Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Moultriee v. County of Jackson

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

November 21, 2019

STEPHEN MOULTRIE, Plaintiff,
v.
COUNTY OF JACKSON, and OFFICER KITTLER, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          J. PHIL GILBERT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Stephen Moultrie brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging deprivations of his constitutional rights. He claims that he was denied medical treatment for his broken hand while in the custody of the Carbondale Police Department and Jackson County Jail. He is seeking monetary damages.

         This case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the First Amended Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.[1] Under Section 1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner complaints and filter out non-meritorious claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of the First Amended Complaint that is legally frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim for relief, or requests money damages from an immune defendant must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). At this juncture, the factual allegations are liberally construed. Rodriguez v. Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir. 2009).

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff makes the following allegations: On March 31, 2019, Plaintiff was arrested and taken into custody by the Carbondale Police Department. (Doc. 7, p. 6). He told Officer Kittler that his hand was broken due to an incident earlier in the day, but Kittler ignored his request for medical treatment. (Id.). Instead, Kittler performed a gunshot residue test on his hands causing more pain to his injured hand. While in custody of the Jackson County Jail, he continued to be denied medical treatment for his hand. For twelve days he was in pain and had difficulty completing everyday tasks. He did not receive treatment until April 11, 2019, but by this time his hand had healed incorrectly. (Id.).

         Preliminary Dismissal

         Plaintiff names the County of Jackson as a defendant. Municipalities can be held liable pursuant to Section 1983 if they have an official policy or unofficial custom that causes constitutional violations. Monell v. N.Y.C. Dep't of Soc. Servs. 436 U.S. 658, 691 (1978). Plaintiff does not claim that his constitutional deprivations were caused by a policy or custom, only that the County of Jackson is the employer for the defendants. (Doc. 7, p. 1). As a there is no supervisory liability under Section 1983, the County of Jackson and any claims against it will be dismissed without prejudice from this action. See Monell 436 U.S. at 690 (“municipality cannot be held liable under § 1983 on a respondeat superior theory”); Rossi v. City of Chi. 790 F.3d 729, 737 (7th Cir. 2015).

         Discussion

         Based on the allegations of the First Amended Complaint, the Court finds it convenient to divide the pro se action into the following Count. The parties and the Court will use this designation in all future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by this Court:

Count 1:Failure to treat and inadequate medical care claim against Officer Kittler for refusing to obtain medical treatment for Plaintiff's broken hand.

         Any claims that are not identified above should be considered dismissed without prejudice as inadequately pled under Twombly.[2]

Count 1 Because Plaintiff claims that the constitutional violations occurred following arrest, it is not clear whether he was an arrestee or detainee at the time his claims arose. Regardless, the Fourth Amendment governing “the period of confinement between arrest without a warrant and the [probable cause determination]” and the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause applicable to pretrial detainees both apply an objectively unreasonableness standard to a defendant's actions. Currie v. Chhabra, 728 F.3d 626, 629 (7th Cir. 2013) (quoting Villanova v. Abrams, 972 F.2d 792, 797 (7th Cir. 1992)); Miranda v. Cty. Lake, 900 F.3d 335, 351 (7th Cir. 2018).

         Plaintiff's claims that Officer Kittler knew his hand was broken and ignored his request for medical treatment is sufficient to survive screening. Therefore, Count 1 will proceed against Kittler.

         Motion for ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.