United States District Court, D. Montana, Helena Division
FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNITED STATES
Johnston, United States Magistrate Judge
Richard Hill filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 alleging claims of excessive use of force, denial of
medical care, denial of equal protection, discrimination on
the basis of race, and state law claims of medical
negligence. The Court conducted a screening of the Complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915, 1915A and determined
that the Complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted and was subject to dismissal. Mr. Hill has now
filed an amended complaint but he failed to correct the
deficiencies described in the Court's prior Order. This
matter should be dismissed.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
Hill is a state prisoner proceeding without counsel and in
forma pauperis. He is currently incarcerated at Montana State
Prison (“MSP”). In his Amended Complaint, he
names the following Defendants: Officer Rowling, Dr. Kohut
MD, P.A. Henderson, and Cathy Redfern. (Amd. Complaint, Doc.
12 at 3.)
Hill does not provide many additional facts in his Amended
Complaint. As set forth in both complaints, between December
1, 2014 and December 15, 2016, Mr. Hill was incarcerated in
the MDIU unit of MSP. He is diabetic and during a time of low
blood sugar he fell off his top bunk while trying to get some
help. He alleges he should have never been placed on an upper
bunk in light of his diabetes. He injured himself in the
fall, suffering major damage to his leg and knee. In his
original Complaint, he alleged that he was given surgery and
four physical therapy treatments four months after his
February 12, 2015, Mr. Hill was on crutches and was on his
way to school. As he was walking through an electronic door,
Officer Rowling walked away from the control panel and Mr.
Hill was shut in the door causing injury to his neck, left
shoulder, and the left part of his chest near his heart. (Amd
Complaint, Doc. 12 at 4-5.)
Hill alleges in his Amended Complaint that his initial
injuries were serious enough but the Court should take note
of “medical staff's denial of care, failure to
carry out medical recommendation for surgery and other
specialized medical care and procedures for which plaintiff
had received from medical professionals at the emergency room
as well as the denial of medications which were also
prescribed by these medical doctors. And physical
therapy.” (Amd. Complaint, Doc. 12 at 5.)
Hill is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis so the Court
must review his Amended Complaint under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915, 1915A. Sections 1915A(b) and 1915(e)(2)(B)
require the Court to dismiss a complaint filed in forma
pauperis and/or by a prisoner against a governmental
defendant before it is served if it is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief.
Excessive Use of Force
Court analyzed Mr. Hill's claims regarding the February
12, 2015 incident when he was shut in the door as a claim of
use of excessive force in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
The core judicial inquiry in an excessive force case is
“whether force was applied in a good-faith effort to
maintain or restore discipline, or maliciously and
sadistically to cause harm.” Hudson v.
McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 6-7 (1992); Whitley v.
Albers, 475 U.S. 312, 320-21 (1986). The Court
previously stated that an intentional act of shutting an
inmate in an electronic door would be sufficient to state a
claim for excessive force. But Mr. Hill still does not allege
an intentional act. In his Amended Complaint, he only alleges
that Officer Rowling negligently closed him in the block
security door. (Amd. Complaint, Doc. 12-1 at 5.)
“[I]njuries inflicted by governmental negligence are
not addressed by the United States Constitution.”
Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 333 (1986).
such, Mr. Hill has failed to state a federal claim of
excessive use of ...