United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
SCREENING ORDER OF AMENDED COMPLAINT
WILLIAM C. GRIESBACH, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT
Stevie West, who is a pretrial detainee at Winnebago County
Jail, filed a pro se complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging that his civil rights were violated. On
October 12, 2017, the court granted West's motion to
proceed in forma pauperis. ECF No. 9. The court also
dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim and
granted West the opportunity to amend his complaint before
November 8, 2017. Id. On November 2, 2017, West
filed this amended complaint. The matter is now before the
court to screen West's amended complaint.
court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the
prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous
or malicious, ” that fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(b). A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an
arguable basis either in law or in fact. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Hutchinson ex
rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d 895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997).
state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading
system, the plaintiff is required to provide a “short
and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter “that
is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 570). The court accepts the factual allegations as true
and liberally construes them in the plaintiff's favor.
Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 651 (7th Cir.
2013). Nevertheless, the complaint's allegations
“must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555
state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege that (1) he was deprived of a right
secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States and
(2) the deprivation was visited upon him by a person or
persons acting under the color of state law.
Buchanan-Moore v. Cty. of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824,
827 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Kramer v. Vill. of N. Fond du
Lac, 384 F.3d 856, 861 (7th Cir. 2004)); see also
Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980).
state a claim for deliberate indifference to medical care, a
prisoner must show that (1) he suffered from an objectively
serious condition which created a substantial risk of harm
and (2) the defendants were aware of the risk and
intentionally disregarded it. Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 842 (1970). Although Farmer established
the deliberate indifference to medical care standard for a
prisoner, pretrial detainees are entitled to the same sort of
protection as convicted inmates. See Williams v.
Romana, 411 F. App'x 900, 901 n.1 (7th Cir. 2011);
Miller v. Hertz, 420 F. App'x 629, 634 (7th Cir.
2011). A medical need is considered sufficiently
serious if the inmate's condition “has been
diagnosed by a physician mandating treatment or . . . is so
obvious that even a lay person would perceive the need for a
doctor's attention.” Roe v. Elyea, 631
F.3d 843, 857 (7th Cir. 2011) (citations omitted). Evidence
of negligence, medical malpractice, or even gross negligence
does not equate to deliberate indifference. Johnson v.
Doughty, 433 F.3d 1001, 1013 (7th Cir. 2006).
Furthermore, dissatisfaction or disagreement with a
doctor's course of treatment is generally insufficient.
original complaint for deliberate indifference to a serious
medical need was dismissed because West failed to give notice
to defendants about what specific actions or inactions they
took that gave rise to his claims of deliberate indifference.
On November 2, 2017, West filed an amended complaint against
Dr. Ken Anuligo, Nurse Beverly, and Sheriff John Matz. ECF
No. 20. In his amended complaint, West alleges that his
injury to his back and neck occurred on August 5, 2017, but
he was not seen by the doctor until August 16. Id.
at 3. West alleges that Dr. Anuligo ordered x-rays on August
17, which came back on August 18. Id. West admits
that the x-rays showed nothing wrong with his neck.
Id. He also received a prescription of naproxen for
his neck and back pain. Id. On August 30, 2017, West
saw Dr. Anuligo again and he was supposed to order more
x-rays after six weeks. Id. On October 11, 2017,
West saw Dr. Anuligo again, who decided to delay x-rays for
another four weeks. Id. He alleges that Nurse
Beverly is the “gatekeeper, ” who has responded
to all of his requests. Id. at 2. West makes no
specific factual allegations against Sheriff Matz.
Id. at 2-3.
fails to state a claim for deliberate indifference to his
medical needs. First, he fails to establish a serious medical
need. From his complaint, it appears his neck is stiff and
sore. However, West admitted that his x-rays showed no
injury. Given the relatively brief time that has passed since
the incident giving rise to the problems he alleges, the
conservative treatment provided is hardly unreasonable.
Federal courts are not set up to micro-manage medical care
within state prisons or jails. If West's pain worsens or
continues over a long period of time without improvement and
his custodian fails to follow-up with additional diagnostic
testing and/or treatment, he may eventually have a claim of
deliberate indifference. At this point, however, he has
failed to alleged facts sufficient to support a plausible
claim of a serious medical need.
West fails to allege deliberate indifference because West is
receiving medical treatment-he just disagrees with it. West
has been seen by the jail nurse and the doctor on multiple
occasions. West admits that the doctor has reviewed his
x-rays and found nothing wrong with him. West admits that the
doctor has proscribed him Naproxen for his pain. West also
admits that Nurse Beverly has provided him with an extra
blanket for neck support. This shows responsiveness-not
indifference- by Nurse Beverly and Dr. Anguligo to West's
disagreement with his nurse's and doctor's proscribed
medical treatment plan is insufficient to state a claim for
deliberation indifference. Snipes v. De Tella, 95
F.3d 586, 591 (7th Cir. 1996) (“Medical decisions that
may be characterized as ‘classic examples of matters
for medical judgment' such as whether one course of
treatment is preferable to another, are beyond the
Amendment's purview. Such matters are questions of tort,
not constitutional law.”) (citing Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 107 (1976)); see also Forbes v.
Edgar, 112 F.3d 262, 267 (7th Cir. 1997)
(“[Plaintiff] is not entitled to demand specific care.
She is not entitled to the best care possible. She is
entitled to reasonable measures to meet a substantial risk of
serious harm to her.”). Despite West's instance
that defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his
medical needs, his allegations show that they have been
responsive, but that West disagrees with their course of
treatment. Therefore, West has failed to state a claim for
deliberate indifference against Nurse Beverly or Dr. Anuligo,
so those claims are dismissed.
West fails to bring a claim of deliberate indifference
against Sheriff Matz. West alleges no factual allegations
against Sheriff Matz. In order to recover damages under
§ 1983, “a plaintiff must establish that a
defendant was personally responsible for the deprivation of a
constitutional right.” Gentry v. Duckworth, 65
F.3d 555, 561 (7th Cir. 1995) (citing Sheik-Abdi v.
McClellan, 37 F.3d 1240, 1248 (7th Cir. 1994)). Sheriff
Matz may not be held liable under a respondeat superior or
negligent supervision because neither of those are grounds
for liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Wilson v. City
of Chi., 6 F.3d 1233, 1241 (7th Cir. 1993). Therefore,
West's claim against Sheriff Matz is dismissed.
has failed to state a claim of deliberate indifference to a
serious medical need against any of the defendants he has
named. Because West has already had an opportunity to amend
his complaint to cure his deficiencies and he failed to cure
the deficiencies, his action is dismissed with prejudice for
failing to state a claim.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that plaintiff's complaint
is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b)(1) for failure
to state a claim.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court shall
document that this inmate has incurred a ...