United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
JERMAINE D. CARPENTER, Plaintiff,
DAWN SULLIVAN, et al., Defendants.
MERIT REVIEW -AMENDED COMPLAINT
ENTERED SUE E. MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
is a pro se detainee at the Rushville Treatment and
Detention Center. The District Court dismissed
Plaintiff's original complaint and the Seventh Circuit
Court of Appeals remanded the matter as to Defendants
Sullivan and Taylor, only. Plaintiff subsequently filed an
amended complaint alleging deliberate indifference by these
two Defendants. [ECF 21]. The Court now undertakes a merit
review of Plaintiff's amended complaint.
reviewing the amended complaint, the Court accepts the
factual allegations as true, liberally construing them in
Plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 649 (7th Cir. 2013). However, conclusory statements and
labels are insufficient. Enough facts must be provided to
"'state a claim for relief that is plausible on its
face.'" Alexander v. U.S., 721 F.3d 418,
422 (7th Cir. 2013)(quoted cite omitted).
is civilly detained in the Rushville Treatment and Detention
Center pursuant to the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons
Commitment Act, 725 ILCS 207/1, et seq. On March 31,
2016, Plaintiff underwent an oral root canal procedure by an
outside endodontist. When he returned to the facility he
brought with him a postsurgical instruction sheet and pain
medication which the escorting officer delivered to Defendant
Nurse Dawn Sullivan. Later that day, Plaintiff asked
Defendant Sullivan for pain medication. She allegedly refused
to give him the medication sent by the endodontist or any
pain medication at all. Another nurse gave Plaintiff pain
medication several hours later.
also claims that Defendant should have referred the
endodontist's treatment plan to be reviewed by the
facility physician Plaintiff does not, however, claim that he
needed medical intervention from a facility physician or
suffered any injury from the failure to have the treatment
plan reviewed. Plaintiff also claims, without elaboration,
that the specialist recommended a mouth rinse and Defendant
did not provide it until one month later.
alleges that he continued to experience pain and, two days
after the surgery, asked a staff member for pain medication.
This was at shift change, and Plaintiff was advised to make
the request of the next shift. He claims that he asked
Defendant Nurse Taylor for pain medication and, by the time
he received it, four hours had passed.
Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment which applies to
civil detainees, applies the same standard as that for
convicted prisoners under the Eight Amendment. It is clearly
established that deliberate indifference to the serious
medical needs of prisoners constitutes a constitutional
violation. Snipes v DeTella, 95 F.3d 586, 590 (7th
Cir 1996), citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. at
104, 97 S.Ct. 285 (1976). A claim does not rise to the level
of a Constitutional violation, however, unless the punishment
is “deliberate or otherwise reckless in the criminal
law sense, which means that the defendant must have committed
an act so dangerous that his knowledge of the risk can be
inferred or that the defendant actually knew of an impending
harm easily preventable.” Antonelli v.
Sheahan, 81 F.3d 1422, 1427 (7th Cir. 1996). Mere
negligence or even gross negligence does not constitute
deliberate indifference. Id. at 590. (Citations
Plaintiff states a colorable claim that Defendant Sullivan
was deliberately indifferent for not providing him the pain
medication ordered by the endodontist and not providing him
any medication at all when he returned after the surgery.
Plaintiff pleads little as to his alleged request for a mouth
rinse and does not claim that the failure to provide it
caused him harm. This claim will be go forward, however,
pending a more fully developed record. Plaintiff's claim
that defendant Sullivan should have had the treatment plan
reviewed by a physician at the facility fails to state a
claim and is dismissed.
Defendant Taylor, it is questionable whether waiting several
hours for pain medication rises to the level of deliberate
indifference. See Burton v. Downey, 805 F.3d 776
(7th Cir. 2015) (alleged two-day delay in providing
non-narcotic pain medication to detainee was not deliberate
indifference.) This, especially, as it does not appear that
the entire four-hour wait can be attributed to Defendant
Taylor. Nonetheless, this claim will also go forward at this
IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
Court VACATES its prior dismissal of plaintiff's petition
to Proceed in forma pauperis.  is GRANTED. The Court finds
that Plaintiff has stated an Eighth Amendment deliberate
claim against Defendants Sullivan and Taylor. Any additional
claims shall not be included in the case, except at the
Court's discretion on motion by a party for good cause
shown or pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15.
Plaintiff's motion for status  is rendered MOOT.
Clerk is directed to send to each Defendant pursuant to this
District's internal procedures: 1) a Notice of Lawsuit
and Request for Waiver of Service; 2) a Waiver of Service; 3)
a copy of the Complaint; and 4) a copy of this Order.
3. If a
Defendant fails to sign and return a Waiver of Service to the
Clerk within 30 days after the Waiver is sent, the Court will
take appropriate steps to effect formal service on that
Defendant and will require that Defendant pay the full costs
of formal service pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
4(d)(2). If a Defendant no longer works at the address
provided by Plaintiff, the entity for which Defendant worked
at the time identified in the Complaint shall provide to the
Clerk Defendant's current work address, or, if not known,
Defendant's forwarding address. This information will be
used only for purposes of ...