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Sill v. Moore

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 30, 2018

NATHAN M. SILL, # B83157, Plaintiff,



         Plaintiff brings this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is presently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center. Plaintiff brings claims pertaining to his arrest and subsequent detention at the Saline County Jail (“Jail”). In connection with his claims, Plaintiff names Jill Moore (Medical Supervisor, Jail) and Charles David Paulius (Physician, Jail). The original Complaint did not survive preliminary review. (Doc. 8).[1] Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on May 10, 2018. (Doc. 12). The Amended Complaint is now before the Court for a preliminary review 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 Amended Complaint

         On January 24, 2017, Plaintiff was arrested and detained at the Jail. (Doc. 12, p. 5). Prior to being arrested, Plaintiff had been prescribed medication to treat his mental illness and that medication “worked for [him].” Id. Plaintiff told Moore and Paulius about his preferred medication. Id. Paulius refused to prescribe Plaintiff's preferred mental health medication. Id. However, Plaintiff did receive “[his] Lithium, [2] Cogentin, [3] and Gabapentin.[4] Id. Plaintiff “talked to them” regarding medication for his mental illness, but “they still said no.” Id.


         Based on the allegations of the Amended Complaint, the Court divides the pro se action into a single count. Any other claim that is mentioned in the Amended Complaint but not addressed in this Order should be considered dismissed without prejudice under the Twombly pleading standard.[5]

Count 1: Inadequate medical care claim against Moore and John Doe for declining to provide unspecified medication.

         In his Amended Complaint (Doc. 12), with the exception of specifying that Paulius is the staff member who denied Plaintiff's requested medication, Plaintiff has wholly failed to expand upon the allegations in the original Complaint (Doc. 1). Plaintiff claims that he informed Defendants about the “meds” that “worked for [him]” in treating his “mental illness.” But, once again, he does not describe what mental health medications were previously prescribed or what serious condition they were prescribed for. Without additional factual allegations, Plaintiff's conclusory statement does not establish that he made either Defendant aware of a serious medical need at that time. Nor does he describe any obvious symptoms that demanded treatment with a specific medication. See Greeno v. Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 653 (7th Cir. 2005) (defining a serious medical condition). Further, the Amended Complaint is devoid of any allegations suggesting deliberate indifference on the part of either Defendant. At most, Plaintiff's allegations suggest a difference of opinion between him and the Defendants regarding medically appropriate medications for Plaintiff's unknown mental health condition. This type of disagreement does not support a claim for deliberate indifference. See Forbes v. Edgar, 112 F.3d 262, 267 (7th Cir. 1997); Norfleet v. Webster, 439 F.3d 392, 396 (7th Cir. 2006). As such, the Amended Complaint is subject to dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.[6]

         The failure of the Amended Complaint to state a colorable constitutional claim begs the question, should Plaintiff be given another opportunity to plead his case? Leave to amend need not be granted when further amendment would be futile. McCree v. Grissom, 657 F.3d 623, 624 (7th Cir. 2011). “[F]utile repleadings include restating the same facts using different language, Wakeen v. Hoffman House, Inc., 724 F.2d 1238, 1244 (7th Cir. 1983), reasserting claims previously determined, id., failing to state a valid theory of liability, Verhein v. South Bend Lathe, Inc., 598 F.2d 1061, 1063 (7th Cir. 1979), and the inability to survive a motion to dismiss, Glick v. Koenig, 766 F.2d 265, 268 (7th Cir. 1985).” Garcia v. City of Chicago, Ill., 24 F.3d 966, 970 (7th Cir. 1994). Giving Plaintiff leave to amend would be ...

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