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Solomon v. King

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

July 31, 2018

CLIFTON ORLANDO SOLOMON PLAINTIFF
v.
STEVEN KING DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          HON. BARRY A. BRYANT UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This is a civil rights action filed pro se by Plaintiff, Clifton Orlando Solomon, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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. 29). Pursuant to this authority, I held a bench trial on July 20, 2018, and now issue the following findings of fact and conclusion of law.

         I. BACKROUND

         Plaintiff filed his original Complaint on April 22, 2016, against Defendants Southern Health Partners Inc., Steven King, and Brittany Cooksey alleging he was denied medical attention, overcharged for co-pay amounts, and retaliated against while he was incarcerated at the Miller County Detention Center (“MCDC”). (ECF No. 1). In response to this Court's order, on June 24, 2016, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint to clarify the claims against each Defendant. (ECF No. 13). At the time of the events in question, Defendant Southern Health Partners, Inc. was under contract with Miller County, Arkansas, to provide health care services to inmates housed at the MCDC. Defendants King and Cooksey were employees of Defendant Southern Health Partners, Inc. while Plaintiff was held at the MCDC.

         On November 2, 2017, the Court entered an order granting in part and denying in part Defendants' motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 56). The order dismissed all claims against Defendants Southern Health Partners, Inc. and Brittany Cooksey and the personal capacity claim for retaliation against Defendant King. The only claim remaining for trial was Plaintiff's personal capacity claim against Defendant King for denial of medical care.

         At the bench trial, the testimony of the following witnesses was heard: (1) Captain Golden Adams; (2) Brittany Cooksey; (3) Defendant Steven King; and (4) Plaintiff Clifton Solomon.

         Plaintiff offered the following Exhibits: (1) Consent for Treatment dated March 14, 2016; (2) Medical History - Physical Assessment dated March 27, 2016; (3) Medical Request #815, 864 dated March 31, 2016; (4) Defendant King's Responses to Interrogatories; (5) MCDC's Inmate Handbook; (6) ADC Health Service Request Form; (7) Grievance #903, 232 and Refusal of Medical Treatment dated May 13, 2016; (8) Medical Request #814, 446 dated March 3/30/2016; (9) Medical Request #902, 509 and Patient Clinical Data Form dated May 12, 2016; (10) Grievance #815, 448 dated March 31, 2016; and (11) Excerpts from the Miller County Detention Center Law Library. Defense counsel objected to the handwritten comments on Plaintiff's exhibits. The Court acknowledged the objection and agreed to admit Plaintiff's Exhibits 1 - 11. The Court assigned no weight to the handwritten comments on Plaintiff's exhibits.

         Defendant offered the following Exhibits: (1) Plaintiff's Medical Records from the MCDC for the time period of March 14, 2016, through May 13, 2016 (Labeled as Ex. 1-1 through 1-10) and Plaintiff's Medical Records from June 2, 2017 (Ex. 1-13) and June 6, 2017 (Ex. 1-11, 1-12); and (2) Plaintiff's grievances and medical requests filed with the MCDC between March 2016 and May 2016 (Labeled as Ex. 2-1 through 2-16). Defendant's exhibits were admitted without objection.

         II. FINDINGS OF FACT

         The following is a summary of the witnesses' testimony and the Court's findings of fact:

         Captain Golden Adams

         Captain Adams was employed with the MCDC in the spring of 2016 and is still employed there today. He testified that MCDC officers are not always present when inmates are evaluated by medical personnel but he remembers Plaintiff being called to his office at the request of Defendant because Plaintiff had used profanity in one of his medical requests. Plaintiff was not issued any disciplinary based on the wording of the medical request. When asked if he thought Plaintiff had adequately described his medical condition in Medical Request #815, 864 (Pl. Ex. 3), he stated he thought Plaintiff could have described the condition using words other than “shit” but that he did think Plaintiff had described his condition and directed the medical request to Defendant King.

         I found Captain Adams to be credible.

         Brittany ...


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