ran out again on January 12th (Doc. 48-3; see Doc. 60, p. 8). According to Plaintiff, he was informed that his prescriptions would be refilled on January 14th (Doc. 60, p. 8). On Friday, January 14th, after Plaintiff appeared for the hearings, the Monroe County Court issued an order stating that Plaintiff was “free to be transported instanter” back to Menard (Doc. 48-1, p. 27). Despite the Court’s order, Menard staff did not transport Plaintiff from the Monroe County Jail back to Menard on January 14th (Doc. 48-3). On Saturday, January 15th, when it became clear that Plaintiff’s prescriptions still had not been refilled, a correctional officer at the jail contacted Dr. Khan (Doc. 48-3; Doc. 48-1, p. 16). However, Dr. Khan’s office was closed, and the correctional officer left a message for Dr. Khan (Doc. 48-3; Doc. 48-1, p. 16). On Monday, January 17th, Dr. Khan refilled Plaintiff’s prescriptions and they were administered to Plaintiff as prescribed (Doc. 48-3; Doc. 48-1, pp. 15, 10). On January 18th, Plaintiff was transported back to Menard (Doc. 48-3).

Plaintiff missed four doses, from January 13th to January 16th (See Doc. 48-1, p. 10). Plaintiff’s claims that as a result of the missed doses, he experienced nausea, dizziness, vomiting, headaches, and chest pains (See, e.g., Doc. 60, p. 9). However, according to Plaintiff, once he received his medication, he was back to normal within three days (Doc. 60, p. 10).


I. Legal Standard for Summary Judgment

The standard applied to summary judgment motions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 is well-settled and has been succinctly stated as follows:

Summary judgment is proper when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. In determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, [the Court] must view the record in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Because the primary purpose of summary judgment is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims, the nonmovant may not rest on the pleadings but must respond, with affidavits or otherwise, setting forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.… A mere scintilla of evidence in support of the nonmovant’s position is insufficient; a party will be successful in opposing summary judgment only when it presents definite, competent evidence to rebut the motion.

Albiero v. City of Kankakee, 246 F.3d 927, 931-32 (7th Cir. 2001) (citations and quotations omitted). No issue remains for trial “unless there is sufficient evidence favoring the non-moving party for a jury to return a verdict for that party. If the evidence is merely colorable, or is not sufficiently probative, summary judgment may be ...

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