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Wilson v. Warden

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

October 15, 2019

Jarrell Wilson
v.
Warden, New Hampshire State Prison for Men

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Andrea K. Johnstone United States Magistrate Judge

         Before the court is pro se plaintiff Jarrell Wilson's amended complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that prison medical staff have violated his constitutional rights. See § 1983 Compl. (Doc. No. 1), as amended by Doc. No. 5 (collectively “complaint”). The complaint is before this magistrate judge for preliminary review, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) and LR 4.3(d)(1). Also before this magistrate judge for a report and recommendation is Wilson's motion for preliminary injunctive relief (Doc. No. 4). See Sept. 17, 2019 Order.

         Background

         Wilson is a prisoner of the State of New Hampshire. At all relevant times he was housed at the New Hampshire State Prison for Men (“NHSP”).

         Wilson alleges that on an unspecified date, he was sucker- punched by another inmate and suffered a broken jaw. He spent five and a half weeks in the prison's medical wing before surgery was performed on his jaw. He alleges he was in severe pain and that prison medical staff knew of and disregarded his medical needs during that time. Wilson also alleges that the surgery was botched and that his jaw is misaligned as a result. He asserts that he remains in severe pain due to the misalignment, but prison medical staff refuse him treatment for the jaw.

         Wilson claims that prison medical staff have harmed him mentally, physically, and emotionally. He seeks compensatory damages in the amount of $180, 000 for his pain and suffering and punitive damages in the amount of $180, 000. He also seeks injunctive relief in the form of an order that he receive reconstructive surgery on his jaw.

         On September 17, 2019, Wilson filed a motion for preliminary injunctive relief against Michelle Edmark, Warden of NHSP, and Robbin Maddous, identified as the head of finance at NHSP. According to the motion, Wilson pled guilty to numerous disciplinary code violations, and in response, Edmark and Maddous began, in 2015, withdrawing 50 percent of all deposits made to his prisoner financial account. Wilson contends these withdrawals are unlawful without his consent. He seeks declaratory relief and an order requiring Edmark and Maddous to return all the money withdrawn from his account.

         Discussion

         I. Preliminary Review of § 1983 Complaint

         A. Preliminary Review Standard

         The court reviews complaints filed by pro se plaintiffs to determine, among other things, whether the plaintiff has asserted any claim upon which relief might be granted. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), LR 4.3(d)(1). In determining whether a pro se pleading states a claim, the court construes the pleading liberally. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (citation omitted). Disregarding any legal conclusions, the court considers whether the factual content in the pleading and inferences reasonably drawn therefrom, taken as true, state a claim to relief. Hernandez-Cuevas v. Taylor, 723 F.3d 91, 102-03 (1st Cir. 2013) (citations omitted).

         B. Eighth Amendment Claim

         “Government officials violate the Eighth Amendment if they display ‘deliberate indifference' to a prisoner's ‘serious medical needs.'” Miranda-Rivera v. Toledo-Dávila, 813 F.3d 64, 74 (1st Cir. 2016) (quoting Gaudreault v. Muni. of Salem, 923 F.2d 203, 208 (1st Cir. 1990)). “[T]o prove an Eighth Amendment violation, a prisoner must satisfy both of two prongs: (1) an objective prong that requires proof of a serious medical need, and (2) a subjective prong that mandates a showing of prison administrators' deliberate indifference to that need.” Kosilek v. Spencer, 774 F.3d 63, 82 (1st Cir. 2014) (citing Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976); Sires v. Berman, 834 F.2d 9, 12 (1st Cir. 1987)).

         “A ‘serious medical need' ‘is one that has been diagnosed by a physician as mandating treatment, or one that is so obvious that even a lay person would easily recognize the necessity for a doctor's attention.'” Miranda-Rivera, 813 F.3d at 74 (quoting Gaudreault, 923 F.2d at 208). “Deliberate indifference requires (1) that ‘the official . . . be aware of facts from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial risk ...


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