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.

Hawkins v. Pollard

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

October 4, 2016

MARCUS D. HAWKINS, Plaintiff,
v.
WILLIAM POLLARD, et al., Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          LYNN ADELMAN District Judge

         The plaintiff, Marcus D. Hawkins, who is representing himself, is currently incarcerated at Waupun Correctional Institution. He filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and was granted leave to proceed on his claims that defendants Belinda Schrubbe, Brian Greff, Nicole Kamphuis, Lori Alsum, and Tonia Moon were negligent and deliberately indifferent to his medical needs because they denied his requests to purchase shoes from a non-approved vendor. Plaintiff was also allowed to proceed on a claim that defendant William Pollard failed to intervene to prevent the violation of plaintiff's rights. Before me now are parties' cross-motions for summary judgment.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The relevant facts are taken from “Defendants' Reply to Plaintiff's Response to Defendants' Proposed Finding of Fact” (ECF No. 48) and “Defendants' Response to Plaintiff's Proposed Findings of Fact” (ECF No. 44).

         In 2006, while in the custody of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC), plaintiff saw an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Lang, because of knee pain. Dr. Lang twice recommended that plaintiff wear his own shoes rather than DOC shoes. In 2007, Dr. Lang also recommended a heel lift for plaintiff's right shoe because plaintiff's legs are different lengths.

         At that time, prisoners could purchase personal property items (like shoes) from any outside vendor but were only allowed to receive and keep those items that met applicable security guidelines. In December 2007, DOC implemented a new system, under which prisoners could only order personal property items from approved vendors. Such items were pre-approved to meet applicable security guidelines, which ensured that plaintiffs could receive and keep items that they purchased.

         In February 2008, plaintiff was given modified shoes from the Aljan Company, an off-site provider of orthotic services with which DOC works to provide orthopedic devices and footwear to prisoners with special foot care needs.

         Plaintiff was transferred to Waupun Correctional Institution (Waupun) in July 2009. His modified shoes were discarded during the transfer. That August, he was seen by a physician in Waupun's Health Services Unit (HSU) for low back pain. In December 2011, he complained of back and foot pain. He saw a nurse practitioner in the HSU, who wrote an order for a temporary shoe insert and a request to Aljan for modifications to plaintiff's right shoe.

         From 2012 to 2015, plaintiff was seen in the HSU multiple times for complaints related to his footwear, including low back pain, side pain, foot pain, numbness and tingling in his feet and toes, and discomfort. Healthcare providers in the HSU told plaintiff to reduce his physical activities (and, then, to increase them slowly), perform stretching exercises, and use ice. They also repeatedly referred plaintiff to Aljan for modifications to his shoes. Despite receiving several pairs of shoes and repeated shoe modifications, such as heel lifts and custom orthotic inserts, from the HSU and Aljan in response to his complaints, plaintiff continued to complain that his footwear was causing pain and limited his ability to engage in physical activity, particularly basketball.

         In December 2014, plaintiff submitted an interview/information request, in which he asked, “Why am I not allowed to order better shoes from an outside vendor when it's documented that I shouldn't be wearing anything from Corrections?” ECF No. 48, ¶ 66. The request was forwarded to Waupun's Special Needs Committee, then made up of defendants Belinda Schrubbe, Brian Greff, and Nicole Kamphuis, which reviewed inmate requests for medical-needs exceptions to the general DOC policy requiring inmates to order personal property items from approved vendors. Such requests were reviewed in light of medical and security concerns. The Special Needs Committee sent plaintiff a memo noting that there were adequate shoe options available from approved vendors “that have the support of Aljan for inmates with foot troubles.” Id. ¶ 67.

         In January 2015, plaintiff sent a letter to defendant William Pollard, Waupun's warden, arguing that he was not allowed to order adequate athletic shoes. Pollard referred the letter to Schrubbe, who responded to plaintiff, saying that the custom inserts he had would fit in any of the shoes available from approved vendors and that there was no medical need for him to purchase shoes from a non-approved vendor.

         In February 2015, plaintiff filed an official complaint, stating that he was not allowed to order shoes from a non-approved vendor. Defendant Tonia Moon, an Institution Complaint Examiner, processed the complaint and found it untimely because it was filed more than fourteen days after the Special Needs Committee denied plaintiff's request the previous December. Pollard reviewed the complaint and found that it was appropriately rejected.

         During March and April 2015, after being seen in the HSU and by a physician at Aljan, plaintiff received new custom orthotic inserts and new shoes. A few weeks later, plaintiff wrote to HSU, “I'm requesting that I be allowed to order shoes outside of corrections. Attached is a copy of two of my surgeons [2006] order. I have orthopedic shoes, but I'm limited because I can only do so much in them.” Id. ¶ 73 (alteration in original).

         In May 2015, he again complained that his shoes did not comply with his surgeon's 2006 recommendations. Plaintiff filed another official complaint stating that he should be able to order shoes from an outside vendor, which Moon again rejected as untimely. Defendant Lori Alsum, a Health Services Nursing Coordinator employed by the DOC's ...


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.