Teague v. Tieman et al
OPINION AND ORDER re 10 AMENDED COMPLAINT against Defendants James Tieman, Chris Hall, Lynn H, filed by Plaintiff Dexter Ramone Teague. Plaintiff GRANTED leave to proceed against Chris Hall and James Tieman in their individual capacities and as out lined in Order. All other claims are DISMISSED. Lynn H is DISMISSED. Clerk and United States Marshal's Service DIRECTED to issue and serve process on Chris Hall and James Tieman with a copy of this Order and the Amended Complaint. Chris Hall and James Tieman ORDERED to respond as outlined in Order. Signed by Judge Robert L Miller, Jr on 8/2/17. (Copy mailed to pro se party; USMS).(cer)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
SOUTH BEND DIVISION
DEXTER RAMONE TEAGUE,
JAMES TIEMAN, CHRIS HALL, and
CAUSE NO. 3:17-CV-255
OPINION AND ORDER
Dexter Ramone Teague, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed an amended
complaint naming three defendants. “A document filed pro se is to be liberally
construed, and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to
less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quotation marks and citations omitted).
Nevertheless, the court must review prisoner complaints pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
Mr. Teague alleges that he had rheumatoid/inflammatory arthritis that
was being treated with mehotrexate and prednisone before he entered the St.
Joseph County Jail. During his meeting with Dr. Chris Hall on August 15, 2015,
he explained that he was in pain and that his specialist was in the process of
adjusting his medication when he was arrested. Dr. Hall told him that he was
unqualified to adjust his medication, but agreed to contact his specialist. Mr.
Teague remained in pain without further contact from Dr. Hall. In November
2015, Mr. Teague was seen by Dr. James Tieman who also told him that he was
unqualified to adjust his medications and that his specialist would not see him
in jail. Nevertheless, Dr. Tieman ordered that his medications be adjusted. On
January 2, 2016, he made further adjustments to his medication. In April 2016,
Dr. Tieman reinstated medication he had discontinued. Mr. Teague alleges that
he remained in pain throughout his stay at the jail and that neither doctor would
provide him with needed medical treatment nor refer him to a doctor who would.
“Under the Eighth Amendment, [a prisoner] is not entitled to demand
specific care. She is not entitled to the best care possible.” Forbes v. Edgar, 112
F.3d 262, 267 (7th Cir.1997). A “disagreement with medical professionals [does
not] state a cognizable Eighth Amendment Claim under the deliberate
indifference standard of Estelle v. Gamble [429 U.S. 97 (1976)].” Ciarpaglini v.
Saini, 352 F.3d 328, 331 (7th Cir. 2003). “For a medical professional to be liable
for deliberate indifference to an inmate’s medical needs, he must make a decision
that represents such a substantial departure from accepted professional
judgment, practice, or standards, as to demonstrate that the person responsible
actually did not base the decision on such a judgment.” Jackson v. Kotter, 541
F.3d 688, 697 (7th Cir. 2008) (quotation marks and citations omitted). “Whether
and how pain associated with medical treatment should be mitigated is for
doctors to decide free from judicial interference, except in the most extreme
situations.” Snipes v. DeTella, 95 F.3d 586, 592 (7th Cir. 1996). Mr. Teague has
stated a claim against both Dr. Hall and Dr. Tieman because he has alleged that
after explaining that they weren’t qualified to adjust his medications and treat
his pain they both refused to refer him to a doctor who was qualified and Dr.
Tieman adjusted his medication anyway.
Mr. Teague also makes several allegations about Head Nurse Lynn H. that
don’t state a claim. He alleges that she wouldn’t give his medical records to his
criminal defense attorney without a signed release from Mr. Teague, payment,
and a request from the attorney. Those preconditions for the release of his
medical records didn’t deny Mr. Teague medical treatment or violate his
constitutional rights. He also alleges that he was charged for medical care. The
constitution doesn’t require free medical care, Poole v. Isaacs. 703 F.3d 1024,
1027 (7th Cir. 2012). Finally, he alleges that he argued with Head Nurse Lynn
H. about the medication prescribed by the doctors and their refusal to see him
more frequently. “[P]ublic employees are responsible for their own misdeeds but
not for anyone else’s.” Burks v. Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592, 596 (7th Cir. 2009).
Head Nurse Lynn H. isn’t alleged to have prescribed his medication nor to have
prevented him from seeing the doctors. She isn’t financially liable to him just
because he argued with her about his dissatisfaction with the doctors’ decisions.
For these reasons, the court:
(1) GRANTS Dexter Ramone Teague leave to proceed against Dr.
Chris Hall and Dr. James Tieman in their individual capacities for denying
him adequate medical treatment for his pain while he was housed in the
St. Joseph County Jail from August 2015 to June 2016 in violation of the
(2) DISMISSES all other claims;
(3) DISMISSES Lynn H.;
(4) DIRECTS the clerk and the United States Marshals Service to
issue and serve process on Dr. Chris Hall and Dr. James Tieman with a
copy of this order and the amended complaint (ECF 10) as required by 28
U.S.C. § 1915(d); and
(5) ORDERS, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(g)(2), that Dr. Chris Hall
and Dr. James Tieman respond, as provided for in the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure and N.D. Ind. L.R. 10-1(b), only to the claims for which the
plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed in this screening order.
ENTERED: August 2, 2017.
/s/ Robert L. Miller, Jr.
United States District Court
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