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Ranes v. Murphy

United States District Court, D. Kansas

February 5, 2019

CHAD EUGENE RANES, Plaintiff,
v.
BRIAN MURPHY, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          SAM A. CROW U.S. SENIOR DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on plaintiff's amended complaint (Doc. #8). Plaintiff commenced this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 while held at the Allen County Law Enforcement Center, Iola, Kansas. He has since reported a change of address to the clerk of the court.

         Background

          On March 3, 2018, the Court issued a Memorandum and Order directing plaintiff to submit an amended complaint to correct the deficiencies identified by the Court and to show cause why the matter should not be dismissed.

         The Court's order advised plaintiff that he must provide specific factual support for his claims that he was denied adequate medical including the nature of his medical need, the response of officials to his complaints, and any harm he suffered. Concerning his claim that jail guards had opened his legal mail before delivering it to him, the order advised plaintiff that he must identify a cognizable injury arising from that claim and must identify personal participation by a named defendant or defendants. Likewise, the Court advised plaintiff that he must identify personal participation by a named defendant in the alleged deprivation of mental health care.

         The amended complaint

          The amended complaint contains three claims for relief:

(1) Plaintiff states that in 2015 he complained of a hernia. He claims he did not receive medical treatment for the condition until he commenced this action, and that he then was provided surgical repair. Plaintiff alleges he now has two additional hernias but has been given only pain medication.
(2) Plaintiff complains that he receives his legal motions from the state district court clerk without envelopes.
(3) Plaintiff complains that after he expressed suicidal ideation to a corrections officer, he was placed in a suicide suit for 30 minutes and spoke with a counselor by a computer connection. Although the counselor advised the guard that plaintiff should speak to a counselor once a week, no such meetings took place.

         As relief, the amended complaint seeks repair of plaintiff's hernias, monetary damages for pain and suffering, and to have legal mail opened in his presence. (Doc. #8, p. 6.)

         Analysis

          As explained in the Court's previous order, the standard for evaluating claims of inadequate medical care under the Eighth Amendment is “deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.” Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976). This standard has both objective and subjective components. First, a plaintiff must establish the existence of a medical need that is “seriously serious.” Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994). Second, the defendant must show that the defendants knew of and disregarded “an excessive risk to [the plaintiff's] health and safety.” Id. at 837.

         The courts have addressed claims related to the treatment of hernia complaints on multiple occasions. Generally, when prison officials treat minor hernias with care such as medical evaluation, hernia belts, activity restrictions, and pain medication, courts have found that the prisoner has no claim for relief; however, where officials fail to take any reasonable action or to take any action at all, courts have found that a prisoner ...


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