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Love v. Fincher

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

November 22, 2017

CHRISTOPHER LOVE, JR. PLAINTIFF
v.
OFFICER KRISSY FINCHER; JAILER ERIC GARNER; SUSAN HANSON; SERGEANT ALVIS MILLS; and HEMPSTEAD COUNTY, ARKANSAS DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          Susan O. Hickey United States District 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 case is before the Court for preservice screening under the provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court has the obligation to screen any complaint in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his Complaint on September 19, 2017. (ECF No. 1). He is currently incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Correction - Varner Unit. Plaintiff alleges his constitutional rights were violated on April 24, 2017, while he was being held in the Hempstead County Detention Center (“HCDC”) when Defendant Krissy Fincher mistakenly gave Plaintiff the wrong medication. Plaintiff also claims that Defendant Fincher is not a nurse and that Defendant Hempstead County's policy of allowing non-medical personnel to distribute medications is a violation of his civil rights. In addition, Plaintiff named Eric Garner, Susan Hanson, and Sergeant Alvis Mills as Defendants in the Complaint but failed to make any specific allegations against them. Plaintiff is suing Defendants in their individual and official capacities. He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Under the PLRA, the Court is obligated to screen the case prior to service of process being issued. The Court must dismiss a complaint, or any portion of it, if it contains claims that: (1) are frivolous, malicious, or fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted; or, (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         A claim is frivolous if “it lacks an arguable basis either in law or fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it does not allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “In evaluating whether a pro se plaintiff has asserted sufficient facts to state a claim, we hold ‘a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded . . . to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.'” Jackson v. Nixon, 747 F.3d 537, 541 (8th Cir. 2014) (quoting Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007)). Even a pro se Plaintiff must allege specific facts sufficient to support a claim. Martin v. Sargent, 780 F.2d 1334, 1337 (8th Cir. 1985).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Defendants Garner, Hanson, and Mills

         As previously stated, a complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if it does not allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. at 570. Other than listing their names in the Complaint, Plaintiff has failed to allege any facts whatsoever against Defendants Garner, Hanson, or Mills. Consequently, Plaintiff's claims against these Defendants should be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

         B. Defendant Fincher

         Plaintiff alleges “Officer Krissy Fincher called me to the door to give me my meds I took the meds she gave me and after I took the med she replied Oops I gave you some else meds”. (ECF No. 1). The Eighth Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment prohibits deliberate indifference to the serious medical needs of prisoners. Luckert v. Dodge County, 684 F.3d 808, 817 (8th Cir. 2012). The deliberate indifference standard includes “both an objective and a subjective component: ‘The [Plaintiff] must demonstrate (1) that [he] suffered [from] objectively serious medical needs and (2) that the prison officials actually knew of but deliberately disregarded those needs.'” Jolly v. Knudsen, 205 F.3d 1094, 1096 (8th Cir. 2000) (quoting Dulany v. Carnahan, 132 F.3d 1234, 1239 (8th Cir. 1997)).

         In order to show he suffered from an objectively serious medical need, Plaintiff must show he “has been diagnosed by a physician as requiring treatment” or has an injury “that is so obvious that even a layperson would easily recognize the necessity for a doctor's attention.” Schaub v. VonWald, 638 F.3d 905, 914 (8th Cir. 2011) (internal quotations and citations omitted). To establish the subjective prong of deliberate indifference, “the prisoner must show more than negligence, more even than gross negligence[.]” Popoalii v. Correctional Med. Servs., 512 F.3d 488, 499 (8th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

         Plaintiff does not specify what medication he was taking while he was incarcerated in the HCDC nor does he indicate what particular medical condition he suffered from at the time. (ECF No. 1). As a result, there is no way for this Court to determine from ...


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