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Laramore v. Jacobsen

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

April 16, 2018

ZACH JACOBSEN, et al., Defendants.



         Before the Court is plaintiffs amended complaint. Having reviewed plaintiffs amended complaint, as well as plaintiffs ongoing action in Laramore v. Washington County Jail, 4:17-CV-1618 JAR (E.D.Mo.), the Court will partially dismiss plaintiffs amended complaint and issue process on the non-frivolous portions of plaintiff s amended complaint.

         Legal Standard on Initial Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), 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 under § 1983, 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, inter alia, draw upon judicial experience and common sense. Id. at 679.

         Pro se complaints are to be liberally construed. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976). However, they still must allege sufficient facts to support the claims alleged. Stone v. Harry, 364 F.3d 912, 914-15 (8th Cir. 2004); see also Martin v. Aubuchon, 623 F.2d 1282, 1286 (8th Cir. 1980) (even pro se complaints are required to allege facts which, if true, state a claim for relief as a matter of law). Federal courts are not required to "assume facts that are not alleged, just because an additional factual allegation would have formed a stronger complaint." Stone, 364 F.3d at 914-15. In addition, giving a pro se complaint the benefit of a liberal construction does not mean that procedural rules in ordinary civil litigation must be interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by those who proceed without counsel. See McNeil v. U.S., 508 U.S. 106, 113(1993).

         The Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff is currently an inmate at the Southeast Correctional Center ("SECC"). He brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Zach Jacobsen (Sheriff, Washington County Jail), Steven L. Rion (Chief of Custody at the Jail), Cody Brinley (Washington County Commissioner), Brandon Thomilison (Deputy Sheriff, Washington County), Parti Allen (Nurse, Washington County) and Kevin Snow (Deputy Sheriff, Washington County). He sues all defendants in their individual and official capacities.

         Plaintiff asserts that on April 25, 2017, he was placed in the Washington County Jail after he was convicted of a criminal act. Plaintiff states that at the time he was placed in the Jail, he advised Sheriff Jacobsen and Chief of Custody Rion that he suffered from chronic COPD, asthma, histoplasmosis, and a heart condition. Plaintiff claims that he told defendants that he needed medication for his illnesses, "but he was not given an answer" by the two men or medication, even after filing grievances against them. Plaintiff has not provided the Court with a time period surrounding his complaint, although this appears to be the subject of the lawsuit against defendants Christopher Barton, Shannon Thompson and Kevin Snow in Laramore v. Washington County Jail, 4:17-CV-1618 JAR (E.D.Mo.).

         Plaintiff asserts that Sheriff Jacobsen, Shannon Thompson[1] and Steven Rion "were all aware of plaintiffs medical conditions but ordered plaintiff be held in C Tank, no ventilation, two people with Staph [infection], up to 14 men in a 4 man cell, no towels, no soap, cleaning supplies every two weeks, no handicapped access to showers, numerous offenders slipped and fell in the showers, including plaintiff." Plaintiff states that he complained about these issues, as well as "black mold problems, " on various occasions to Jacobsen, Rion, Thompson, Brinley, Snow and Thomilison, but to no avail. Plaintiff claims he was told that it was a broken down state facility that needed to be replaced.

         Plaintiff states that he advised Jacobsen, Thompson, Rion and Snow that he hurt his back on an unnamed date, and they told him to "deal with it."[2] Plaintiff asserts he did not see a doctor from the time he was admitted in April of 2017, until finally in August of 2017. He states that at some point date unknown, he began complaining to defendant Thomilison about pain from broken teeth, and he was told that the Sheriffs Department did not schedule dentist or specialists' appointments for the inmates.

         Last, plaintiff states that he believes that the offenders who had untreated hepatitis C and Staph infections should have been separated from the general population by Nurse Patti. Plaintiff does not state that he was infected with either disease or that he was placed in a position to become infected. Thus, plaintiff has not alleged a violation of his constitutional right.

         Plaintiff seeks monetary damages.


         Plaintiffs allegations relating to the conditions of confinement at the Washington County Jail during the relevant time period mentioned in his amended complaint are being litigated in Laramore v. Washington County Jail, 4:17-CV-1618 JAR (E.D.Mo.). Additionally, plaintiffs claims relating to defendants failure to provide him with his medications for his chronic healthcare problems during his first several months at the Washington County Jail are also being litigated in that same lawsuit. Thus, the Court will dismiss those allegations from ...

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