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Pruett v. Mueller

United States District Court, D. Oregon

December 22, 2014

JUSTIN WAYNE PRUETT, Plaintiff,
v.
TIM MUELLER (Linn Co. Sheriff); CAPTAIN BAGGETT (Linn Co. Captain); SGT. SCHRADER (Linn Co. 1st Sgt.); SGT. LANGLEY (Linn Co. 1st Sgt.); SGT. TAYLOR (Linn Co. Sgt.); DOCTOR MORGAN (Linn Co. Doctor); DON NELSON (Linn Co. Mental Health); BEN NEWMAN (Linn Co. Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner); and MARILYN STUTZMAN, R.N., Defendants.

JUSTIN WAYNE PRUETT, Springfield, OR, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

GERALD L. WARREN, Law Office of Gerald Warren, Salem, OR, Attorney for Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

ANNA J. BROWN, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion (#33) for Summary Judgment. For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion and DISMISSES this case with prejudice in its entirety.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

The material facts are undisputed and taken from the parties' submissions on summary judgment.

Plaintiff Justin Wayne Pruett was confined in the Linn County Jail as a pretrial detainee on August 20, 2013. Plaintiff remained in the Linn County Jail until October 11, 2013, when he was transferred to the Oregon State Hospital (OSH) for a mentalcompetency evaluation. Plaintiff returned to Linn County Jail on November 8, 2013, where he stayed until he was transferred to the Oregon Department of Corrections on December 5, 2013.

On August 20, 2013, Lynn Morgan, M.D., prescribed Gabapentin and Naproxen for Plaintiff's wrist and back pain and a wrist brace. Dr. Morgan saw Plaintiff again on August 27, 2013, at which time Plaintiff requested Dr. Morgan clear Plaintiff to work. Dr. Morgan refused because he was concerned work might exacerbate Plaintiff's injuries.

On August 22, 2013, Plaintiff was evaluated by Donald Nelson, Ph.D. Plaintiff and Dr. Nelson discussed depression, anxiety, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Dr. Nelson scheduled Plaintiff to meet with J. Ben Newman, a psychiatric mental-health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). Plaintiff saw PMHNP Newman on August 22, September 3, September 10, and November 12, 2013.

On August 24, 2013, Plaintiff submitted an Inmate Request Form (also known as a "kite")[1] to the mental-health unit requesting an appointment. After filling out an additional form, Plaintiff met with Dr. Nelson on August 28, 2013. At this appointment Plaintiff primarily discussed his physical impairments with Dr. Nelson and requested placement on a list of inmates eligible to work.

On August 27, 2013, Plaintiff submitted a kite to his supervisor in which he requested a second mattress to help with his back pain and to be eligible to perform work in the Jail. Jail personnel denied Plaintiff's request on August 28, 2013, because both the decision to provide a second mattress and to make Plaintiff eligible for work were medical decisions. On August 28, 2013, Plaintiff requested a grievance form from his supervisor. His supervisor responded that Plaintiff must submit a kite to the medical staff before he could be provided with a grievance form because Plaintiff's requests concerned medical determinations. Linn County Jail grievance procedures require an inmate to submit a kite to the appropriate staff member before filing a grievance.

On August 29, 2013, Plaintiff submitted a kite to the medical staff requesting an urgent appointment to address muscle spasms and pain in his back. The medical staff forwarded the request to the jail doctor.

On August 30, 2013, Plaintiff submitted a kite requesting to see Dr. Nelson, whom he had seen two days earlier. Mental-health staff responded that Dr. Nelson had requested to see Plaintiff monthly and that his next appointment was already scheduled.

Also on August 30, 2013, Plaintiff submitted a kite to the medical staff regarding, among other issues, a second mattress. Marilyn Stutzman, R.N., responded on September 2, 2013, that Plaintiff had been examined by a doctor and did not meet the criteria for a second mattress.

On September 2, 2013, Plaintiff submitted three separate kites. In his first kite Plaintiff requested an in-person meeting with his supervisor to discuss his requests for a second mattress, elbow brace, and "donut" to sit on. Plaintiff's supervisor declined to meet with Plaintiff face-to-face and instructed Plaintiff to file a grievance concerning his requests. Plaintiff then submitted a kite to the medical unit in which he requested a brace for his left elbow and an appointment with a doctor about his back pain. The medical unit responded Plaintiff would be allowed to wear an elbow brace if somebody brought one for him. Plaintiff submitted a third kite to the mental-health unit requesting to see Dr. Nelson for counseling on personal matters. On September 3, 2013, the mental-health unit responded Plaintiff was only scheduled to see Dr. Nelson once per month, but he was scheduled to see the mental-health nurse practitioner that day.

Also on September 2, 2013, Plaintiff had an appointment with R.N. Stutzman and reported having a ruptured disc in his back. He again requested a second mattress and inquired about being evaluated to be eligible to work. R.N. Stutzman denied Plaintiff's request for a second mattress.

On September 3, 2013, Plaintiff had an appointment with PMHNP Newman.

On September 4, 2013, Plaintiff submitted a kite to his supervisor requesting a form with which to file a grievance concerning his mental-health care. In addition, Plaintiff complained he was not receiving proper mental-health medication and that he wanted to be placed on Adderall or Ritalin to treat his ADHD. R.N. Stutzman responded she would speak to PMHNP Newman about Plaintiff's mental-health care. R.N. Stutzman met with Plaintiff on September 4, 2013, at which time she instructed Plaintiff to stop submitting multiple kites unless he had a new or emergent problem.

On September 5, 2013, Plaintiff filed a grievance with five requests: (1) to receive a second mattress, (2) to receive different pain medication and additional medication for posttraumatic stress disorder and ADHD, (3) to receive an elbow brace, (4) to undergo an x-ray or bone scan on his lower back, and (5) to see a dentist.

Also on September 5, 2013, Plaintiff sent a kite to the medical unit repeating the same requests that Plaintiff raised in his grievance and requesting to see PMHNP Newman. R.N. Stutzman responded by informing Plaintiff that the issued he raised had already been addressed.

On September 7, 2013, R.N. Stutzman denied Plaintiff's grievance because Plaintiff's medical and mental-health needs as determined by his medical practitioners were being met. That day Plaintiff appealed the denial of his grievance and made the following requests: (1) to stop the medical unit from "slandering" him, (2) to see a dentist, (3) to receive a second mattress; (4) to undergo a bone scan on his right wrist and an x-ray on his lower back; (5) to receive a prescription for Adderall or Ritalin for ADHD; and (6) to receive an elbow brace.

Also on September 10, 2013, Capt. Baggett responded to Plaintiff's appeal and agreed with R.N. Stutzman that Plaintiff's medical and mental-health needs were ...


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