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Eckert v. Arendell

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 14, 2018

JOSPEH AMOS ECKERT, #39809, Plaintiff,
v.
JEFFREY ARENDELL, and MADISON COUNTY JAIL, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. Phil Gilbert United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Joseph Eckert, a detainee in Madison County Jail (the “Jail”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged deprivations of his constitutional rights. In his Complaint, Plaintiff claims the defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his serious mental health issues in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. (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: Plaintiff was arrested and detained in Madison County Jail in January 2018. (Doc. 1, p. 4). During booking, Plaintiff was asked for medical information. Id. He “told them about [psychological] issues.” Id. The next day, Plaintiff was taken to the infirmary for medical intake, where he further described his medical history. Id. Plaintiff was not put on medication, so after approximately one month, he put in a sick call slip explaining in detail his medical situation and “informing staff of [his] involuntary movement, hearing voices, depression, and anger issues” as well as his inability to sleep regularly. Id. Plaintiff also verbally explained that he had been on medication since 2003 and provided “medical staff a list of medication [he] was prescribed by several different psychologists and [psychiatric] doctors and places from where [he] was prescribed and received medication for [his] condition.” (Doc. 1, pp. 4-5).

         Plaintiff also explained that he received “S.S.I.” for these medical issues and that he was not prescribed medication on the streets because his S.S.I. payments and insurance were revoked. (Doc. 1, p. 5). He further noted that Chestnut Health Services helped him obtain identification so he could get insurance in order to be placed in their crisis center for “suicidal and medical issues.” Id. He also told the nurse that on March 1, he was supposed to see a psychiatrist, but because he was detained he was “talking to her instead.” Id. He continued that in May or June 2016, he was placed on medication at the Jail for an attempted suicide and depression. Id. The nurse confirmed that she could see that in his file. Id. She also told Plaintiff that the doctor likely would not put Plaintiff back on Ativan because she did not like putting individuals on “Benzoes.” Id. Plaintiff explained that he did not care and that he only wanted relief. Id.

         The nurse told Plaintiff that she would make a call to Doctor Jeffery Arendell and that there should not be an issue starting Plaintiff on medication. Id. She advised Plaintiff to start checking the “med cart” that evening. Id. No medications came, however. Id. Plaintiff inquired with guards about the issue, and they informed him that the doctor denied him medication because he had not received medications since 2015. Id. This is not true because, as noted previously, Plaintiff received medication while he was detained at the Jail in 2016. Id.

         Plaintiff believes this indicates that the doctor did not look into his medical history or inquire at all into his case before making the decision to deny him. (Doc. 1, pp. 5-6). Plaintiff also believes this decision damaged him and that his treatment has been “seriously and maybe permanently hindered.” (Doc. 1, p. 6). Plaintiff is a paranoid psychopath who is bipolar and has manic depression, so he struggles with dealing with everyday issues. Id. Plaintiff believes ...


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