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Walker v. Easter

United States District Court, D. Kansas

October 8, 2019

JAMES K. WALKER, Plaintiff,
v.
JEFF EASTER and HAROLD STOPP, D.O., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          ERIC F. MELGREN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff James Walker, proceeding pro se, alleges that he received inadequate medical care while in custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections. Plaintiff is currently on his Third Amended Complaint, and Defendants Jeff Easter and Harold Stopp, D.O. are the only remaining defendants. This matter come before the Court on three motions filed by Plaintiff: (1) Doc. 68, which is captioned as “Pro-Se Plaintiff James Walker Petition a Motion to Dissolve;” (2) Doc. 69, which is captioned as “Pro-Se Plaintiff James Walker Petition a Motion to Add Defendants to the Court Docket;” and (3) Doc. 70, which is captioned as “Pro-Se Plaintiff James Walker Petition a Motion of Objection to Order of rulings of Court at Time Ruling of Court is made or sought, if party has no opportunity to object to ruling or Order at Time it was made and/or motion to Strike.” The Court denies Plaintiff's motions set forth in Docs. 68 and 69. Because Plaintiff is entitled to a jury trial, it grants in part and denies is part Plaintiff's motion set forth in Doc. 70.

         I. Procedural Background

         Plaintiff filed his initial Complaint in this case on October 5, 2017. The Court reviewed the Complaint and found that it did not comply with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governing joinder. Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on November 13, 2017, which also failed to comply with the joinder rules. The Court gave Plaintiff thirty days to file a Second Amended Complaint that corrected the deficiencies. On January 31, 2018, Plaintiff filed two Second Amended Complaints. The first Second Amended Complaint named (fnu) Harvey, (fnu) Padoc, Jeff Roberts, (fnu) Craft, (fnu) Showlander, (fnu) Taylor, Audrey Griffin, and (fnu) Abbett as Defendants. The second named Alisa (lnu), Bill (lnu), Sara (lnu), Travis (lnu), Audrey Griffin, and Harold Stopp as Defendants. The Court then ordered Plaintiff to inform it which Second Amended Complaint he wished to proceed on as the operative complaint in this case. In response, Plaintiff filed another complaint on February 26, 2018, which the Court docketed as his Third Amended Complaint.

         The Third Amended Complaint names Dr. Stopp, Dr. Audrey Griffin, Dr. Travis (lnu), Sara (lnu), Alicia (lnu), Jeff Easter, Bill (lnu), (fnu) Smith, (fnu) Taylor, (fnu) Padic, (fnu) Santos, (fnu) Tombs, (fnu) Sullentroupe, and (fnu) Perceil as Defendants. Plaintiff asserts multiple claims, including violation of his constitutional rights under the First, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments because of cruel and unusual punishment, negligence, entrapment, and defamation. Plaintiff's claims arise from an alleged lack of medical care he received for a painful skin condition while incarcerated at the Sedgwick County Adult Detention Facility.

         On March 9, 2018, the Court issued a show cause order (Doc. 23) directing Plaintiff to show cause as to why Defendants Taylor, Smith, Padic, Santos, Tombs, Sullentroupe, and Perceil should not be dismissed from the action. The Court also ordered a Martinez report to be completed.

         On June 6, 2018, the Court issued a screening order (Doc. 29) dismissing Defendants Taylor, Smith, Padic, Santos, Tombs, Sullentroupe, and Perceil. The order referred to these Defendants as “non-medical personnel” and concluded that Plaintiff failed to state a claim against these Defendants upon which relief may be granted.[1] The Court also dismissed Plaintiff's damages claims against Defendant Easter, his claims under the Equal Protection Clause, the First, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments, and the Americans with Disability Act, and his entrapment and defamation claims.

         Defendants Sara (lnu), Alicia (lnu), Dr. Bill (lnu), Dr. Travis (lnu), and Dr. Griffin (the “Medical Defendants”) subsequently filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Dr. Stopp also filed a motion to dismiss, joining in and incorporating by reference the Medical Defendants' motion. In its order filed November 7, 2018, the Court dismissed the Medical Defendants from the case. The Court, however, denied Dr. Stopp's motion.

         On June 24, 2019, Plaintiff filed the three motions pending before the Court. Plaintiff's first and second motions relate to the dismissal of the Non-medical Personnel Defendants and the Medical Defendants. The third motion is a hand-written 84-page document seeking multiple forms of relief. The two remaining Defendants in this case, Easter and Dr. Stopp, have responded to the motions. Therefore, they are ripe for the Court's consideration.

         II. Legal Standard

         “A pro se litigant's pleadings are to be liberally construed and held to a less stringent standard.”[2] A court must look beyond a failure to cite proper legal authority, confusion of legal theories, and poor syntax or sentence construction.[3] But, the Court is not an advocate for the pro se litigant.[4] “Despite the liberal construction afforded pro se pleadings, the court will not construct arguments or theories for the plaintiff in the absence of any discussion of those issues.”[5]Furthermore, pro se litigants are not relieved from following the same rules of procedure as any other litigant.[6] Thus, a pro se litigants must follow the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the District of Kansas Local Rules.[7]

         III. Analysis

         A. Motion to “Dissolve” (Doc. 68)

         Plaintiff's first motion seeks to “reverse judgment” on 14 listed pleadings and the dismissal of the Non-medical Personnel Defendants, the Medical Defendants, and non-parties to the lawsuit. Specifically, Plaintiff seeks to reverse judgment on 11 pleadings that are not orders of the Court:

(1) Doc. 26- Written Report
(2) Doc. 33- Answer of Defendant Sheriff Jeff Easter
(3) Doc. 36- Waiver of the Service of Summons by Jeff Easter
(4) Doc. 37- Waiver of the Service of Summons by Audrey Griffin
(5) Doc. 38- Waiver of the Service of Summons by Bill Wondra
(6) Doc. 39- Waiver of the Service of Summons by Sara Hallacy
(7) Doc. 40- Waiver of the Service of Summons by Alicia Mefford
(8) Doc. 41- Waiver of the Service of Summons by Travis ...

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