United States District Court, D. New Jersey
KENNETH A. MANNS, Plaintiff,
T. SIMS; T. HOEY; RAVI SOOD; D. ALATARY; DR. AHMAR SHAKIR; JEFF THOMAS; DR. NEWLAND; MR. CHUDZINSKI; MS. DYNAN; MR. E. WATSON; S. DONEPUDUDI; OFFICER GRANT; VINCENT ELIAS; L. DIMATTEO; PRADIP PATEL; S. MARUSKA; TRANSPORT OFFICER 1; ALLEN SKRENTA; SHERIFF SAAD; MATHEW DENG; HARRY J. LAWAL, Defendants.
Kenneth A. Manns, Plaintiff Pro Se
B. SIMANDLE U.S. District Judge
the Court is Plaintiff Kenneth Manns'
(“Plaintiff”) submission of a civil rights
complaint pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents
of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971).
Docket Entry 1. At this time, the Court must review the
complaint to determine whether it should be dismissed as
frivolous or malicious, for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or because it seeks monetary
relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. For
the reasons set forth below, the Court concludes that the
complaint will proceed in part.
brings this civil rights action against several officials at
FCI Fort Dix, New Jersey, where he was previously
incarcerated. The following factual allegations are taken
from Plaintiff's declaration in support of his complaint,
Exhibit D, and are accepted for purposes of this screening
only. The Court has made no findings as to the truth of
states that he tore his right Achilles tendon on September
14, 2014. Exhibit D ¶ 1. A physician's assistant
gave him Motrin, a bandage, and crutches and told Plaintiff
that his leg was fine aside from a “bad ankle
sprain.” Id. Plaintiff requested bottom-bunk
and first-floor passes, but the assistant denied the request
stating that Plaintiff did not meet the requirements for
those passes. Id. The next day, Plaintiff went to
sick call to see a doctor about his injury. Id.
¶ 2. He informed the physician's assistant that he
tore his Achilles tendon and did not have an ankle injury.
Id. The physician's assistant said Plaintiff was
going to be put in for x-rays because his chart said he had
an ankle injury. Id. Plaintiff told both the
physician's assistant and the x-ray technician that he
did not have an ankle injury, but both people told Plaintiff
that his chart indicated there was an ankle injury so they
were going to perform x-rays on the ankle. Id.
Plaintiff was told he would see an orthopedic doctor the next
September 16, 2014, Plaintiff spoke with another
physician's assistant about his injury. Id. She
told him that his x-rays had not yet been read by the doctor
and that Plaintiff should come back later that afternoon.
Id. Plaintiff returned at 3:00pm as requested but
was told the doctor had left for the day. Id.
Plaintiff returned the following day and asked when he would
be able to see the doctor. RN Jeff Thomas said if “the
Dr. didn't call you yet it's because your injury must
not be that serious.” Id. Plaintiff stated he
had previously ruptured his left Achilles tendon, making him
familiar with the symptoms, and again asked to see the
doctor. Id. Thomas replied the doctor would not be
back until the next month as he only came to the prison once
a month. Id. Plaintiff spoke with Assistant Warden
Dynan and told her that he was not receiving medical
attention for his injury. Id. She told Plaintiff
“she would get on top of the situation and [he] should
check the call out list everyday for an appointment with the
brought his concerns to the attention of Administrator
Director of Health & Medical, Mr. Chudzinski, on
September 22, 2014. Id. ¶ 3. Plaintiff
requested to see a doctor immediately and to be given
bottom-bunk and first-floor passes. Id. Mr.
Chudzinski then paged Dr. Newland and spoke with him over the
phone. Id. Dr. Newland came to Mr. Chudzinski's
office and examined Plaintiff's leg. Id. He told
Plaintiff that it was a very bad ankle sprain, not an
Achilles tendon injury. Id. Plaintiff responded that
he knew what an Achilles tendon injury felt like because he
had had one before, and Dr. Newland “responded in a
sarcastic tone and manner, what if you're lying to us to
get some type of special medical treatment you could be
telling us anything.” Id. Plaintiff responded
that Dr. Newland was not qualified to diagnose his injury as
he was not an orthopedist. Id. He requested an MRI
and told Dr. Newland and Mr. Chudzinski that he wanted
bottom-bunk and first-floor passes. Id. Plaintiff
was given a walking boot and a 30-day bottom bunk pass.
Id. Dr. Newland said he would put in the computer
that Plaintiff was to be on the first floor. Id.
was finally examined by the orthopedist, Dr. Shakir, on
October 21, 2014. Id. ¶ 4. Dr. Shakir confirmed
that Plaintiff had ruptured his right Achilles tendon and
that Plaintiff needed to have surgery right away.
Id. When Plaintiff asked when the surgery would take
place, Dr. Shakir responded “it could take up to 6
months . . . you're not the only person who needs surgery
in Fort Dix.” Id. (ellipses in original).
met with Mr. Chudzinski and Dr. Newland again on October 28,
2014. Id. He inquired as to when his surgery would
take place, and Dr. Newland said it would be alright if
Plaintiff had to wait for 6 months. Id. Plaintiff
objected to waiting for that length of time, and Dr. Newland
said it would take place whenever the Utilization Review
Committee approved the procedure. Id. Plaintiff
continued to request placement on the first floor from
several officials. Id.
surgery took place on November 14, 2014. Id. ¶
5. He was instructed to follow up with the orthopedic surgeon
in two weeks. Id. Upon returning to Fort Dix,
Plaintiff was taken back to the third floor even though his
discharge instructions required him to be on the first floor
and bottom bunk and prohibited him from using the stairs for
four months. Id. Plaintiff did not receive the
Codeine or Percocet that he was prescribed after surgery.
Id. ¶ 6. He could not go to the medication
line, which was on the first floor, because he could not make
it down the stairs. Id.
January 15, 2015, Plaintiff still had not had his two-week
follow-up with Dr. Shakir to remove his cast and sutures.
Id. ¶ 7. Plaintiff asked CO Grant why he had
not been able to see Dr. Shakir, but CO Grant only told him
to come back the next morning at sick call. Id.
Plaintiff was called down to medical in the afternoon of
January 15 to have his cast and sutures removed. Id.
When Plaintiff arrived at medical, Dr. Shakir was not there.
A physician's assistant said the cast and sutures were
going to be removed and a new cast would be put on.
Id. The physician's assistant removed the cast
and sutures and told Plaintiff that it looked like his leg
was healing well. Id. He told Plaintiff to wash the
leg and return the next day. Id. He gave Plaintiff a
bandage and told Plaintiff to put his walking boot back on.
went back to medical the next day as instructed. Id.
When he arrived, the person on duty asked him why he was
there. Id. He told her that the other
physician's assistant had instructed him to return; the
on-duty assistant made a phone call describing
Plaintiff's leg to someone, and then told Plaintiff to
keep his boot on for 8 weeks and to flex his foot every day.
saw Dr. Shakir again about a month later on February 10,
2015. Id. ¶ 8. Dr. Shakir asked why Plaintiff
was wearing a walking boot, and Plaintiff responded that he
had been told by the physician's assistant to wear it.
Id. Dr. Shakir responded that Plaintiff was supposed
to be walking on his own. Id. Plaintiff said that he
could not walk on his own due to the pain, and Dr. Shakir
told Plaintiff to use the boot for another three weeks.
Id. Plaintiff requested a soft-shoe pass, and Dr.
Shakir said he did not issue those passes so Plaintiff would
have to speak to someone else. Id. Plaintiff also
asked about physical therapy, but Dr. Shakir said Plaintiff
was not entitled to physical therapy “because you are a
prisoner in a federal prison.” Id.
went to renew his bottom bunk and first floor pass on
February 20, 2015, but he was told that they could not be
renewed because there was no record of him having those
passes. Id. ¶ 9. When Plaintiff objected, Dr.
Newland said he would only renew the passes for three months.
Id. Plaintiff removed his cam boot on March 1, 2015.
Id. Since then his leg has been in extreme pain.
was expelled from the Residential Drug Abuse Program
(“RDAP”) on February 26, 2015 and was moved from
the first floor to the third floor. Id. ¶ 10.
He spoke with counselor T. Simms about his passes for the
first floor and bottom bunk, and Simms said “I
don't care what you have it's other guys in here
that's in worse shape than you so I don't care what
pass you have.” Id. Simms then said there was
nothing in the computer system about Plaintiff having a first
floor pass. Id.
saw a different doctor, Dr. Patel, on April 13, 2015.
Id. ¶ 11. He complained about being on the
third floor and requested soft shoes because of the pressure
on his Achilles tendon from the tennis shoes. Id.
Dr. Patel said that only diabetics or people with deformed
feet could have soft shoes. Id. Dr. Patel authorized
the soft shoe after Plaintiff showed Dr. Patel his swollen
foot. Id. Dr. Patel said Dr. Newland should have put
Plaintiff in soft shoes back in September 2014. Id.
Plaintiff requested a transfer to a medical center, but Dr.
Patel said Plaintiff did not meet the criteria. Id.
Plaintiff said that he had checked the eligibility criteria
and believed he qualified, but Dr. Patel said “the
bosses would be mad at me because I moved you and I won't
be put in for a promotion because the government would be
mad.” Id. Dr. Patel gave Plaintiff a physical
therapy printout for Achilles tendonitis and renewed
Plaintiff's prescription for Ibuprofen. Id.
April 16, 2015, Plaintiff spoke with Mr. Chudzinski about not
yet receiving his soft shoes. Id. ¶ 12. Mr.
Chudzinski sent Plaintiff down to medical where he received a
pair of size 10 shoes. Id. While Plaintiff was being
fitted for his shoes, he asked Mr. Chudzinski how he could be
transferred to the medical facility. Id. Mr.
Chudzinski told Plaintiff to talk to Dr. Patel. Id.
saw Dr. Shakir on May 5, 2015. Id. ¶ 13. He
told Dr. Shakir that his foot and Achilles tendon were in
constant pain and were always swollen. Id. He also
stated that the soft shoes hurt his feet. Id. Dr.
Shakir told Plaintiff that he needed hi-top boots.
Id. A week later, Plaintiff saw Nurse Maruska and
was told to pick up his pain medication that afternoon.
Id. ¶ 14. When he arrived at pill call, he was
told that his prescription had been rejected. Id.
Plaintiff saw a doctor on July 28, 2015 and informed him he
was having head and neck pain, and the doctor said he would