United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 brought by
Kendrick Monice Jones, a pretrial detainee at the Lauderdale
County Detention Center. A Spears hearing was held
on August 21, 2019, and the parties have consented to
jurisdiction by the undersigned. Plaintiff has been granted
in forma pauperis status, and thus his claims are
subject to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915 and
1915(A). Having considered Plaintiff’s testimony at the
hearing, and having conferred with counsel for Defendants,
the Court finds and orders as follows.
the claims originally asserted by Jones were previously
dismissed by the district judge’s order of February 27,
2019. . Remaining are a claim for unlawful detention, a
claim for denial of adequate medical treatment, and
conditions claims regarding clothing and access to drinking
water. The Court finds that all claims other than the claim
for unlawful detention should be dismissed for failure to
state a claim.
first medical claim concerns treatment for a rash. On October
10, 2018, he sought treatment for a painful rash on numerous
places on his body. According to Plaintiff, the rash was the
result of some sort of unseen insect or parasite crawling on
him. When he informed Nurse Daphne Barr of his problem, she
offered to provide him with medication. Plaintiff refused the
medication, however, because he believed he needed a blood
test prior to any attempts at treatment. Jones also alleges
that he was denied a test for HIV after he was exposed to
blood from an infected inmate. However, Jones admitted at the
hearing that the test was eventually performed. He has
alleged no physical harm as a result of the delay in testing.
pretrial detainee has a due process right to receive
reasonable medical care. See Hare v. City of
Corinth, 74 F.3d 633, 650 (5th Cir. 1996).
The right is equivalent to the Eight Amendment right enjoyed
by prisoners. Id. Thus, a pretrial detainee seeking
to recover for a denial of reasonable medical care must
allege deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.
See Varnado v. Lynaugh, 920 F.2d 320, 321 (5th Cir.
1991); Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 105 (1976).
To establish deliberate indifference, a plaintiff must show
that the defendants “refused to treat him, ignored his
complaints, intentionally treated him incorrectly, or engaged
in any similar conduct that would clearly evince a wanton
disregard for any serious medical needs.” Domino v.
Texas Dep't of Criminal Justice, 239 F.3d 725, 756
(5th Cir. 2001). Plaintiff’s complaint
regarding treatment of his rash amounts no more than a
disagreement with medical personnel as to the proper
treatment. Such disagreement does not constitute deliberate
indifference. As to his allegation regarding a delay in
testing, that claim fails because he has not shown any
serious medical need that went unmet because of the delay.
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s medical claims are hereby
also complains regarding other conditions at the jail.
According to Plaintiff, he was issued only one pair of
underwear for his first week at the jail, after which he was
issued an additional pair. He also complains that clothes are
not laundered properly at the jail and often have an odor.
Jones also complains that he has gone for months without
water in his cell. However, when questioned at the hearing,
it became clear that he is housed in a cell having a sink,
toilet, and shower, and that only the water at the sink does
not work. Thus, while Plaintiff may not have always had the
convenience of water at his sink, he does have access to
fresh water from the shower.
detainees have a due process right not to be subjected to
jail conditions that constitute punishment. Bell v.
Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535 (1979); Hamilton v.
Lyons, 74 F.3d 99, 103 (5th Cir. 1996).
“Punishment” is “usually the manifestation
of an explicit policy or restriction.” Shepherd v.
Dallas Cnty., 591 F.3d 445, 453 (5th Cir.
2009). However, it can also be manifested by a de
facto policy if a pattern of conduct or condition is
sufficiently extended or pervasive such that intent to punish
may be presumed. Id. at 452. Proving the existence
of a de facto policy “is a heavy
burden.” Id. Furthermore, the punishment is
impermissible only if it bears no reasonable relationship to
a legitimate governmental interest and if it causes a
violation of a detainee's constitutional rights.
Duvall v. Dallas Cnty., 631 F.3d 203, 207
(5th Cir. 2011). A constitutional violation occurs
when the complained of condition results in “serious
deficiencies” in providing for the detainee's
“basic human needs.” Shepherd, 591 F.3d
at 454. In the present case, Plaintiff’s complaints
about clothing and laundry describe situations that may be or
may have been unpleasant. However, they have not resulted in
serious deficiencies in providing for Plaintiff’s basic
needs. His complaints regarding drinking water likewise fail,
as it was clear from his testimony that water is available
from the shower in his cell. For these reasons, these claims
matter will go forward solely on Plaintiff’s claims of
unlawful detention. At the hearing, Plaintiff identified
Sheriff Sollie as the only defendant against whom this claim
is asserted. Accordingly, all other claims and defendants are
matter is set for a bench trial on Wednesday, April 29, 2020,
at 9:00 a.m. . Any dispositive motions shall be filed by
January 31, 2020. . .
hearing, the medical defendants produced to Plaintiff a copy
of his medical file. No. further discovery shall ...