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Tiller v. Martin

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Hot Springs Division

February 9, 2017

SERGEANT AMIE MARTIN, Jail Administrator, Hot Spring County Detention Center; and SHERIFF HOLLINGSWORTH, Hot Spring County DEFENDANTS



         This is a civil rights action filed by the Plaintiff pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis. The case is before me pursuant to the consent (ECF No. 15) of the parties.

         While Plaintiff was incarceration in the Hot Spring County Detention Center (HSCDC), he contends his constitutional rights were violated in the following ways: (1) his grievances were not kept; (2) he was denied adequate medical care; and (3) he was denied access to his attorney's address.

         Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 44). A hearing was held on September 14, 2016, to allow Plaintiff to testify in response to the motion. The motion is now ready for decision.

         1. Background

         Plaintiff was booked into the HSCDC on December 18, 2013. Defendants' Exhibit (hereinafter Defts' Ex.) A. On December 19, 2013, his parole was revoked. Defts' Ex. B. Plaintiff remained incarcerated there until April 23, 2014, when he was transported to the Southwest Arkansas Community Corrections Center, Technical Violator Program. Defts' Ex. C.

         When he was booked in, Plaintiff had three empty prescription medication bottles with him for Prozac, Nexium, and Celebrex. Defts' Ex. D at ¶ 6. Sergeant Amie Martin was at that time the jail administrator. Id. at ¶ 4. On December 19, 2013, Sergeant Martin informed Darrell Elkin, the jail's medical officer, about the prescription bottles. Id. at ¶ 7. Sergeant Martin requested that Elkin see Plaintiff when he came to the detention center. Id.

         According to Sergeant Martin, Elkin and "Young's Pharmacy handled getting the prescriptions transferred because it lacked the proper medical credentials." Defts' Ex. D at ¶ 8. Her understanding was "that the prescriptions were originally filled by a pharmacy that was only open one or two days per week and it was very difficult for Mr. Elkin and Young's Pharmacy to get the prescriptions transferred for filling." Id. at ¶ 9. The transfer was made even more difficult due to the Christmas and New Year holidays. Id. at ¶ 10.

         From December 19, 2013, through the time Plaintiff left the facility, Sergeant Martin states she "had numerous conversations with" Plaintiff. Defts' Ex. D at ¶ 11. She states that during this entire time she "never noticed [Plaintiff] acting-out, behaving irrationally or having any mental or physical distress." Id. at ¶ 12.

         On December 25, 2013, Plaintiff submitted a grievance stating he had been denied his prescription medications since his arrival. Defts' Ex. E. He stated he had not received any Prozac or Celebrex and had only received his Nexium twice. Id. Plaintiff stated that he was supposed to take the pills every morning. Id. In response, he was told that Young's Pharmacy was having difficulty getting the prescriptions transferred from the Christian Pharmacy. Id. Because of delays in getting his medication, Plaintiff testified he had added pain, mental anguish, and his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) worsened.

         On January 4, 2014, Plaintiff submitted a medical request stating that he had just received three medications and would like to know the names of the medication and dosages so he could contact his doctor to see if he approved the changes. Defts' Ex. F. In response, Plaintiff was told Elkin had prescribed the generic forms, fluoxetine, ranitidine, and meloxicam, of his regular medications. Id.

         The medical administration records indicate Plaintiff began receiving all three medications on January 3, 2014. Defts' Ex. G. He continued to receive these medications throughout his incarceration. Id. It appears Plaintiff did receive Nexium on December 22, 2013, and December 23, 2013. Id.

         Plaintiff testified that he submitted a grievance stating that he had a case pending in Hot Springs and he had been told by his parole officer that he would be transferred there. He asked for his attorney's address, a § 1983 form, and complained that he was not receiving his medication. Plaintiff was called into Sergeant Martin's office. She called the Garland County District Court on December 31, 2013, and was told they would not transport him.

         Plaintiff testified that Sergeant Martin refused to give him his attorney's address and his medications. Plaintiff testified he had the attorney's address but it was in his property and he could not get it. In fact, he testified he did not receive his attorney's address until just before he was transferred out. Between December and April, Plaintiff testified he had no contact with his attorney. He indicated the attorney did not know where Plaintiff was until Plaintiff wrote him in April. As a result, Plaintiff ...

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