United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
CHARLES E. SPANGLER, Plaintiff,
DONNA PITTMAN, STACY ROSE, RON CRAMER, JOEL BRETTINGEN, PATRICIA SALIMES, MICHAEL KLOTZ, and JOHN AND JANE DOES, Defendants.
OPINION & ORDER
D. PETERSON, DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff Charles E. Spangler is a Wisconsin prisoner now
incarcerated at the Stanley Correctional Institution. He
suffers from various physical and mental impairments, and an
administrative law judge in his social security proceeding
found him to be disabled. After his disability determination,
he was incarcerated as a pretrial detainee at the Eau Claire
County Jail, and the jail had a policy that locked detainees
out of their cells twice a day and five days a week, with
each lockout lasting for about four hours. Spangler's
physical impairments caused him back pain when he stood for
hours during the lockouts. He presented documents showing his
disability and continually asked jail officials for
accommodations, such as an extra mattress, a plastic chair,
reduced lockout time, and exemptions from the lockouts. Most
of his requests were denied, and he had to comply with the
lockout policy despite his pain. He also asked for a doctor
visit to seek help for his pain, but it took over a week for
a doctor to see him despite his complaints of severe pain. He
also asked for pain medicine, but the doctor did not give him
medicine to alleviate his pain, stating that she did not have
his medical records, even though she had the documents from
Spangler's disability proceeding. I allowed Spangler to
proceed on Fourteenth Amendment claims against jail
officials, a doctor, and a nurse at the jail.
move for summary judgment. Dkt. 68 and Dkt. 77. I will deny
these motions because there are disputed issue of material
fact regarding Spangler's claims that he was forced to
stand for hours at a time despite his complaints of severe
pain, and that he faced delays in being treated for his pain.
I will also grant Spangler's motion for the court's
assistance in recruiting him counsel.
following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted.
was a pretrial detainee at the Eau Claire County Jail from
March 19, 2010, to May 20, 2010. Defendant Ron Cramer was the
sheriff of Eau Claire County. Defendants Joel Brettingen,
Patricia Salimes, and Michael Klotz were jail officials who
reviewed Spangler's institutional grievances. Defendant
Donna Pittman was a doctor at the jail. Defendant Stacy Rose
was a nurse.
suffered from various maladies, including anxiety, obesity,
and osteoarthrosis, along with depressive disorder. Dkt.
94-3, at 3-4; accord Dkt. 80-1, at 13.
Osteoarthrosis caused him chronic back pain, and he had been
adjudicated to be disabled under the Social Security Act. An
administrative law judge found that Spangler could stand for
only 20 to 30 minutes at a time, and Spangler presented his
social security documents, including the ALJ's decision,
when he arrived at the Eau Claire County Jail. He needed to
use a cane to stand or walk, and jail officials allowed him
to use a metal cane during his stay at the jail.
Claire County Jail had a procedure of locking detainees out
of their cells. The parties have not produced a comprehensive
document that shows all of the details of the lockout
procedure, but Spangler presents a document titled “Eau
Claire County Jail Field Training & Evaluation
Program” that shows some key provisions of the lockout
policy. Dkt. 1-1, at 24-25.
policy locked detainees out of their cells twice a day from
Monday through Friday. The morning lockout was from 8 a.m. to
noon; the afternoon lockout was after the afternoon roll
call, around 1:30 p.m., “until approximately
dinner.” Dkt. 74, ¶ 30; see also Dkt.
1-1, at 24. Each lockout lasted about four hours. The lockout
policy did not apply on weekends and holidays. While locked
out of their cells, the detainees stayed in the dayroom.
at the jail could excuse detainees from the lockouts. If a
detainee claimed a medical issue as an excuse, a supervisor
would contact the jail's medical department for a medical
opinion and then the supervisor could provide any
accommodations that had been deemed necessary. Some housing
units at the jail were excused from the lockouts.
Spangler's case, jail officials excused him from the
lockouts for some portions of his detainment at the Eau
Claire County Jail. For his first four days at the jail, from
March 19 to March 23, he stayed in a housing unit where he
was excused from the lockouts while his security
classification was pending. After he was classified, he moved
to 89-G-15L, another housing unit where he was made to comply
with the lockout policy, and he stayed there from March 23 to
March 23 and 24, he submitted health-care request forms,
explaining that he could not be locked out for hours at a
time. He also filed an institutional grievance on March 24,
explaining that if he continued to be locked out, he would
need emergency medical treatment. Dkt. 94-1, at 4. Klotz
reviewed Spangler's March 24 grievance, and after
speaking with a nurse, authorized Spangler's transfer to
the Huber dorm, a housing unit where detainees were not
subject to lockouts. Spangler stayed in the Huber Dorm from
March 25 to April 16.
April 16, Spangler was moved from the Huber dorm to Pod B, a
housing unit where he was again subjected to lockouts. This
move was caused by an incident involving contraband. A
detainee in the Huber dorm was caught with pornography and
some unidentified contraband, and jail officials moved all
detainees out of the Huber dorm. Spangler states in his
declaration that contraband was found in another
detainee's locker, Dkt. 94, ¶ 17, and defendants do
not deny that the pornography and the contraband belonged to
someone other than Spangler.
at Pod B, he was excused from the afternoon lockouts from
April 16 until he left the Eau Claire County Jail on May 20,
except for April 24, when he was locked out for both the
morning and the afternoon for an unidentified reason. On May
20, he was transferred to the Dodge Correctional Institution.
April 16 and May 20, Spangler submitted numerous grievances
and healthcare request forms asking for accommodations. He
asked for, among other things, a transfer back to the Huber
dorm, a second mattress, a plastic chair, an exception from
the lockouts, reduced lockout time, and access to his cell
during the lockouts. Most of Spangler's requests were
denied, except that he was excused from afternoon lockouts
and got a second mattress. Spangler's grievances indicate
that jail officials ostensibly deferred to unidentified
medical personnel on what accommodations were appropriate for
Spangler, but Pittman, the doctor, deferred the decision to
determine the accommodations to jail officials.
Claire County had a contract with a private entity, Health
Professionals, Ltd., now known as Correctional Healthcare
(CHC). Under that contract, CHC employees provided health
care to detainees at the Eau Claire County Jail. Pittman and
Rose were both employees of CHC. Pittman was a physician;
Rose was a nurse.
Eau Claire County Jail, a detainee who wanted medical
treatment had to submit a health-care request form. The
health-care request forms were screened by nurses, who
scheduled on-site appointments. If a nurse determined that a
detainee required emergency medical care, the nurse was to
schedule an appointment with a doctor and the doctor visit
would take place the same day of the detainees' request
for treatment. The doctor would then examine the detainee and
assess whether to call 911.
submitted health-care request forms on at least eight dates:
March 20, March 23, March 24, April 7, April 13, April 30,
May 2, and May 20. He requested, among other things, pain
medicine, doctor visits for back pain, and the lockout
accommodations that he requested in his grievances.
March 31, Pittman saw Spangler and prescribed trazodone.
Pittman and Rose contend that trazodone can treat chronic
pain, but they do not dispute that trazadone failed to
alleviate Spangler's pain. Spangler continued to report
that he suffered from severe back pain in his institutional
grievances, that he was being denied adequate medical
treatment, that he would need emergency medical treatment if
he were forced to continue to comply with the lockout policy,
and that he needed different medicine. Pittman denied
Spangler's request for different medicine and noted that
she would need to reevaluate Spangler once she received his
medical records. The parties agree that Pittman had the
ALJ's decision from Spangler's social security
proceedings. The ALJ's decision shows the names of the
medical professionals who examined Spangler and their medical
findings. Spangler also complained in a grievance that the
nursing staff did not even send a request for his medical
records. Dkt. 94-1, at 12.
saw Spangler again on May 4, when she prescribed him
amoxicillin, an antibiotic that treats infections and stomach
ulcers. Although Spangler told her that he had back pain and
muscle spasms, she told Spangler that she still had not
gotten his medical records, and she did not prescribe him