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Williams v. Jaimet

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

December 6, 2017

THEOPOLIS WILLIAMS, #B-31679, Plaintiff,
v.
KAREN JAIMET, LARUE LOVE, CHRISTINE BROWN, and JOHN BALDWIN, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HERNDON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Theopolis Williams, an inmate currently housed at Pinckneyville Correctional Center (“Pinckneyville”), filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims that Defendants have exhibited deliberate indifference to his medical condition and associated symptoms (folliculitis and associated pain/infections). In connection with these claims, Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief.

         This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the Complaint (Doc. 1) 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).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff has a medical condition known as folliculitis, which causes ingrown hair, acne pustules, bleeding, and, at times, infections. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-9). Plaintiff entered Pinckneyville in 2014. (Doc. 1, p. 7). When he arrived, Plaintiff had an Andis[1] facial trimmer in his possession. (Doc. 1, p. 7). Plaintiff claims that this particular facial trimer - the Andis trimmer - is medically necessary because it minimizes the negative symptoms associated with his folliculitis. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-9). According to the Complaint, other facial trimers available at Pinckneyville do not meet Plaintiff's medical needs and, without the Andis trimmer, Plaintiff's condition worsens, causing infections and daily pain. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-9, 20).

         Because of his medical condition, Plaintiff has a medical permit specifically allowing him to have a facial trimmer. (Doc. 1, pp. 7). In the past, when the Andis trimmer malfunctioned, Plaintiff was allowed to mail it back to the manufacturer for repairs (as it is still under warranty). (Doc. 1, pp. 7-8).

         In late 2016, Plaintiff contacted “personal property” at Pinckneyville and submitted a request to have his trimmers sent out for repairs. (Doc. 1, p. 7). The request was denied by the First Shift Officer. Id. The First Shift Officer told Plaintiff he needed to obtain approval from Warden Jaimet or Assistant Warden Love. Id. Plaintiff submitted request slips to Jaimet and Love, but his requests were ignored. Id. Accordingly, Plaintiff contacted Defendant Brown at Pinckneyville's HealthCare Unit. Id. At this time, Plaintiff's condition and lack of access to a facial trimmer were causing flare-ups, pain, and infections. Id. Plaintiff did not receive a response. Id.

         Accordingly, in January of 2017, Plaintiff filed a grievance. (Doc. 1, pp. 8, 14-15). In his grievance, Plaintiff indicated that due to his medical condition and broken facial trimmer, he had an infection in his face and was suffering on a daily basis. (Doc. 1, p. 14). He also claimed that the prison physician, Dr. Scott, “will not and cannot” give him antibiotics to keep fighting the infection off. (Doc. 1, p. 15).

         Plaintiff filed numerous grievances regarding his worsening symptoms and requesting permission to send his trimmers out for repair. (Doc. 1, pp. 7-9, 14-15, 20). Plaintiff explained his condition and worsening symptoms, relayed that he had a medical permit for a facial trimmer, and explained that the shaving products issued by IDOC ...


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