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Bowlin v. Fayette County Jail

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

September 20, 2017

JAMES W. BOWLIN, JR., Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff James Bowlin, Jr., an inmate in Fayette County Jail, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims the defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical issues in violation of the constitution. (Doc. 1). 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).

         Upon careful review of the Complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds it appropriate to allow this case to proceed past the threshold stage.

         The Complaint

         In his Complaint (Doc. 1), Plaintiff makes the following allegations: when Plaintiff was taken to Fayette County Jail (“Jail”) after his arrest on April 25, 2017, he told correctional officers Shroyer and Butts that he was on several prescribed medications when they asked him about the same. (Doc. 1, p. 5). While he could not remember the name of all of the medications at that moment, he told them several of the medications including Propanil, Gabapenton, Ultrum, Wellbutrin, and Klonopin. Id. Plaintiff informed them that he would need the medications shortly because he suffers from high blood pressure, severe arthritis, acid reflux, severe anxiety, bipolar disorder, and chronic back issues. Id. The officers wrote down the medications that Plaintiff told them, and Shroyer told Plaintiff that he would call the doctor that approves medications at the Jail. Id. Plaintiff does “not think the two on duty officers called” though “they may have.” Id.

         Plaintiff was taken to a cell, and after a few hours, he noticed that two new officers had begun their shift. Id. Plaintiff asked one of the officers if he was going to get his medications soon, so the officer left and returned later to tell Plaintiff that “he checked and [Plaintiff] wouldn't be getting any of [his] medications until [he sees] a nurse.” Id. The officer then told Plaintiff that he would see a nurse within 14 days. Id. Plaintiff replied that he could not wait that long because he is on medications that he needs to take daily. (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff “kept getting the run around” and “spoke to every C/O there” asking to see a doctor or nurse. Id.

         Plaintiff “started to feel very sick” and experienced light headedness, cold sweats, and shakiness. Id. Other inmates observed that Plaintiff was very red. Id. Plaintiff eventually called his family and girlfriend, and when his girlfriend called the Jail, she was told she could bring Plaintiff's medications to the Jail for him. Id. When she did so, she gave Plaintiff's medications to correctional officers. Id. Several hours later, an officer told Plaintiff that he had called the doctor and told him Plaintiff's medications. Id. The officer also told Plaintiff that the doctor told him that Plaintiff could not be given any of his medications until he saw the nurse. Id.

         Plaintiff's family doctor wrote two letters to the Jail indicating what medications Plaintiff is on and why he is on them. Id. Plaintiff was still told that he could not have them. Id. Plaintiff went two weeks without medications. Id. He “was so miserable and [he] felt like dying.” Id. After two weeks, Plaintiff saw the nurse at the Jail. Id. He told her his issues, and she responded that he could not be on most of his medications. Id. She instead prescribed him propranal for his blood pressure. (Doc. 1, pp. 6-7). What the Jail did to Plaintiff was incredibly dangerous. (Doc. 1, p. 7). One of Plaintiff's medications, Klonapin, is a barbiturate, from which withdraw is dangerous and can result in death. Id. Plaintiff has still not received most of his medications. Id.

         Plaintiff saw the doctor at the Jail, and he took him off of the medications Plaintiff's family doctor had indicated were medically necessary. Id. The doctor put Plaintiff on Zoloft recently, which has Plaintiff sick to his stomach and is designed to treat depression, which ...

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