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Coleman v. Bailey

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

December 9, 2019



          JAMES D. PETERSON District Judge

         Plaintiff Sidney L. Coleman, appearing pro se, alleges that officials at the Dane County Jail denied him medication for mental health problems when he was housed there. Coleman brings claims under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Defendants are split into two groups: (1) medical-professional defendants Bobbie Bailey, Terrie Van Ward, and Nicole Sarbacker; and (2) defendant Lieutenant Brian Mikula.

         Both sets of defendants have filed motions for summary judgment. Coleman did not respond to either motion. Under this court's summary judgment procedures, that means that I will consider defendants' proposed findings to be undisputed. See Dkt. 16-1, at 8 (“If a party fails to respond to a fact proposed by the opposing party, the court will accept the opposing party's proposed fact as undisputed.”).

         Defendants' undisputed facts show that each defendant acted reasonably in treating Coleman and in handling his grievance about his treatment, so I will grant defendants' motions for summary judgment and dismiss the case.


         Plaintiff Sidney L. Coleman is a former prisoner at the Dane County Jail. This case is about Coleman's stint at the jail from July 7 to October 31, 2018, while he was detained pending an alleged probation violation. Defendant Brian Mikula was a lieutenant at the jail. The jail contracted with a company called Correct Care Solutions to provide medical services to inmates. I infer that defendants Bobbie Bailey, Nicole Sarbacker, and Terrie Vann-Ward were employed by Correct Care Solutions. Bailey and Sarbacker are nurses. Vann-Ward is a nurse practitioner.

         A. Coleman's treatment

         Coleman was incarcerated on July 7, 2018 after turning himself in for a probation violation. Defendant Sarbacker performed a “Receiving Screening” evaluation, and she completed a form used to identify medical issues or medications Coleman was taking prior to his incarceration. Coleman said that he was taking olanzapine 10 mg, which is a medication commonly used to treat mental health and mood conditions.

         Coleman presented a prescription bottle from Walgreens pharmacy dated September 13, 2017. Sarbacker asked Coleman about the pharmacies from which he obtained medication; Coleman identified only Walgreens. Sarbacker contacted that pharmacy to verify whether Coleman possessed current valid prescription for olanzapine. Walgreens personnel told her that the prescription was no longer valid. Sarbacker would not let Coleman keep the olanzapine because it was no longer a valid prescription.

         Coleman underwent an initial “behavioral health” evaluation the next day, with non-defendant staff. Based on the examination and Coleman's responses, the mental health staff noted that treatment was not indicated at that time. They explained how Coleman could contact staff about further treatment.

         Coleman had another mental health exam a few days later, with a non-defendant staff member. Coleman asked for his olanzapine medication, but he was told that the doctor would not continue the prescription if the booking nurse could not confirm that the prescription was active. The staffer explained that if Coleman wanted medication, he would need to agree to a “sleep and symptom log” to be assessed for mental health conditions and possible medications, but Coleman refused. He had a couple of other meetings with non-defendant mental health staff in July.

         On July 26, 2018, Coleman agreed to complete a symptom log. He noted trouble sleeping, past use of marijuana to help his sleeping, and current feelings of irritation, anger, and paranoia. Based on Coleman's log, a nurse performed another behavioral health assessment on August 3, 2018. The mental health nurse discussed Coleman's current symptoms, assisted Coleman in finishing the symptom log, and made a note to refer Coleman to psychiatry for further assessment.

         Coleman submitted a mental health request form on August 7, 2018, requesting to be placed back on his olanzapine. Health services staff responded the next day, telling Coleman that he had been referred to psychiatry for an appointment and that he was on the list to be seen as soon as an appointment was available. Mental health staff met with Coleman weekly while he was waiting for his psychiatry appointment. At each appointment, Coleman reaffirmed his desire to speak to the psychiatrist at the jail but otherwise denied any mental health concerns.

         Nurse Practitioner Vann-Ward saw Coleman on September 4, 2018, which was the first available psychiatric appointment. Coleman was agitated and threatening during the appointment, yelling at the top of his voice, with clenched fists. Vann-Ward and Coleman discussed Coleman's current symptoms and past medication use. Vann-Ward cut the appointment short and requested correctional officer intervention because of Coleman's threatening behavior. Vann-Ward believed that Coleman suffered from antisocial personality disorder and could benefit from olanzapine. Before being escorted out the room, Coleman consented to ...

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