Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Aicher v. New Mexico Department of Corrections

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

February 21, 2019

ERIC AICHER, Plaintiff,
v.
NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ROBERT C. BRACK, SENIOR U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Plaintiff's Pro Se Tort Complaint (Doc. 1-1). Also before the Court are various miscellaneous motions filed by Plaintiff and Defendants (Docs. 7; 13; 30; 31; 33; 37; 40; 41; 44; 47.) Plaintiff contends prison officials failed to protect him from assault and were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs. Having reviewed the matter sua sponte under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court will dismiss the Complaint, grant leave to amend, and deny all further relief.

         I. Background [1]

         In 2015, Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Lea County Correctional Facility (LCCF). (Doc. 1-1 at 1.) On October 5, 2015, a fellow inmate (John Archibeque) attacked Plaintiff. (Id.) Archibeque struck Plaintiff with a cane and repeatedly punched and kicked his face. (Id.) A friend helped Plaintiff return to his cell, where he collapsed. (Id.) A correctional officer allegedly passed by Plaintiff's door, looked in, and “continued without noticing [Plaintiff].” (Id.)

         Plaintiff regained consciousness as he was transported to the medical unit. (Id. at 2.) Thereafter, his blood pressure dropped and prison officials sent him to the hospital. (Id.) The doctor bandaged his head, prescribed pain medication, and referred him to a facial reconstruction specialist. (Id.) Plaintiff returned to LCCF's medical unit, where providers refused to dispense the prescription pain medication. (Id.) Plaintiff reported that the pain prevented him from chewing, and the doctor told him to “chew with smaller bites.” (Id.) Over the next week, Plaintiff only received Tylenol, and LCCF medical officials failed to change his bandages or bedsheets. (Id. at 3.)

         On or about October 13, 2015, Plaintiff underwent a facial reconstruction surgery at St. Vincent Hospital. (Id.) He then spent about 23 days in the recovery unit of a prison hospital. (Id.) When he returned to LCCF on November 5, 2015, Captain Shepherd informed Plaintiff that he would be returning to the H4E-pod. (Id.) Archibeque, the attacker, was still living in a cell three doors down from Plaintiff. (Id.) Plaintiff spent the next month petitioning various captains, wardens, and caseworkers for a reassignment. (Id.) He eventually enrolled in a residential drug recovery program so that he could transfer to another pod. (Id.) According to news reports, other inmates have been attacked in New Mexico prisons due to understaffing. (Docs. 39; 56-58).

         On April 18, 2018, Plaintiff filed his Complaint in New Mexico's First Judicial District Court, No. D-101-CV-2018-01224. (Doc. 1-1.) The Complaint lists three Defendants: (1) the New Mexico Department of Corrections (NMDOC); (2) the GEO Group, Inc.; and (3) Corizon Health Care (Corizon). (Id. at 9.) Plaintiff later filed two motions to amend the complaint to remove GEO Group, Inc. as a Defendant. (Docs. 40; 41.) The crux of Plaintiff's Complaint is that Defendants failed to protect him from attack and were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs following the attack. (Doc. 1-1 at 10.) Plaintiff seeks $133, 333.30 cents in compensatory damages, plus $50, 000 dollars for all future medical expenses. (Docs. 44 at 2; 63 at 2.)

         Defendant Corizon removed the Complaint to Federal Court on May 22, 2018. (Doc. 1.) In response to Plaintiff's discovery requests, the Court (Hon. Stephan Vidmar) entered two Orders explaining: (1) prisoner petitions are exempt from initial discovery; and (2) the complaint is subject to sua sponte screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. (Docs. 16; 29.) The Court granted a protective order and stated: “If any claim remains after the initial screening, the Court will determine at that time whether to allow Plaintiff ‘to engage in the formal discovery process or to rely on the protection of a Martinez report . . . .'” (Doc. 29 at 2.)

         Thereafter, the parties filed various dispositive and miscellaneous motions. Plaintiff moved to:

(a) Disqualify Hon. Robert Brack and Hon. Stephan Vidmar from this case (Doc. 13);
(b) Remand the case to state court (Doc. 7);
(c) Appoint counsel (Doc. 45);
(d) Obtain a default judgment (Docs. 31; 44; ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.