United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, El Dorado Division
HON. BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
This is a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis. The Parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge to conduct any and all proceedings in this case, including conducting the trial, ordering the entry of a final judgment, and conducting all post-judgment proceedings. ECF No. 16. Pursuant to this authority, I held a bench trial on February 24, 2016 and now issue the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Plaintiff, was transferred from the Arkansas Department of Correction (“ADC”) to the Union County Detention Center (“UCDC”) for a court appearance on November 8, 2013. The events at issue here occurred while Plaintiff was incarcerated at the UCDC. ECF No. 23. Plaintiff alleged in his Complaint that his constitutional rights were violated when Defendant West refused to allow Plaintiff to continue taking one of his pain medications - Tramadol - prescribed by an ADC physician. Defendant asserted that he was following the policy of the UCDC which prohibited dispensing any narcotics to inmates.
At the bench trial, the testimony of the following witnesses was heard: (1) Plaintiff Tracy Land Davis; (2) Captain Richard Mitchum; (3) Lisa Worley; (4) Defendant Brian West; and (5) Mike McGough.
Plaintiff offered Exhibits A - Q, including: (A) Affidavit of Brian West dated November 17, 2014; (B) Defendants’ Response to Plaintiff’s First Set of Interrogatories to Defendants; (C) Defendant’s Response to Plaintiff’s Second Set of Interrogatories to Defendants; (D) Defendants’ Response to Plaintiff’s First Request for Admission; (E) Union County Detention Center Inmate rules and Regulations; (F) Page Number (88) from the Jail Division; (G) A Second Union County Detention Center Inmate Rules and Regulations; (H) Union County Sheriff Intake Sheet dated November 8, 2013; (I) Union County Sheriff Intake Medical Form dated November 8, 2013; (J) Union County Sheriff Release Sheet dated November 22, 2013; (K) Plaintiff’s List of Medications; (L) Grievance dated November 18, 2013; (M) Grievance dated November 19, 2013; (N) Newspaper Article; (O) Declaration in Opposition to Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment; (P) Affidavit of Plaintiff Tracy Land Davis dated December 30, 2014; and (Q) Ouachita Valley Family Clinic Patient Plan dated September 9, 2013. Exhibits A - M and Exhibit Q were all admitted without objection. Defendant objected to Exhibits N, O and P. Exhibit N was admitted as a matter of public record. Exhibits O and P were excluded because Plaintiff could testify in person.
Defendant offered Exhibits 1 - 5, including: (1) Plaintiff’s Book-in Sheet from November 8 - 22, 2013; (2) Inmate Medical Form dated November 8, 2013; (3) Grievance or Appeal Form with Response by Defendant dated November 18, 2013 and November 19, 2013; (4) Medical Administration Record from November 9 - November 11, 2013; and (5) Medical Administration Record from November 13 - 21, 2013. Defendant’s Exhibits 1 - 5 were admitted without objection.
2. FINDINGS OF FACT
The following is a summary of witnesses’ testimony and my findings of fact:
Plaintiff Tracy Land Davis
When Plaintiff was transported to the UCDC from the ADC on November 8, 2013 he brought with him the prescription medications he was currently taking. The UCDC jail medical form listed the following prescription medications: Ibuprofen 800 mg. tablets; Losartan Potassium 100 mg. tablets; Hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg. tablets; Omerrazole 20 mg delayed release capsules; and Doxazosin Mesylate 4 mg. While not listed on the medical form, Plaintiff also had a prescription for Tramadol 50 mg which he brought with him to the UCDC. Plaintiff suffered with a variety of medical conditions including chronic lower back pain for which Tramadol was prescribed.
An officer prepared a medication administration record (“MAR”) for Plaintiff’s medications except for Tramadol. From November 8, 2013, to November 11, 2013, the MAR called for Plaintiff to receive all medications except Tramadol.
Plaintiff was advised jail policy prohibited inmates from receiving controlled substances/narcotics except in rare circumstances. Plaintiff was told he would not be receiving Tramadol because it is a narcotic. Plaintiff testified that the discontinuation of Tramadol resulted in him suffering excruciating pain. The Plaintiff is black. He indicated he witnessed a white inmate receive Tramadol at the UCDC.
Plaintiff filed two grievances, one dated November 18, 2013, and one dated November 19, 2013, complaining he had not been given Tramadol for his back pain even though it had been prescribed for him. Plaintiff stated he had to sleep on the floor and was in extreme pain while incarcerated at the UCDC. Plaintiff testified ...