United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Gilbert U.S. District Judge
is a pretrial detainee, confined at the St. Clair County Jail
(“the Jail”). He originally brought this pro
se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
on June 5, 2017, and it was filed as Teen v. St. Clair
Cnty. Jail, et al., Case No. 17-cv-594-JPG-SCW. Based on
Plaintiff's original Complaint, several claims were
severed from that case into 3 new actions pursuant to
George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007),
and the claims remaining in the original case were dismissed
with leave to amend.
January 3, 2018, based on Plaintiff's First Amended
Complaint (Doc. 2 in the instant action), the Court severed
Plaintiff's claim for deliberate indifference to his
dental condition (labeled as Count 2) into this action. (Doc.
1). Count 2 is outlined as follows:
Count 2: Deliberate indifference to medical
needs claim against Brandy, Barbara, Deborah, and Robin for
failing to provide adequate dental care to Plaintiff after he
repeatedly complained of dental issues.
(Doc. 1, p. 8). This case is now before the Court for a
preliminary review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A. For clarity, the original designation of this
claim as Count 2 shall be retained in this case.
§ 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner
complaints to filter out non-meritorious claims. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court must dismiss any portion
of the complaint that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks
for money damages from a defendant who by law is immune from
such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
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 “no
reasonable person could suppose to have any merit.”
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. Conversely, a complaint is plausible on
its face “when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Although the Court is obligated to accept factual allegations
as true, see Smith v. Peters, 631 F.3d 418, 419 (7th
Cir. 2011), some factual allegations may be so sketchy or
implausible that they fail to provide sufficient notice of a
plaintiff's claim. Brooks v. Ross, 578 F.3d 574,
581 (7th Cir. 2009). Additionally, Courts “should not
accept as adequate abstract recitations of the elements of a
cause of action or conclusory legal statements.”
Id. At the same time, however, the factual
allegations of a pro se complaint are to be
liberally construed. See Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d
742, 751 (7th Cir. 2011); Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance
Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).
these standards, the Court finds that some of Plaintiff's
claims survive threshold review under § 1915A.
Complaint (Doc. 2)
relevant to Count 2 above, Plaintiff alleges in the Complaint
that during his initial medical screening, he informed the
intake nurse Brandy about his “oral needs, severe pain,
infection, inability to eat on either side of [his] mouth,
[and] needing a soft diet.” (Doc. 2, p. 7).
Plaintiff's “medical needs for dental help went
unattended from December 2015 until [they were] finally
treated December 2016.” Id. During that year,
Plaintiff experienced agonizing pain. Id. Plaintiff
sent sick call requests for help to Brandy, Barbara, and
others (whom he does not identify). He also submitted sick
call requests on the kiosk located on the cellblock.
Id. He believes Nurses Deborah and Robin view sick
call requests and are supposed to book appointments so
inmates can receive help. Id. Plaintiff submitted
over 20 sick call requests but did not see a dentist for a
year because the nurses responsible for setting appointments
disregarded his requests. Id. “This custom of
disregarding the complaints of inmates causes deprivation to
medical needs.” Id.
seeks monetary damages. (Doc. 2, p. 10).
on these allegations, Count 2 shall proceed for further
consideration against some of the Defendants.
2 - Deliberate Indifference to ...