United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Gilbert District Judge, United States District Court
Reginald Durr, an inmate who is currently incarcerated at Big
Muddy River Correctional Center (“Big Muddy”),
brings this civil rights action pro se pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. 1). This case was originally
filed in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois. See Durr v. Larson, No.
17-cv-03206 (N.D. Ill. filed April 27, 2017). The Northern
District transferred the case to this District on May 26,
2017. (Doc. 6).
Complaint, Plaintiff claims that two medical providers at Big
Muddy, named David Larson (doctor) and Gary Gerst
(physician's assistant), failed to properly diagnose and
treat his chronic neck pain. (Doc. 1, p. 4). As time passed,
he also began to experience progressive loss of use of his
left arm and hand. Id. An outside specialist
recommended surgery in February 2017 but warned Plaintiff
that he may not recover full use of his arm or hand.
Id. Plaintiff now sues both defendants for medical
negligence. (Doc. 1, p. 5). He requests monetary relief and
“laser surgery.” (Doc. 1, p. 6).
time he filed this action, Plaintiff did not pay a filing fee
or seek leave to proceed in forma pauperis. When the
case was transferred to this District on May 26, 2017, the
Clerk of this Court sent Plaintiff a letter instructing him
to pay the $400.00 filing fee or file a Motion for Leave to
Proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP Motion”)
within thirty days. He missed this deadline, and the Court
entered a Notice of Impending Dismissal granting him an
additional twenty-one days to pay the filing fee or file an
IFP Motion. (Doc. 8). Plaintiff paid his $400.00 filing fee
on June 30, 2017.
Complaint is now subject to preliminary review under 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
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
does not survive screening under this standard and shall be
Sometime after Plaintiff arrived at Big Muddy in 2013, he met
with a doctor and physician's assistant to discuss his
neck pain. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Plaintiff was told to rotate his
neck and wrap a hot towel around it to relieve the pain.
Id. In 2015, Plaintiff again complained of neck pain
and was told that x-rays showed “no issues” with
his neck. Id. He asked whether an MRI would help
identify the source of the pain. Id. It is not clear
whether he received a response to this question. Id.
Plaintiff attributed the pain to aging and did not file a
grievance to complain about the denial of medical care at
that time. Id.
September 2016, Plaintiff began having problems raising his
left arm and holding items in his left hand. (Doc. 1, p. 4).
He underwent an MRI in December 2016. Id. The MRI
revealed “[m]arked degenerative change[s] in
[Plaintiff's] cervical spine including areas of very
severe central canal spinal stenosis and neural foraminal
encroachment, ” along with “[c]ervical myelopathy
. . . in [his] mid to lower cervical spine.” (Doc. 1,
p. 8). In February 2017, a specialist recommended surgery to
address Plaintiff's neck pain. (Doc. 1, p. 4). However,
the specialist warned Plaintiff that he might not regain full
use of his left arm or hand. Id.
now claims that both defendants were negligent in their care
and treatment of him. (Doc. 1, pp. 4-5). He seeks monetary
relief against them. (Doc. 1, p. 6). ...