United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Herdon United States District Judge
currently incarcerated at Jacksonville Correctional Center
(“Jacksonville”), has brought this pro
se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983. He filed the case while he was incarcerated at Robinson
Correctional Center (“Robinson”), where his
claims arose. Plaintiff asserts that Defendants were
deliberately indifferent to a serious medical condition. This
case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the
complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A .
§ 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner
complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss any portion
of the complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks
for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
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 “no
reasonable person could suppose to have any merit.”
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. 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 Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 751
(7th Cir. 2011); Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
these standards, the Court finds that some of Plaintiff's
claims survive threshold review under § 1915A.
August 6, 2016, while waiting for an appointment with Dr.
Shah on an unrelated medical issue, Plaintiff advised the
nurse that he was having pain in his back, knee, and neck as
a result of an accident while he was a passenger on the Cook
County Jail's transportation bus. (Doc. 1, p. 6). The
nurse promised to schedule Plaintiff for another appointment
with the doctor for this pain. During the August 6 visit, Dr.
Shah told Plaintiff that he could not examine Plaintiff on
his neck, back, and knee issues until he received
Plaintiff's medical records from the Cook County Jail.
week later, Plaintiff requested another appointment with Dr.
Shah because he was having extremely sharp pains in his knee.
At that time, Dr. Shah had still not received the Cook County
medical records, and refused to examine Plaintiff's knee.
However, Dr. Shah gave Plaintiff Ibuprofen (400 mg) to treat
the pain. (Doc. 1, pp. 6-7).
week later, Plaintiff was called back to health care to see
Dr. Shah. The Cook County medical records had arrived, and
Dr. Shah told Plaintiff that his records stated that
“no trauma was sustained from the bus
accident.” (Doc. 1, p. 7). In light of that
information, Dr. Shah again refused to examine Plaintiff.
Upon learning Plaintiff's age, Dr. Shah opined that
Plaintiff's pain was “probably arthritis.”
submitted a grievance to complain about Dr. Shah's
refusal to examine his knee. (The grievance, dated Oct. 7,
2016, is attached at Doc. 1, pp. 15-16). In his grievance,
Plaintiff stated that he was never examined for any injuries
while at Cook County Jail. (Doc. 1, p. 16). He acknowledged
that Dr. Shah prescribed him 400 mg Ibuprofen and issued him
a low bunk permit for 4 months, but protested Dr. Shah's
decision not to treat or examine Plaintiff to find out the
cause of his pain. Id.
asserts that the counselor's response to his grievance
falsely stated that he had received treatment including
follow-up appointments from Dr. Shah. (Doc. 1, pp. 8, 14-15).
According to the Grievance Officer's report, Martin
(Health Care Unit Administrator) stated that Plaintiff:
(Doc. 1, p. 14).
Plaintiff received the counselor's response to his
grievance, he resubmitted it for the chief administrative
officer to review. Martin reviewed the grievance and denied
it. (Doc. 1, p. 9). Plaintiff asserts that because Martin
could have instructed Dr. Shah to examine Plaintiff but did
not, Martin is accountable for denying treatment to
Rains also reviewed Plaintiff's grievance against Dr.
Shah, but concurred with Martin's response and denied the
grievance. (Doc. 1, p. 9).
later returned to sick call because of increasing severe pain
in his back, and was scheduled to see Dr. Shah again. At that
appointment, Dr. Shah again advised Plaintiff that he would
not examine him, but he would prescribe 600 mg of Ibuprofen.
continues to experience pain in his back, neck, and knees.
(Doc. 1, p. 9). He seeks ...