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Rocquemore v. Moldenhauer

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

January 9, 2014

JOHNNIE ROCQUEMORE, #B-12600, Plaintiff,


J. PHIL GILBERT, District Judge.

Plaintiff Johnnie Rocquemore, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center, brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 (Doc. 1). Plaintiff is serving an 8-year sentence for manufacturing and/or delivering cocaine. Plaintiff now sues eleven defendants-including officials from the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC"), Menard Correctional Center ("Menard") and Western Illinois Correctional Center ("Western")-for deprivation of his constitutional rights. According to the complaint, Defendants conspired to chemically castrate Plaintiff by placing him on an "involuntary therapeutic diet, " resulting in myriad untreated health problems. Plaintiff now seeks monetary damages (Doc. 1, p. 25).

The Complaint

Specifically, the complaint alleges that Defendants have conspired to chemically castrate Plaintiff by forcing him to consume an involuntary therapeutic diet[1] (Doc. 1, pp. 9, 22-24). The purpose of this diet is to "sup[p]ress and control [Plaintiff's] sexual desires/nature to render [him] impotent" (Doc. 1, p. 22). The complaint alleges that the diet "amounts to a form of punishment that [is] unwarranted and causes... bodily harm" (Doc. 1, p. 9).

Plaintiff transferred to Western on July 12, 2011 (Doc. 1, p. 10). After consuming an IDOC diet for several months, Plaintiff began suffering adverse health effects. His symptoms included: migraine headaches; ear, nose, and throat irritation; abdominal pain; testicular pain; involuntary muscle spasms; diarrhea; and mouth infection (Doc. 1, p. 11). Plaintiff "infered indirect" [sic] that someone was tampering with his food.

He expressed these concerns to several prison officials, including Defendants Young (Western warden), Lynch (Western mental health coordinator), and Adkisson (IDOC psychologist) (Doc. 1, p. 10). They assured Plaintiff that he was not being given a special diet or contaminated food. Plaintiff was instead diagnosed as being delusional.

On May 20, 2012, Plaintiff put in a sick call request to address these health concerns (Doc. 1, p. 11). Defendant Larenson (Western nurse) met with Plaintiff on May 27, 2012. She offered him the option of seeing a doctor or dentist, although she was otherwise "indifferent" to him. Plaintiff chose to see a doctor. When three days passed without an appointment, Plaintiff went on a hunger strike on May 30, 2012. Defendant Lynch met with Plaintiff and scheduled an appointment the following day with a nurse, [2] who diagnosed Plaintiff with thrush.

Plaintiff wrote to Defendants Young, Blank (IDOC mental health director), and Williams (Western warden), asking them to review his involuntary therapeutic diet (Doc. 1, p. 12). They did not respond.

On January 30, 2013, Plaintiff was transferred to Menard. There, he continued to receive the diet (Doc. 1, p. 13). Food tampering and contamination continued. Plaintiff's thrush persisted.

Plaintiff wrote to Defendant Harrington (Menard's warden) about the diet. Plaintiff also submitted several sick call requests to address his health concerns, which included: a left testicular lump; black spots and warts on his penis; a tooth "being droped [sic] down from [his] gums;" mouth infection; and "other ailments" (Doc. 1, p. 13).

On April 12, 2013, Defendant Lang (Menard nurse) met with Plaintiff. He showed her his mouth (Doc. 1, p. 14). When Defendant Lang asked Plaintiff about his concerns with the forced therapeutic diet, he did not answer her questions. He considered the questions to be unrelated to his sick call request. She accused Plaintiff of being uncooperative and threatened to deny his request for a doctor's referral. Plaintiff later learned that Defendant Lang did, in fact, deny his referral request because he was uncooperative.

Plaintiff subsequently submitted a request for a doctor's appointment (Doc. 1, p. 15). In response, Defendant Shearing (Menard medical director) met with him on May 13, 2013. Although the complaint describes Defendant Shearing as "indifferent, " he examined the knot in Plaintiff's left testicle and assured him that it was a harmless ruptured vein. He examined the black spots and warts on Plaintiff's penis and indicated that they were caused by a virus. He diagnosed Plaintiff with thrush and prescribed Nystatin. Defendant Shearing directed Plaintiff to put in another sick call request to address any further medical concerns. Plaintiff did not want to wait to address these concerns.

On June 6, 2013, Plaintiff met with Defendant Moldenhauer (Menard nurse), who prescribed Valtrex for Plaintiff's thrush. Defendant Moldenhauer failed to address Plaintiff's other medical concerns (Doc. 1, p. 16). When Plaintiff later told Defendant Moldenhauer that the Valtrex was ineffective on September 15, 2013, Defendant Moldenhauer instead prescribed Nystatin, despite Plaintiff's warning that Nystatin was also ineffective.

Plaintiff continued to trace all of his health problems back to the involuntary therapeutic diet (Doc. 1, p. 16). He filed numerous grievances, which were ignored. He requested copies of his mental health records to learn more about his diet (Doc. 1, p. 18). In the process, he discovered documentation allegedly proving that he was receiving an involuntary therapeutic diet[3] (Doc. 1, p. 18).

Plaintiff now sues all Defendants for conspiracy to chemically castrate him using an involuntary therapeutic diet and to deny him adequate treatment for the resulting medical problems (Doc. 1, p. 19). According to the complaint, these ailments include: a left testicular lump; ruptured vein; body rash; severe scalp itching and flaking; severe eye irritation; blurred vision; ear, nose and throat irritation; heart acceleration; chest pains; shortness of breath; abdominal pain; diarrhea; testicular pain; genital warts and spots; penis "strinkage;" involuntary muscle spasms; shoulder burning; prostate pain and enlargement; buttock pain; tightening of back and thigh muscles; calf pain and swelling; severe right heel itching; heel blistering; peeling skin; high blood pressure; dropping of teeth from gums; whitening of his beard; mixing ...

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