Phillips v. McCain et al
MEMORANDUM ORDER: Directing plaintiff to amend complaint. Pro Se Response due by 3/12/2018. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joseph H L Perez-Montes on 2/8/2018. (crt,Haik, K)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
JONICA HAAMID PHILLIPS
CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:17-CV-1436-P
JUDGE JAMES T. TRIMBLE JR.
SANDY MCCAIN, ET AL.,
MAGISTRATE JUDGE PEREZ-MONTES
Before the Court is the civil rights complaint (42 U.S.C. § 1983) of pro se
Plaintiff Jonica Haamid Phillips (“Phillips”) (#429550). Phillips has been granted
leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 7). Phillips is an inmate in the custody of
the Louisiana Department of Corrections, incarcerated at Raymond Laborde
Correctional Center (“RLCC”) in Cottonport, Louisiana. Phillips complains that his
constitutional rights were violated by Defendants Sandy McCain, Colonel Richard
Tiser, Sergreant Robert Vanatta, Lieutenant Lemoine, Sergeant Lemoine, RLCC, Dr.
Casey McVea, and Sandra Sibley.
While Phillips was awaiting surgery to repair a hernia, Dr. Smith issued a
medical “no duty” status, restricting Phillips’s activities and assigning him to a
bottom bunk. (Doc. 1, p. 3). The following month, while still awaiting surgery,
Phillips was assigned to a top bunk by Lt. Lemoine, Sgt. Lemoine, and Col. Tiser.
(Doc. 1, p. 3). The bunks lacked ladders and railings, so Phillips was required to climb
up and down using the cell bars and toilet. (Doc. 1, p. 3). Phillips fell while climbing
down, and suffered an injury in addition to daily pain from having to climb on and off
the top bunk. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Although Phillips reported the injury to Sgt. Vannatta,
the sergeant failed to report the incident, and simply advised Phillips that no doctor
was at RLCC that day. (Doc. 1, p. 4).
Later that month, Phillips received hernia surgery, and Dr. McVea issued a
permanent limited duty status. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Once again, Col. Tiser assigned Phillips
to a top bunk. (Doc. 1, p. 4). Phillips was required to climb to and from the top bunk
despite being post-operative and having a restriction from the RLCC physicians.
(Doc. 1, p. 4).
Phillips complains that Warden McCain is responsible, as supervisor, for his
subordinates’ refusal to comply with the medical restrictions. (Doc. 1, p. 4).
Phillips complains that Dr. McVea and Nursing Director Sandra Sibley are
liable “for both duty statuses that has been altered and/or missing.” (Doc. 1, p. 5). It
is unclear whether Phillips is complaining that Lt. Lemoine, Sgt. Lemoine, and Col.
Tiser deliberately ignored the medical restrictions, or whether Phillips is complaining
that Dr. McVea and Ms. Sibley altered or misplaced the restrictions.
Instructions to Amend
Pursuant to Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a pleading
must contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief.” The Rule 8 pleading standard does not require “detailed factual
allegations,” but demands more than an “unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-
harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citations
omitted). A pleading that offers “labels and conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007).
Phillips should supplement his complaint with a description of what each
named defendant did to violate Phillips’s constitutional rights. Phillips shall list each
defendant’s name, and detail each defendant’s actions; the date on which each
defendant’s actions took place; and the injury suffered as a result of each defendant’s
Phillips shall clarify whether he claims Defendants Tiser, Lemoine, and
Lemoine deliberately ignored the medical restrictions, or whether he claims Dr.
McVea and/or Ms. Sibley failed to relay the restrictions or altered the restrictions, as
Phillips indicates on the fifth page of his complaint. (Doc. 1, p. 5).
Finally, Phillips indicates that he filed administrative grievances related to his
complaint. (Doc. 1, p. 2). Phillips should attach to his amended complaint copies of
his grievances and the responses received at each level.
IT IS ORDERED that Phillips amend his complaint within thirty (30) days of
the filing of this Order to provide the information outlined above, or dismissal will be
recommended under Rule 41(b) or 16(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
THUS DONE AND SIGNED in chambers in Alexandria, Louisiana, this ____
day of February, 2018.
Joseph H.L. Perez-Montes
United States Magistrate Judge
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