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Billups v. Baldwin

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 15, 2016

JERMAINE L. BILLUPS, #B64691, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN BALDWIN, JENNA CAMPANELLA, PENNY GEORGE, and ALLEN BRUMMEL, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Jermaine Billups, an inmate in Vienna Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He seeks damages and injunctive relief. 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). Frivolousness is an objective standard that refers to a claim that any reasonable person would find meritless. Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026-27 (7th Cir. 2000). 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). The claim of entitlement to relief must cross “the line between possibility and plausibility.” Id. at 557. At this juncture, the factual allegations of the 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 § 1915A; portions of this action are subject to summary dismissal.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff did not actually include a statement of claims with his Complaint. Instead he attached a grievance. (Doc. 1, p. 5-6). Plaintiff's grievance states that he has been having problems with his eyes since prior to his time in custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections began. (Doc. 1, p. 6). He alleges that he saw Dr. Brummel three times regarding this issue, and each time Brummel gave him eye drops, which failed to help. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Plaintiff alleges that his eyes are getting worse, and although Brummel informed Plaintiff that if the drops did not work he would refer him to an ophthalmologist, Brummel had failed to do so at the time Plaintiff filed his grievance. (Doc. 1, p. 6).

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into a single count. The parties and the Court will use this designation in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court.

         Count 1 - Brummel was deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious eye condition by failing to refer him to an ophthalmologist and persisting in treating Plaintiff with eye drops.

         In order to state a clam for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, an inmate must show (1) that he suffered from an objectively serious medical condition; and (2) that the defendant was deliberately indifferent to a risk of serious harm from that condition. An objectively serious condition includes an ailment that has been “diagnosed by a physician as mandating treatment, ” one that significantly affects an individual's daily activities, or which involves chronic and substantial pain. Gutierrez v. Peters, 111 F.3d 1364, 1373 (7th Cir. 1997). “Deliberate indifference is proven by demonstrating that a prison official knows of a substantial risk of harm to an inmate and either acts or fails to act in disregard of that risk. Delaying treatment may constitute deliberate indifference if such delay exacerbated the injury or unnecessarily prolonged an inmate's pain.” Gomez v. Randle, 680 F.3d 859, 865 (7th Cir. 2012) (internal ...


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