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Reliford v. Godbolt

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division

August 27, 2014

MELVIN TODD RELIFORD, Plaintiff,
v.
CAPTAIN JOHNNY GODBOLT; SHERIFF JAMES SINGLETON; and LT. STEPHEN W. GLOVER, Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

BARRY A. BRYANT, Magistrate Judge.

This is a civil rights action filed by the Plaintiff, Melvin Todd Reliford, pursuant 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis. The Plaintiff is not currently incarcerated. However, the actions that form the basis of this case occurred while Plaintiff was incarcerated in the Hempstead County Detention Center (HCDC) in 2012.

The case is before me on the consent of the parties. ECF No. 19. Defendants have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF Nos. 23-25. Plaintiff has responded to the motion. ECF No. 28. The Motion is ready for decision.

1. Background

Plaintiff is subject to seizures. ECF Nos. 1, 9 & 28. In April of 2012, while he was incarcerated in the HCDC, he was assigned to an upper bunk and was in a cell by himself. Id.

On April 10th, Plaintiff submitted a request asking for his seizure medication. Defendants' Exhibit A, ECF No. 24-1 (hereinafter Defts' Ex. ). Captain Godbolt responded that Plaintiff should have a family member pick up his medicine and bring it to the jail. Id. If Plaintiff could not do that, he was told he would have to see the nurse to get his medication. Id.

Plaintiff submitted a medical request that day. Defts' Ex. B. Plaintiff indicated on the request that he needed his seizure medication and stitches in his right knee. Id. The document contains no written response. Id.

On April 11th, Plaintiff submitted another medical request. Defts' Ex. C. He indicated he had a seizure the prior night and needed his medication. Id. He said his seizures were getting worse and worse and that the nurse would not get him any medication. Id. The document contains no written response. Id.

On April 12th, Plaintiff submitted another medical request. Defts' Ex. D. He indicated he was sick and in pain. Id. He stated he was having seizures and needed his pain medication. Id.

Although not altogether clear, it appears that Plaintiff was seen by medical personnel on April 14th.[1] Defts' Ex. D. It was noted that Plaintiff had a large laceration to his right knee. Id. Sterile strips were applied and daily wound care was ordered. Id. Plaintiff was also to be sent to the Health Department for an update of his tuberculosis immunizations. Id.

On April 13th, Plaintiff submitted a medical request stating that his knee was infected, swollen, and steadily bleeding. Defts' Ex. E. He also stated he was having more seizures. Id.

On April 18th, [2] Plaintiff had a seizure and fell out of his bunk. ECF Nos. 1, 9 & 28. He asserts he was unconscious for a period of time. Id. He maintains that no guard checked on him. Id. He believes it would be difficult for another sleeping inmate to "hear" him having a seizure. Id.

On April 18th, Plaintiff also submitted a medical request. Defts' Ex. F. He stated he was having "too many seizures and thinking about killing myself." Id.

Plaintiff was seen that day and diagnosed with seizures, a wound to the right knee, and personality disorder. Id. It was noted the right knee was clean with no sign of infection. Id. Daily dressing changes were order. Id. A mental health referral was also requested. Id.

That same day, Plaintiff submitted a request form stating that after everyone was locked down Plaintiff woke up on the floor because he had a bad seizure. Defts' Ex. G. Plaintiff also stated that no guard had checked on him. Id. Godbolt responded asking whether Plaintiff was in a "room" by himself or if he had a roommate. Id. Godbolt also stated that he knew that the officers make their rounds every hour. Id.

On April 19th, Plaintiff submitted a medical request. Defts' Ex. H. He said he needed a tetanus shot so he would not get an infection in his knee. Id. In response, he was to go to the Health Department for a tetanus shot, be placed in a cell with someone else due to seizure activity, and was allowed to have crackers with his medication so it would not bother his stomach. Id.

On April 21st, sometime during the night, Plaintiff had a seizure and fell to the floor. ECF Nos. 1, 9 & 28. The pod was locked down. Id. Plaintiff was unconscious for an unknown period of time; he believes it was most of the night. Id. Plaintiff suffered an injury to his head and woke up in a puddle of his own blood. Id. While guards are supposed to do hourly ...


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