United States District Court, N.D. Ohio
OPINION & ORDER
S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
se plaintiff Carlin Upton Powell is a pre-trial detainee
in the Cuyahoga County Jail (the Jail), awaiting trial on
charges of kidnaping, rape, and corruption of a minor. He has
filed this in forma pauperis civil rights damages
action against numerous individual and institutional
defendants, contending that since he was booked into the Jail
on May 26, 2016, he has been subjected to medical neglect
amounting to deliberate indifference. (Doc. No. 1.) The
defendants named in his complaint are: the Medical Department
Cuyahoga County Correctional Center; Metro Health Systems;
Dr. John A. Yourself; Dr. Alan Gatz; Dr. Rekha Ujla; Dr.
Albert Coreno; Dr. Leslie Koblentz; Dr. Thomas Tallman;
Marcus Harris Director of Inmate Health Services; Cuyahoga
County Medical Director; and the State of Ohio Department of
Rehabilitation and Correction Medical Director. (Id.
plaintiff alleges he is “disabled, ” with
“previous spinal surgery fusions in [his] lower back
and spine, ” and a history of pulmonary embolisms
(blood clots) in his lungs, arms and legs, and that since he
was booked into the Jail, he has been denied necessary
medications and medical treatment for his conditions.
(Id. at 5.) He alleges he was told by the doctor who
went over his medical history with him at intake that he
“would be having problems” in the Jail and was
“going to just be out of luck” because
medications previously prescribed for him were not available
in the Jail. (Id.) According to the plaintiff, he
has been told he can only be offered Motrin, which he alleges
he cannot take. In addition to being denied proper
medication, the plaintiff alleges that despite having a
prescription for a medical mattress and an order for a lower
bunk restriction, he has consistently been denied those
accommodations. Instead, he has been made to sleep on a thin
mattress on a concrete floor, which he alleges has
exacerbated his conditions and caused him excruciating pain.
plaintiff alleges the medical staff at the Jail knew or
should have known that he was being denied necessary medical
care prescribed for his conditions, and that the
“Medical Department, and Defendants named in the [the]
complaint . . . did in fact help try to cover up the actions
of the Medical Department and its Drs.” (Id.
at 10.) He has filed two amendments to his complaint,
containing additional allegations of inadequate care. (Doc.
Nos. 3, 4.)
the plaintiff is proceeding in forma pauperis and is
suing a number of governmental entities and employees, his
complaint must be screened under 28 U.S.C.
§§1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A. Those statutes require
the Court to review, and to dismiss before service, any
complaint or any portion of it that the Court determines is
frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which
relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See Hill v.
Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010).
In making this determination, the Court must construe the
plaintiff's pro se pleadings liberally in his
favor. See Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365
(1982) (per curiam); Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519, 520 (1972).
have a constitutional right under the Eighth Amendment to
have their “serious medical needs treated without
deliberate indifference.” LeMarbe v. Wisneski,
266 F.3d 429, 435 (6th Cir. 2001). To make out a
claim, a prisoner must show that he suffered from a
“sufficiently serious” medical need, and that the
prison official in question acted with “a sufficiently
culpable state of mind” in connection with such need.
Cobbs v. Pramstaller, 475 F. App'x 575, 580
(6thCir. 2012). A culpable state of mind exists if
the official was “aware of facts from which the
inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious
harm” to the prisoner existed, and the official also
drew that inference. LeMarbe, 266 F.3d at 436.
the plaintiff's complaint liberally as the Court must at
this juncture, the Court finds that the plaintiff's
action may proceed at least past the screening stage against
the individual defendants named in his complaint,
i.e., Doctors Yourself, Gatz, Ujla, Coreno,
Koblentz, and Tallman; the Director of Inmate Health Services
Marcus Harris; the Cuyahoga County Medical Director; the
Director of the Jail; and the Medical Director of the Ohio
Department of Rehabilitation. The allegations in the
plaintiff's complaint liberally construed suggest he
contends all of these defendants were associated with
decisions made about his medical care, and/or in some way
participated in delaying, or denying him medical care known
to be needed for his medical conditions. Accordingly, the
plaintiff may proceed with his civil rights action for
deliberate indifference against these individual prison
doctors and officials.
the Court finds that the plaintiff's complaint fails to
state a plausible claim, and must be dismissed as against the
“Medical Department” of the Jail and “Metro
Health Systems.” Section 1983 creates a cause of action
for constitutional violations only against
“persons” who act to deprive a plaintiff of a
constitutional right. A medical department for a state prison
is not a “person” subject to liability under
§ 1983. Hix v. Tennessee Dept. of Corrections,
196 F.Appx. 350 (6th Cir. 2006). Nor is “Metro Health
Systems” a person subject to suit under Section 1983.
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A, the
plaintiff's complaint is hereby dismissed against the
Medical Department of the Cuyahoga County Correctional Center
and Metro Health Systems. The Court certifies, pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this decision
could not be taken in good faith.
action shall proceed only as against the remaining individual
defendants named in the complaint. Although the individuals
defendants may remain in this action, the plaintiff has not
provided summonses or U.S. Marshal forms for any these
individuals. Consequently, the Clerk's Office is unable
to forward this matter to the U.S. Marshal for service.
Therefore, the plaintiff is directed to provide two summonses
and a U.S. Marshal form for each of the defendants remaining
in this case within thirty (30) days of this order. The
plaintiff is further ordered to send a “Notice of
Compliance, ” with an appropriate case caption for
filing, with the completed forms. The Clerk's Office is
directed to mail sufficient summonses and U.S. Marshal forms