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Jenkins v. SGT Fields

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

June 14, 2019

DONTA JENKINS, Plaintiff,
v.
SGT FIELDS, SGT KASTEL, J.O. RACHEL, J.O. TURNER, J.O. POLLARD, J.O. BERGEVIN, SHARON BESTERFELDT, DR. KENECHI ANULIGO, KELSEY SIVERLING, ANNMARIE GEISS and DENISE HURLESS, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          BARBARA B. CRABB District Judge.

         Pro se plaintiff Donta Jenkins is proceeding on claims that correctional staff at the Eau Claire County jail subjected him to unconstitutional conditions of confinement and that mental health staff at the jail denied him treatment and medication for a mood disorder. (I have updated the caption to reflect the correct spelling of defendants' names.) Now before the court are several motions filed by plaintiff, including three motions to compel, dkt. ## 54, 65 and 69, and two renewed motions for assistance in recruiting counsel, dkt. ##53 and 66. For the reasons below, I am denying all of plaintiff's motions.

         OPINION

         A. Motions to Compel Discovery

         On April 16 and May 2, 2019, plaintiff filed motions to compel defendants to produce the following evidence:

• Plaintiff's mental health records from September 6, 2017 through June 19, 2018, including progress notes and reports from “Dr. Ken” and other providers and orders and dispensing records for all of his medications.
• Video footage of the three days that plaintiff was housed in a suicide watch cell and any other video footage showing defendants' contact with plaintiff during the period at issue.
• All “Spellman log entries” and the contacts of the defendants.
• Jail policies and procedures regarding placement for mentally ill inmates threatening suicide and mental health treatment and services for inmates.

Dkt. ##54, 65. On May 8, 2019, plaintiff filed a third motion to compel, asking that the court order defendants to respond to various requests for admission and interrogatories because they had not yet done so. Dkt. #69.

         The motions will be denied because defendants either have already responded to plaintiff's requests or the deadline for defendants' responses has not yet passed. In addition, Plaintiff did not meet and confer with any of the defendants before filing his motions, as he is required to do under Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a).

         1. Mental health records

         Correctional staff defendants Sergeant Field, Sergeant Kastel, Officer Reischel, Officer Turner, Officer Pollard and Officer Bergevin state that they told plaintiff that they are not the custodians of plaintiff's medical records, which must be obtained through Correct Care Solutions. In October 2018, defendants provided plaintiff a medical authorization form and instructions on how to complete and submit it.

         For their part, medical defendants Sharon Besterfeldt, Dr. Kenechi Anuligo, Kelsey Siverling, AnnMarie Geiss and Denise Hurless state that they will produce a list of the medications that plaintiff was prescribed, but they object to producing plaintiff's full mental health file-which is over 400 pages-at their expense. Defendants are correct that they are under no obligation to provide plaintiff free copies of his medical records. Lindell v. McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 1111 (7th Cir. 2003) (“[A] prisoner has no constitutional entitlement to a subsidy to prosecute a civil suit; like any other civil litigant, he must decide which of his legal actions is important enough to fund.”); Lucien v. DeTella, 141 F.3d 773, 774 (7th Cir. 1998) (“All § 1915 has ever done is excuse pre-payment of the docket fees; a litigant remains liable for them, and for other costs”); Stewart v. Barr, 2005 WL 6166745, at *2 (W.D. Wis. Nov. 30, 2005) (“[D]efendants have no obligation to provide plaintiff with free copies of his medical records.”). As stated in the preliminary ...


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