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Justus v. Stamps

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Northern Division

December 7, 2017

HARRY JUSTUS, JR., Plaintiff,
RUANNE STAMPS, et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiff, a prisoner, seeks leave to proceed in forma pauperis in this civil action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Plaintiff has not yet received a copy of his prison inmate account statement from the Missouri Department of Corrections Financial Office, thus the Court will assess a partial initial filing fee of $1.00 at this time.[1] After reviewing the complaint, the Court will appoint counsel and ask counsel to submit an amended complaint in this action.

         Standard of Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. To state a claim for relief, a complaint must plead more than “legal conclusions” and “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere conclusory statements.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A plaintiff must demonstrate a plausible claim for relief, which is more than a “mere possibility of misconduct.” Id. at 679. “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. at 678. Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense. Id. at 679.

         When reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court accepts the well-pled facts as true. Furthermore, the Court liberally construes the allegations.

         The Complaint

         Plaintiff, an inmate at Moberly Correctional Center (“MCC”), brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12132, alleging violations of his civil rights.[2] Names as defendants are: Dr. Ruanne Stamps (Corizon, Inc. physician); Lisa Pogue (Deputy Warden, MCC); Unknown Hunter (Nurse); Daryl Taylor (Correctional Officer); J. Crader (Correctional Officer); and Tammy Gittemeier (Case Manager). Plaintiff brings this action against defendants in their official and individual capacities.

         Plaintiff claims that in August of 2014, he was incarcerated at the Hope County Jail when he was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in St. Joseph, Missouri. Plaintiff states that at the time, he was suffering from an ulcer located in the upper left corner of his ribcage, caused by over-the-counter pain relievers. The ulcer required surgery.

         Plaintiff asserts that the first week of October 2017, he began to have severe pain in the left portion of his ribcage. Plaintiff claims that the pain was similar to the pain he had suffered in 2014 when he had the ulcer. As a result, he declared a medical emergency several times during up through and until the third week of October. Plaintiff claims that on the third time he declared the medical emergency, Nurse Hunter told him, after conferring with Dr. Ruanne Stamps, that neither she, nor Dr. Stamps, would be providing assistance to him until his scheduled doctor visit several weeks later. He was then threatened with being sent to “the hole.” Plaintiff claims he went back to medical one day later and was again threatened by Nurse Hunter that he would be sent to Administrative Segregation if he kept returning, but he was not provided with medical care.

         Plaintiff claims that on October 27, 2017, he was having problems standing and in great pain. He asserts that during 4:30 p.m. count, he could not stand outside his cell for count and he was issued a conduct violation for “malingering” by Daryl Taylor and J. Crader, despite them being able to tell that he looked ill.

         On October 31, 2017, plaintiff was “teamed” by Case Manager Tammy Gittemeier as a warning that he could no longer self-declare a medical emergency or he would be sanctioned.

         On November 1, 2017, petitioner was seated on the toilet and he began defecating and vomiting large amounts of blood. Petitioner was taken to the St. Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City, Missouri, and he claims that he had to be revived twice on the way to the hospital as a result of massive blood loss. Plaintiff asserts that emergency surgery had to be done and two ulcers were found, one in the ribcage and one in the stomach. Plaintiff claims that he was told by his surgeon that he was extremely lucky to still be alive. He asserts that the surgeon further explained that the cause of the ulcer on his ribcage was a result of the use of NSAIDS by Corizon to treat plaintiff's arthritis.

         Plaintiff seeks injunctive ...

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