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Hamilton v. Santos

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

April 3, 2018

KENNETH HAMILTON, #R-12594, Plaintiff,
v.
VENERIO SANTOS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          PHIL GILBERT U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         In Hamilton v. Woods, Case No. 18-cv-172-JPG-SCW (S.D. Ill. Feb. 5, 2018) (“Original Case”), Plaintiff Kenneth Hamilton, an inmate in Lawrence Correctional Center, brought suit for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Pursuant to George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605 (7th Cir. 2007), one claim against Defendant Santos was severed from that initial action to form the basis for this action, Case No. 18-cv-577-JPG.

         This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of that claim 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). After fully considering the relevant allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint, the Court finds it appropriate to allow this case to proceed past the threshold stage.

         The Complaint

         The allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint (Doc. 2) relevant to this severed action are as follows: at least since March 2016, Plaintiff has had problems with his feet, including cracking and swelling, thickening and blackening toenails, and infections, resulting in mobility problems, excess weight gain, an abnormal heartbeat, and an enlarged heart. (Doc. 2, pp. 3-4). On October 25, 2017, Plaintiff was transferred to Centralia. (Doc. 2, p. 4). He met with Defendant Santos and was diagnosed with foot ulcers. Id. Santos discontinued Plaintiff's antibiotics and “did not provide him with any substitution to relieve him of the pain, swelling, and infection.” Id. Plaintiff told Santos he had a medical order from the Shawnee doctor for special medical shoes, but Santos told him to buy shoes from commissary. Id. “Plaintiff was left to walk around in painful shoes purchased from the inmate commissary.” (Doc. 1, p. 5).

         Discussion

         In its Severance Order (Doc. 1), the Court designated the following count to be severed into this pro se action. The parties and the Court will continue to use this designation in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer of this Court.

Count 2 - After Plaintiff was transferred to Centralia October 25, 2017, Defendant Santos showed deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical needs involving his foot infection and ulcers, and pain associated therewith, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

         As discussed in more detail below, Count 2 will be allowed to proceed past threshold. Any other intended claim that has not been recognized by the Court is considered dismissed without prejudice ...


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