United States District Court, D. New Mexico
ROBERT C. HUDSON, Plaintiff,
FNU CALVILLO, Nurse and Director of Medical, LCCF, FNU BRADSHAW, Nurse, LCCF, FNC HARVEY, Sergeant, LCCF, FNU MENDOZA, Lieutenant, LCCF, FNU UNNAMED TRANSPORT SERGEANT, LCCF, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MATTER is before the Court, sua sponte under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), on
Plaintiff Robert Hudson's civil rights complaint [Doc.
1]. Plaintiff is incarcerated, appears pro se, and
is proceeding in forma pauperis. For the reasons set
out below, certain of Plaintiff's claims will be
dismissed, certain will survive screening, and Plaintiff will
be given an opportunity to name the unidentified defendant.
Governing Sua Sponte Review
Court has discretion to dismiss an in forma pauperis
complaint sua sponte under § 1915(e)(2)
“at any time if … the action … is
frivolous or malicious; [or] fails to state a claim on which
relief may be granted.” The Court may also dismiss a
complaint sua sponte under Rule 12(b)(6) if
“it is patently obvious that the plaintiff could not
prevail on the facts alleged, and allowing [plaintiff] an
opportunity to amend [the] complaint would be futile.”
Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir.
1991) (quotations omitted). The plaintiff must frame a
complaint that contains “sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to ‘state a claim for relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. “Threadbare
recitals” or identifications of a cause of action,
without more, do not suffice. Id.
Plaintiff is pro se, his “pleadings are to be
construed liberally and held to a less stringent standard
than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.”
Hall, 935 F.2d at 1110. If the court can reasonably
read the pleadings to state a valid claim on which the
plaintiff could prevail, it should do so despite the
plaintiff's failure to cite proper legal authority,
… confusion of various legal theories, … poor
syntax and sentence construction, or … unfamiliarity
with pleading requirements.” Id. At the same
time, however, it is not “the proper function of the
district court to assume the role of advocate for the pro
se litigant.” Id.
claims Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his
medical needs in violation of, inter alia, 42 U.S.C. §
1983 and the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The Court
assumes the following facts taken from Plaintiff's
complaint are true.
is an inmate at the Lea County Correction Facility
(“LCCF”). He uses a walker and resides in a
handicap cell. On February 20, 2016 at approximately 4:30
a.m., Plaintiff asked Sergeant Harvey to transfer him to the
medical unit “as [he] was having severe chest pains and
… believed [he] was having a heart attack.”
[Doc. 1, p. 4, Claim I]. Sergeant Harvey refused because he
had to serve breakfast to the other pods. Id.
Plaintiff then asked Sergeant Harvey to call a nurse to
examine him in the handicap cell. Id. Sergeant
Harvey again refused, “saying it was breakfast time and
people were busy.” Id. The sergeant left the
pod after reiterating that no one was available. Id.
chest pain continued and became worse throughout the day.
[Doc. 1, p. 4, Claim II]. At approximately 2:30 p.m., a shift
sergeant transferred Plaintiff to the medical unit.
Id. Nurse Cavillo, the new medical director, Nurse
Bradshaw, and Medical Officer Mary Cox were on duty.
Id. Plaintiff was not examined or triaged upon his
arrival. Id. Instead, Nurse Bradshaw directed
Officer Cox to place Plaintiff in a medical segregation cell
in the back of the unit, where he remained for over three
hours. Id. At approximately 5:30 or 6:00 p.m.,
Plaintiff began yelling and kicking the cell door to get the
nurses' attention. Id. He had not received
dinner and asked to return to his housing unit. Id.
Officer Cox relayed the request to Nurse Cavillo, who told
Plaintiff “they were busy and ready to change shifts[,
] and the only way [he] would be released is to sign a
medical refusal or just sit there.” Id. When
Plaintiff complained he had been sitting there for four hours
without an examination, Nurse Cavillo said “oh
well.” Id. Nurse Cavillo would not estimate
when Plaintiff would be seen. Id. Consequently, he
signed the medical refusal form and left. Id.
days later, Lieutenant Mendoza and an unnamed sergeant
transported Plaintiff from Hobbs to Roswell for a court
hearing. [Doc. 1, p. 5, Claim III]. In the vehicle and during
the hearing, Plaintiff “complained of having severe
chest pains” and stated that “he was having
another series of heart attacks” and “needed to
go a hospital now.” Id; [Doc. 1, p. 2, §
B]. Lieutenant Mendoza and the sergeant delayed seeking
medical attention. [Doc. 1, p. 2, § B]. They urged
Plaintiff to move faster in his walker and to “stop
holding them up” so that they could “get back to
Hobbs ASAP to go home.” [Doc. 1, p. 5, Claim III].
After Plaintiff's third request, Lieutenant Mendoza
called LCCF for approval to transport him to a hospital.
Id. When Plaintiff was finally seen, the doctors
inserted a stint in his heart. He spent about 45 days in the
medical unit. [Doc. 1, p. 2, § B].
on his injuries, Plaintiff filed claims against all
aforementioned actors except Officer Cox, alleging: (1)
violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendments; (2) negligent denial of medical care;
(3) violation the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C.
§ 12101 et seq. (the “ADA”); and (4)
intentional infliction of emotional distress. Plaintiff also
asserts a claim for false imprisonment against Nurses Cavillo
and Bradley. [Doc. 1, p. 1-6].
claim that the named Defendants were deliberately indifferent
to his medical needs in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983
and the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments survives initial
review under § 1915(e). See Sealock v.
Colorado, 218 F.3d 1205, 1210 (10th Cir. 2000) (delay of
“several hours” in taking inmate with chest pains
to hospital violated Eighth Amendment); Mata v.
Saiz, 427 F.3d 745 (10th Cir. 2005) (finding liability
under § 1983 where nurses delayed addressing
inmate's chest pains that culminated in a heart attack).
The “negligent denial of medical care” claim
against the named Defendants, over which the Court may retain
supplemental jurisdiction, also survives. See Grassi v.
Corrections Corporation of America, 2009 WL 4117352, * 3
(10th Cir. 2009) (where inmate asserts eighth amendment claim
for deliberate indifference to medical needs, the district
court has discretion to exercise supplemental jurisdiction
over the related state law negligence claims).
Plaintiff wishes to pursue such claims against the unnamed
transport sergeant, however, he must file a supplement
identifying that individual within a reasonable time.
Successful § 1983 complaints “make clear exactly
who is alleged to have done what to whom,
to provide each individual with fair notice as to the basis
of the claim against him or her.” Robbins v.
Oklahoma, 519 F.3d 1242, 1249-50 (10th Cir. 2008).
respect to Plaintiff's remaining claims, no relief is
available. The Tenth Circuit has held that “[t]he
failure to provide medical treatment to a disabled prisoner,
while perhaps raising Eighth Amendment concerns in certain
circumstances, does not constitute an ADA violation.”
Rashad v. Doughty, 4 F. App'x 558, 560 (10th
Cir. 2001) (unpublished); see also Moore v. Prison Health
Serv., Inc., 201 F.3d 448, 1999 WL 1079848, at *1 (10th
Cir. 1999) (holding that the ADA “afford[s] disabled
persons legal rights regarding access to programs and