United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
Curtis George, Sr., a pro se prisoner housed in the
LaPorte County Jail, filed an complaint alleging that Dr.
Michael Person (the jail doctor) is deliberately indifferent
to his sickle cell anemia. “A document filed pro se
is to be liberally construed, and a pro se
complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be held to less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers
. . ..” Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007). Nevertheless, this court must review the complaint
and dismiss it if the action is frivolous or malicious, fails
to state a claim, or seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. “In order to
state a claim under [42 U.S.C.] § 1983 a plaintiff must
allege: (1) that defendants deprived him of a federal
constitutional right; and (2) that the defendants acted under
color of state law.” Savory v. Lyons, 469 F.3d
667, 670 (7th Cir. 2006).
a medical professional to be liable for deliberate
indifference to an inmate's medical needs, he must make a
decision that represents such a substantial departure from
accepted professional judgment, practice, or standards, as to
demonstrate that the person responsible actually did not base
the decision on such a judgment.” Jackson v.
Kotter, 541 F.3d 688, 697 (7th Cir. 2008) (quotation
marks and citations omitted). Here, George alleges that when
he became incarcerated, Dr. Person changed his treatment and
prescription medicine. As a result, he is suffering severe
pain and has had to go to the hospital twice. “Whether
and how pain associated with medical treatment should be
mitigated is for doctors to decide free from judicial
interference, except in the most extreme situations.”
Snipes v. DeTella, 95 F.3d 586, 592 (7th Cir. 1996).
Prisoners are “not entitled to demand specific care[,
nor are they] entitled to the best care possible.”
Forbes v. Edgar, 112 F.3d 262, 267 (7th Cir.1997).
Mere disagreement with a medical professional does not state
a claim, Ciarpaglini v. Saini, 352 F.3d 328, 331
(7th Cir. 2003), and even medical malpractice and
incompetence do not state a claim of deliberate indifference.
Walker v. Peters, 233 F.3d 494 (7th Cir. 2000).
Though it is unclear whether Dr. Person's treatment is a
substantial departure from accepted professional practice,
judgment, or standards, the complaint has plausibly alleged
that it could be. Therefore, George will be granted leave to
proceed against Dr. Michael Person.
final matter, the only relief George specified in the
complaint is that Dr. Person be removed as the attending
physician at the LaPorte County Jail. ECF 3 at 5. However,
that relief is outside the scope of what is available in this
lawsuit. Nevertheless, because George alleges that he is not
receiving adequate medical care for his sickle cell anemia,
the court will allow him leave to proceed against Dr. Person
for injunctive relief.
these reasons, the court:
GRANTS Tyrone Curtis George, Sr., leave to proceed against
Dr. Michael Person for injunctive relief to obtain medical
treatment for his sickle cell anemia, as required by the
DISMISSES all other claims;
DIRECTS the clerk and the United States Marshals Service to
issue and serve process on Dr. Person at the LaPorte County
Jail with a copy of this order and the complaint (ECF 3) as
required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d); and
ORDERS, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(g)(2), that Dr.
Michael Person respond, as provided for in the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure and N.D. Ind. L.R. 10-1(b), only to the
claim for which the plaintiff has been granted leave to
proceed in this screening order.
 “Sickle cell anemia is an
inherited form of anemia - a condition in which there
aren't enough healthy blood cells to carry adequate
oxygen throughout your body. Normally, your red blood cells
are flexible and round, moving easily through your blood
vessels. In sickle cell anemia, the rood blood cells become
rigid and sticky and are shaped like sickles or crescent
moons. These irregularly shaped cells can get stuck in small
blood vessels, which can slow or block blood flow and oxygen
to parts of the body. There's no cure for most people
with sickle cell anemia. But treatments can relieve pain and
help prevent problems ...