United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert United States District Judge.
currently incarcerated at Taylorville Correctional Center
(“Taylorville”), has brought this pro se
civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. His
claims arose while he was detained at the Wayne County Jail
(“the Jail”). Plaintiff claims 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.
asserts that between July 16, 2014, and July 7, 2015, he was
denied “all of [his] medication for pain etc.”
(Doc. 1, p. 5). C/O Brett Faulk (Fulk) took Plaintiff off the
medications “cold turkey, ” which caused
Plaintiff to be sick for 28 days from withdrawal.
Id. Plaintiff's medications included Fentanyl
patches and blood pressure medicine. He states that he
suffers from scoliosis and spinal stenosis in his back and
neck, which caused him ongoing pain for the year he spent in
county jail. Faulk/Fulk refused to give Plaintiff a Fentanyl
patch, although he had one available. Faulk/Fulk also refused
to give Plaintiff Tylenol at least 6 times.
to the Complaint, Plaintiff told the C/O's and the
Defendant Nurse about his medical problems, and sent in a
grievance, but his concerns were ignored. (Doc. 1, p. 3).
Someone responded to the grievance by noting that Plaintiff
could buy Tylenol or Ibuprofen for pain relief. Id.
the winter, Plaintiff's blood pressure was very high, and
he asked for a doctor's help. This request was refused
for “almost a month.” (Doc. 1, p. 5). Jail staff
did check Plaintiff's blood pressure when he asked them
to. At some point Plaintiff's blood pressure was 198/158.
“Kurt” (who is not a named Defendant, nor is he
otherwise identified) was aware of the reading but did not do
anything about it. Plaintiff asked Kurt to tell the Sheriff.
Plaintiff was taken to the Wayne County Hospital, where he
received blood pressure medications. However, none of his
other ailments were checked. Id.
addition to the medical issues recited above, Plaintiff
states that in July and August, “The Bailif[f]”
(who is not a Defendant) told people about his case involving
his minor daughter. (Doc. 1, p. 5). Faulk/Fulk told other
inmates that Plaintiff was guilty of the charges, which
caused Plaintiff to be harassed and threatened. Id.
He gives no further detail. When Plaintiff confronted
Faulk/Fulk, he called Plaintiff a “sick person”
for what he had done.
relief, Plaintiff seeks compensation for his pain, suffering,
and major depression caused by his pain. He also wants the
Wayne County Sheriff's Department to improve their
grievance system and health care system. (Doc. 1, p. 6).
Review Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into
the following counts. The parties and the Court will use
these designations in all future pleadings and orders, unless
otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court. The
designation of these counts does not constitute an opinion as
to their merit. Any other claim that is mentioned in the
Complaint but not addressed in this Order should be
considered dismissed without prejudice.
Count 1: Fourteenth Amendment claim against all Defendants,
for refusing to provide Plaintiff with necessary medications
for his pain and high blood pressure, and delaying medical
care for Plaintiff's high blood pressure;
Count 2: Claim against Faulk/Fulk for disclosing the nature
of Plaintiff's pending criminal charges to other inmates,
which caused ...