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Jones v. Bureau of Prisons

August 11, 2010

BLAIR JONES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BUREAU OF PRISONS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Noel L. Hillman, U.S.D.J.

OPINION

HILLMAN, District Judge

Plaintiff Blair Jones, a prisoner who is currently confined at FCI Fort Dix,*fn1 submitted to the Clerk for filing a pro se Complaint with an application to proceed in forma pauperis pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. This Court will grant Plaintiff's application to proceed in forma pauperis, assess the $350.00 filing fee against Plaintiff, and collect the fee in installment payments pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915. In accordance with the requirements of 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A, this Court will dismiss the Complaint without prejudice to the filing of an amended complaint and deny Plaintiff's motions.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff brings this Complaint against the Bureau of Prisons ("BOP") (Docket Entry #1 at p. 2 caption); Dr. Olson, a physician at FCI McKean in Bradford, Pennsylvania (id. at pp. 4-5); Dr. Morales, a physician at FCI Fairton (id. at p. 5); Francisco J. Quintana, Warden of FCI McKean (id.); Dr. Chung, a physician at FCI Fort Dix (id. at p. 6); Sam Syjongtian, physician assistant at FCI Fort Dix (id.); Mr. Shaff, Unit Manager at FCI Fort Dix (id.); and the BOP's Administrative Remedy Coordinator for the Central Office (id. at p. 7).

In response to the questions on the form complaint, Plaintiff asserts that he exhausted the BOP's three-step administrative remedy program when he "filed [his] last letter to the Administrative Remedy Coordinator at the central office in D.C. in November of 2008. He never responded back to my last BP-11." (Docket Entry #1 at p. 7.)

Plaintiff asserts the following facts:

I was arrested on 7/08/05, the same day that I had an appointment with neuro-surgeon, Dr. Bails, who was going to look over the MRI that was just performed on me, and examine my lower back and neck and discuss what options I had. Over a year later, a Judge ORDERED that I be given a new MRI and the opportunity to speak to a neurosurgeon. Before I could consult with a neuro-surgeon, I was shipped to FCI Fairton. (They slow walked me)

Shortly after my arrival on 5/08/08, I saw Dr. Morales who refused to schedule me to see a neuro-surgeon for a consultation. Eight months later I was shipped to FCI Fort Dix. Shortly thereafter I spoke to Dr. Chung, who, after much discussion, arranged to have me see a neuro-surgeon for a consultation. By then the MRI was too old. After much discussion, I received yet another MRI in the summer of 2009. It is now early 2010 and the powers that be at medical refuse to let me see a neuro-surgeon for a consultation. (Docket Entry #1 at p. 8 Statement of Claims.)

Plaintiff asserts further that the doctor at FCI McKean (where Plaintiff was incarcerated for 16 months, from December 28, 2006, until May 8, 2008) violated his constitutional rights as follows: "[Dr. Olson] had an MRI performed on my neck, but not on my lower back. He failed to schedule me to see a neurosurgeon in a timely manner so I could get operated on so I wouldn't be in so much pain. I am still suffering because of his failure to act, and this constitutes cruel and unusual punishment." (Docket Entry #1 at p. 5.) The Warden of FCI McKean allegedly violated Plaintiff's rights in the following way: "I sent [Francisco J. Quintana] BP-9's asking him to intervene on my behalf so that I could see a neurosurgeon and he didn't help me at all. So I continue to suffer to this very day because of his inaction. The pain and suffering is a violation of my Rights against cruel and unusual punishment." (Id.)

Plaintiff asserts that the physician at FCI Fairton (where Plaintiff was incarcerated for eight months, from May 8, 2008, until January 2009) violated his rights as follows: "Dr. Morales also failed to schedule me to see a neurosurgeon in a timely manner. His failure to schedule me to see a neurosurgeon so I could be operated on and obtain relief from pain in my neck constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of my Constitutional Right(s)." (Docket Entry #1 at p. 5.)

Plaintiff alleges that Dr. Chung, the physician at FCI Fort Dix (where Plaintiff has been incarcerated since January 2009), violated his constitutional rights in the following ways: "[Dr. Chung] sent me to see a neurosurgeon, but the MRI was too old. He had another MRI performed on my neck, but not on my lower back. Now he won't let me see a neuro-surgeon, so I continue to suffer because of his inaction. This is a violation of my constitutional rights." (Docket Entry #1 at p. 6.) Plaintiff asserts that the physician assistant at FCI Fort Dix (Sam Syjongtian) violated his rights "[w]hen I saw him on 12/01/09 [and] he said that I no longer needed a first floor pass and he didn't even examine me." (Id.) The Unit Manager (Mr. Shaff) at FCI Fort Dix allegedly violated Plaintiff's rights as follows: "I spoke to him about inability to traverse staircases without it causing me extreme pain and asked his help in getting my first floor pass reinstated and all he did was admonish me for not walking up the staircase and delivering the BP-8's to him personally. This is deliberate indifference to my [] medical condition and him wanting me to walk up the staircase only exacerbates my condition." (Id. at pp. 6-7.)

Finally, Plaintiff complains that the Administrative Remedy Coordinator for the Central Office of the BOP violated his rights in November 2008 as follows: "I sent him three BO-11's and all he did was complain about my use of the wrong size paper, writing on the back of the paper, etc., totally indifferent to my medical complaint/condition(s)." (Docket Entry #1 at p. 7.)

Plaintiff seeks relief as follows:

I want proper medical treatment in the way of an MRI on my lower back and neck and the opportunity to consult with a neuro-surgeon in a timely manner and any and all the medical procedures, medications, appliances, care, etc. required to enable me to regain (full?) control/motion of my arms, fingers, legs and neck, and stop the burning sensations and numbness in said extremities. I want five million dollars ($5,000,000) in compensatory damages for pain and suffering and mental anguish. I want fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000) in punitive damages to help insure that this doesn't happen to anyone else, and any/all other costs incurred in this action. (Docket Entry #1 at p. 9 Relief.)

On January 22, 2010, the Clerk received from Plaintiff a motion for restraining order and five one-page exhibits (2005 reports from Plaintiff's chiropractor). (Docket Entry #2.) Plaintiff seeks an order directing officials at FCI Fort Dix to renew Plaintiff's "First Floor Pass" which would otherwise expire on January 21, 2010. Referring to exhibits one through five, Plaintiff asserts:

Plaintiff has a degenerative disc disease (see Exhibit #1) affecting the cervical and lumbar regions of the spinal column (see all Exhibits), limiting his range of motion (see Exhibit #2, #3, and #4), coupled with deformation of the spine (see Exhibit #5.) This condition causes Plaintiff to lose consciousness at times and fall down and causing injuries to himself (see Exhibit #5). Merely walking at times can cause severe pain and only exacerbates the condition (see Exhibit #4).

Plaintiff has difficulty ascending staircases, and even more difficulty descending staircases because of the disc disease.

Plaintiff has a "First Floor Pass" so he doesn't have to ascend/descend staircases. Said 'pass' expires on January 21, 2010. the Defendants et al. in the case sub judice refuse to issue Plaintiff a new 'pass.' Moving Plaintiff to an upper floor, causing him to ascend/descend staircases, would inflict severe pain, suffering, and mental anguish on Plaintiff, constituting cruel and unusual punishment . . .

WHEREFORE, for the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff asks for a Restraining Order against the Defendants preventing them from moving Plaintiff to an upper floor . . . (Docket Entry #2 at pp. 1-2.)

Attached to the motion are five one-page medical reports from Alan J. Cappellini, a chiropractor located in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, concerning treatment provided to Plaintiff on March 10, 2005, April 4, 2005, April 11, 2005, April 28, 2005, and July 1, 2005, prior to Plaintiff's arrest and detention on July 12, 2005. (Docket Entry #2-1, pp. 1-5.) See United States v. Jones, Crim. No. 05-0079 (IMK) order (N.D. W. Va. July 12, 2005). Each report states Plaintiff's date of birth (March 3, 1956), the symptoms reported by Plaintiff, the results of a physical exam, Dr. Cappellini's "impression" at the time of the visit, and treatment provided and recommended. The final report dated July 1, 2005, states:

The patient enters the office today reporting low back pain with radiation to the right hip. The ...


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