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Mitchell v. Scott

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

March 13, 2017

ALBERT C. MITCHELL, #S07758, Plaintiff,


          NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Albert C. Mitchell, an inmate currently incarcerated in Pinckneyville Correctional Center (“Menard”), brings this pro se action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. According to the Complaint, Defendants have been deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious medical condition. Specifically, Plaintiff contends he suffers from a sexually transmitted disease (“STD”) and/or ringworm infection in his genital region. Plaintiff contends the condition is worsening, and Defendants have refused to provide necessary treatment and/or testing.

         In connection with his claims, Plaintiff names Michael Scott (Pinckneyville Physician), Christine Brown (Pinckneyville Health Care Unit Administrator), and Jacqueline Lashbrook (former Pinckneyville Warden).

         Plaintiff seeks monetary damages, as well as declaratory and injunctive relief. His request for injunctive relief includes a request for an “immediate injunction” directing Defendants to screen Plaintiff for an STD. The Court construes Plaintiff's request for immediate injunctive relief as a Motion for Preliminary Injunction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(a).

         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).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff has circular markings and discoloration in his genital region that he believes are spreading. (Doc. 1, pp. 5-7). He is also experiencing itching, irritation, pain, coldness, and numbness in his genital region. (Doc. 1, p. 7). This condition causes pain on a daily basis. Id. Plaintiff has a history of engaging in unprotected sex and is concerned his symptoms are the result of a sexually transmitted disease. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Alternatively, Plaintiff contends he may be suffering from ringworm. (Doc. 1, p. 6). He claims that an online physician previously observed his genital discoloration and opined that Plaintiff has ringworm. Id. According to the Complaint, the online physician directed Plaintiff to “get a shot of penicillin” to treat the ringworm. (Doc. 1, p. 6).[1]

         On May 20, 2016, Plaintiff attended an appointment with Scott for evaluation of his genital condition. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Scott conducted a visual examination of Plaintiff's genitals, but Scott did not touch or manipulate Plaintiff's genitals or complete any laboratory screenings. Id. Scott informed Plaintiff that the markings and discoloration in Plaintiff's genital region are normal skin pigmentation and do not require medical treatment. Id. When Plaintiff objected, Scott responded stating “That's normal, if I pull mine out, I got the same thing too.” Id. Scott disregarded Plaintiff's continued objection and was condescending to him. Id. Plaintiff asked if he could at least be screened for an STD but Scott refused, insisting that there is nothing wrong with Plaintiff. Id.

         On May 22, 2016, Plaintiff made a request with the Pinckneyville HealthCare Unit (“HCU”) for an STD screening. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Subsequently, Plaintiff was called from his cell to speak with an in-house nurse. Id. For reasons that are not entirely clear, Plaintiff was never able to meet with the in-house nurse. Id. Plaintiff believes the nurse forgot Plaintiff was waiting for an examination. Id. Plaintiff subsequently received a ...

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