United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Micah Asher Jefferson, an inmate of the Illinois Department
of Corrections (“IDOC”) who is currently
incarcerated at Lawrence Correctional Center, brings this
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for deprivations of
his constitutional rights while he was at Menard Correctional
Center (“Menard”). In the Complaint, Plaintiff
alleges John Doe Dentist was deliberately indifferent in
treating his broken teeth, in violation of the Eighth
Amendment. He seeks monetary damages.
case is now before the Court for preliminary review of the
Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Under Section
1915A, the Court is required to screen prisoner complaints to
filter out non-meritorious claims. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). Any portion of a 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 must be
dismissed. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
makes the following allegations in the Complaint: While he
was housed at Menard, Plaintiff saw John Doe Dentist on
numerous occasions starting in 2018. Plaintiff complained
about two teeth on the upper left side of his mouth that were
cracked, broken, and causing him pain. Although Plaintiff
complained to the dentist about the pain, he refused to
remove the teeth and instead removed two lower teeth that did
not cause Plaintiff pain (Id. at p. 6).
Plaintiff's upper teeth caused him increasing pain and he
could not eat or sleep and suffered from headaches. He also
could not finish his meals because of the broken teeth. He
wrote two grievances, one dated January 6, 2019, which was
labeled an emergency by the Chief Administrative Officer, and
one dated January 14, 2019, which was deemed a non-emergency.
Although he wrote grievances, he was not sent to the dentist
for care. He saw the dentist again on February 4, 2019; the
dentist drilled holes in his teeth, but that treatment did
not fix the problem. Plaintiff asked to have the teeth
removed and informed the dentist that he was in pain, but the
dentist told him he did not care about his pain and would
leave them in his mouth if he continued to complain
(Id.). Plaintiff later saw a new dentist about his
teeth, and the dentist acknowledged that the teeth needed to
be removed. Unfortunately, however, the teeth were not
removed, and Plaintiff was forced to break one of the teeth
with his hand to relieve the pain (Id.).
on the allegations in the Complaint, the Court finds it
convenient to designate a single count in this pro
Count 1: John Doe Dentist was deliberately
indifferent to Plaintiff's tooth pain in violation of the
parties and the Court will use these designations in all
future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by a
judicial officer of this Court. Any other claim that
is mentioned in the Complaint but not addressed in this Order
should be considered dismissed without prejudice as
inadequately pled under the Twombly pleading
Plaintiff identifies J. Lashbrook as a defendant in the
caption of his Complaint, he fails to allege any
constitutional violation by Lashbrook. He does allege that
the Chief Administrative Officer responded to his grievances
and deemed one an emergency and one not an emergency but that
the grievance officials did not provide him with care. The
records attached to the Complaint indicate that Lashbrook
deemed his grievance dated January 6 an emergency and
submitted it for expedited review (Doc. 1, pp. 10, 17). To
the extent that he alleges that Lashbrook improperly
responded to his grievances, the denial or mishandling of a
grievance does not amount to a constitutional violation.
Owens v. Hinsley, 635 F.3d 950, 953 (7th Cir. 2011)
(“[T]he alleged mishandling of [a prisoner's]
grievance by persons who otherwise did not cause or
participate in the underlying conduct states no
claim.”); George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605,
609-10 (7th Cir. 2007). Accordingly, Lashbrook is
DISMISSED without prejudice for failure to
state a claim.
stage, the allegations in the Complaint state a viable claim
for deliberate indifference against John Doe Dentist.
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976);
Chatham v. Davis, 839 F.3d 679, 684 (7th Cir. 2016);
Gomez v. Randle, 680 F.3d 859, 865 (7th Cir. 2012)
(delay in treatment).