Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Ritesman v. Great Falls Regional Prison

United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division

December 7, 2018

TIMOTHY ERIC RITESMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
GREAT FALLS REGIONAL PRISON, COUNTY OF CASCADE, et al., Defendants.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

          JOHN JOHNSTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Plaintiff Timothy Ritesman, a state prisoner proceeding without counsel, filed a “Complaint of Medical Malpractice & Tort Negligence” in the Montana Eighth Judicial District Court, Cascade County. (Doc. 4.) On October 22, 2018, Defendants filed a Notice of Removal on the grounds that Mr. Ritesman asserted a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that his Eighth Amendment rights under the United States Constitution were violated when he was given the wrong medication while an inmate at the Cascade County Regional Prison. (Doc. 1 at 2.) The state court granted Mr. Ritesman leave to proceed in forma pauperis. (Doc. 5.)

         Mr. Ritesman has failed to state a federal claim upon which relief may be granted. Accordingly, the Court recommends that the federal claims be dismissed and this matter remanded to state court.

         I. STATEMENT OF THE CASE

         A. Parties

         Mr. Ritesman is a state prisoner currently incarcerated at Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge, Montana. At all times relevant to his Complaint he was incarcerated at the Cascade County Regional Prison. He names the Great Falls Regional Prison and Cascade County as Defendants. (Complaint, Doc. 4 at 1.)

         B. Allegations

         Mr. Ritesman alleges that while incarcerated at the Cascade County Regional Prison in 2016-2017 he was given the wrong prescription heart medication which was approximately three times the strength of his medications. He claims he notified the woman who gave him the medications and a correctional officer that he thought the medications looked wrong. The woman told Mr. Ritesman that he was supposed to be getting the larger dosage. After a lengthy discussion, Mr. Ritesman went back to his cell and took the medications as directed for fear of non-compliance disciplinary actions.

         Within fifteen minutes Mr. Ritesman was called on the cell intercom and told to immediately bring back his “blister pack.” He was then told he had been given the wrong medications. He requested to have his stomach pumped and was told to not worry about it. He claims that he thereafter became dizzy and fell down. He alleges this constituted negligence and deliberate indifference to a medical need. (Complaint, Doc. 4 at 1-2.)

         II. SCREENING PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915, 1915A

         Although not requested by Defendants, Mr. Ritesman is a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis so the Court must review his 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 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. A complaint is frivolous if it “lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). “A case is malicious if it was filed with the intention or desire to harm another.” Andrews v. King, 398 F.3d 1113, 1121 (9th Cir. 2005). A complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted if a plaintiff fails to allege the “grounds” of his “entitlement to relief.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quotation omitted).

         Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a complaint “that states a claim for relief must contain . . . a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the [plaintiff] is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). That is, a complaint must “contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quotations omitted). A complaint's allegations must cross “the line from conceivable to plausible.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 680.

         There is a two-step procedure to determine whether a complaint's allegations cross that line. See Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556; Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662. First, the Court must identify “the allegations in the complaint that are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679, 680. Factual allegations are not entitled to the assumption of truth if they are “merely consistent with liability, ” or “amount to nothing more than a ‘formulaic recitation of the elements' of a constitutional” claim. Id. at 679, 681. A complaint stops short of the line between probability and the possibility of relief where the facts pled are merely consistent with a defendant's liability. Id. at 678.

         Second, the Court must determine whether the complaint states a “plausible” claim for relief. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. A claim is “plausible” if the factual allegations, which are accepted as true, “allow[ ] the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. at 678. This inquiry is “a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense.” Id. at 679 (citation omitted). If the factual allegations, which are accepted as true, “do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.