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Hinton v. Moore

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Western Division

March 5, 2018




         This cause is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Michael T. Parker (docket entry 78), on the plaintiff Henry Hinton, Jr.'s Motion for New Trial (docket entry 79), on the plaintiff's Motion for Default as Sanction and Contempt (docket entry 80), and on the plaintiff's Motion to Extend Time to File Objections (docket entry 82). Having carefully considered the record in this case, the Report and Recommendation, and the plaintiff's subsequent motions, the Court finds as follows:

         This cause was originally filed by the plaintiff on May 2, 2016, against defendants Nurse Janet Moore and Nurse Kim Snow. Following a Report and Recommendation by Magistrate Judge Parker on November 3, 2016, this Court entered an Order dismissing with prejudice all claims against Nurse Kim Snow based on the plaintiff's failure to state a claim under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). See docket entry 32.

         On February 9, 2018, Magistrate Judge Parker issued a Report and Recommendation recommending that all claims against Nurse Janet Moore be dismissed with prejudice. On February 12, 2018, the plaintiff filed a Motion for New Trial (docket entry 79), and a Motion for Default (docket entry 80). Because these two motions contain Hinton's Objections to the Report and Recommendation, they will collectively be treated as his Objections. His Motion to Extend Time to File Objections (docket entry 82) does not address any additional objections, and does not show why he could not have included all objections in his previous filings. Insofar as Hinton's Motion for Extension of Time seeks additional time to file a third set of objections, it is denied.

         When a party objects to a Report and Recommendation, this Court is required to “make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). See also Longmire v. Gust, 921 F.2d 620, 623 (5th Cir. 1991)(a party is “entitled to a de novo review by an Article III Judge as to those issues to which an objection is made.”). Such review means that this Court will examine the entire record and will make an independent assessment of the law. The Court is not required, however, to reiterate the findings and conclusions of the Magistrate Judge, Koetting v. Thompson, 995 F.2d 37, 40 (5th Cir. 1993), nor need it consider objections that are frivolous, conclusive or general in nature. Battle v. United States Parole Commission, 834 F.2d 419, 421 (5th Cir. 1997). No. factual objection is raised when a petitioner merely re-urges arguments contained in the original petition. Edmond v. Collins, 8 F.3d 290, 293 (5th Cir. 1993).

         Hinton's claims presently before the Court arise from events which took place while he was incarcerated at the Pike County Jail. According to the plaintiff, he entered the jail on June 30, 2014, and was transferred to a Mississippi Department of Corrections facility on November 24, 2015. Hinton asserts a claim for denial of adequate medical care against Defendant Nurse Janet Moore, and seeks compensatory damages.

         During his evidentiary hearing before Magistrate Judge Parker, Hinton testified that he does not have high blood pressure, but has “high blood pressure tendencies.” According to the plaintiff, his blood pressure is not high unless he eats a lot of salt. Hinton testified that he informed Nurse Moore that he wanted a low salt diet. According to the plaintiff, Nurse Moore responded by stating, “do not tell me what you want; tell me what your symptoms are, ” and informed the plaintiff that the jail does not provide a low salt diet. Hinton testified that he began to feel sick, but Nurse Moore did not provide him help.

         The plaintiff also stated that he wrote letters to a lieutenant at the jail and the mayor of the city. According to the plaintiff, he was taken to the Osyka Medical Clinic in November of 2014, and he informed the nurse practitioner at the clinic, Kim Snow, that he needed a low salt diet. He stated further that Nurse Snow did not provide him a low salt diet, but provided him blood pressure medications. Hinton testified that he continued to feel sick, and Nurse Moore informed him that it would take time for the blood pressure medication to work.

         Hinton testified that after he woke up on December 19, 2014, he had pain in his arm and was unable to move the arm well. According to the plaintiff, he informed Nurse Moore that he had had a stroke, but she refused to send him to the hospital and stated, “that will teach you to stay out of jail.” Hinton stated that he continued to submit sick call requests, and in February of 2015, he was placed in a “hallway” cell for better observation. The plaintiff testified that Nurse Moore only checked his blood pressure once. He also testified that he washed his food in order to reduce the amount of salt.

         Hinton also testified that he complained to Nurse Moore of constipation and requested a high fiber diet, but Nurse Moore denied his request and instead sent him to Osyka Medical Clinic, where he was given a prescription for a stool softener. He also stated that Nurse Moore refused to send him to a dentist after he lost a tooth and refused to refer him for surgery for a knot on his side.

         Nurse Moore also testified during the evidentiary hearing, and her testimony paints a very different picture. She submitted a medical record demonstrating that she recommended a “no added salt” diet for the plaintiff, but he refused to sign the form. See Defendant's Exhibit 1. Nurse Moore also testified that the food served at the jail is not high sodium food. According to Nurse Moore, she checked the plaintiff's blood pressure multiple times during his incarceration at the Pike County Jail. She also submitted a medical record indicating that the plaintiff's blood pressure was checked twenty-seven separate times at the jail. See Defendant's Exhibit 6(e).

         Nurse Moore testified that although Hinton's blood pressure was sometimes high, it never reached dangerous levels. According to Nurse Moore, she referred Hinton to the Osyka Medical Clinic in November of 2014 because he decided that he wanted medications. See Defendant's Exhibit 9(c). She also stated that once medications were prescribed, she provided them to the plaintiff.

         Nurse Moore testified further that on December 19, 2014, the plaintiff approached her and said he had had a stroke. According to Nurse Moore, she assessed the plaintiff and, after seeing no symptoms of a stroke, decided not to send him to the hospital. Nurse Moore stated that Plaintiff was using his arm, had no facial drooping, had no speech difficulty, and had no difficulty with walking. See Defendant's Exhibit 6(c). She also observed Hinton on the jail's cameras and saw that he appeared to have full use of his arms.

         In response to this testimony, the plaintiff pointed out that jail policy requires the following: “In the event of a medical emergency, or a perceived medical emergency, jail staff on duty will arrange for medical services without undue delay.” See Plaintiff's Exhibit A3. Nurse Moore replied that she did not perceive a medical emergency. She also stated that nearly all the inmates claim ...

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