United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Phil Gilbert, U.S. District Judge
Wayne Willis, an inmate in Menard Correctional Center, brings
this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff requests
compensatory and punitive damages, as well as fees. 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
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.
around March 2016, Plaintiff began experiencing a severe
toothache with swelling, drainage, and extreme pain. (Doc. 1,
p. 8). Plaintiff estimates that the pain was a
“10” on a scale of 1-10. Id.
Additionally, it was difficult for Plaintiff to eat certain
foods or sleep. Id.
began sending Newbold kites regarding his condition in March
2016, as well as submitting sick call slips. (Doc. 1, p. 7).
He never received answers to either. Id. On May 13,
2016, Plaintiff went to health care to see the eye doctor.
(Doc. 1, p. 8). He was able to speak to Newbold, the prison
dentist, at that time. Id. Plaintiff explained his
symptoms to Newbold. Id. Newbold acknowledged
receiving Plaintiffs kites and told Plaintiff he would be
seen. (Doc. 1, p. 9). Plaintiff asked Newbold when he would
be seen, but Newbold didn't know. Id. Plaintiff
asked Newbold for something to treat his pain and infection
in the interim, but Newbold said he couldn't give
Plaintiff anything without examining him. Id.
Newbold also told Plaintiff that the dental department is a
few hundred people behind. Id.
on the allegations of the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to divide the pro se action into 1 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. The following claim survives threshold
Count 1 - Newbold was deliberately indifferent to
Plaintiff's toothache in violation of the Eighth
Amendment when he refused to schedule a prompt appointment or
provide Plaintiff with pain medication or other
over-the-counter treatment without an appointment;
Plaintiff's Count 1, prison officials impose cruel and
unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment when
they are deliberately indifferent to a serious medical need.
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976);
Chatham v. Davis, 839 F.3d 679, 684 (7th Cir. 2016).
In order to state a claim for deliberate indifference to a
serious medical need, an inmate must show that he 1) suffered
from an objectively serious medical condition; and 2) that
the defendant was deliberately indifferent to a risk of
serious harm from that condition. Petties v. Carter,
836 F.3d 722, 727 (7th Cir. 2016). 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). The
subjective element requires proof that ...