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Barnes v. Bilak
United States District Court, D. Maryland
March 29, 2017
JUAN SYLVESTER BARNES Plaintiff
KRISTA BILAK, et al. Defendants
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
are Defendants' motions to dismiss or for summary
judgment (ECF No. 42) and to reconsider the court's order
granting Plaintiff's in forma pauperis status
(ECF No. 65) and Plaintiff's motions for injunctive
relief (ECF Nos. 59 and 60). Plaintiff opposes
Defendants' motion to dismiss or for summary judgment
(ECF No. 57 and 58) and Defendants filed a reply (ECF No.
66). After review of the papers filed, the court finds a
hearing on the pending matters unnecessary. See
Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons set forth
below, Defendants' motion, construed as a motion for
summary judgment, will be granted and the Clerk will be
instructed to mark prior cases filed by Plaintiff as
“strikes” pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
court summarized Plaintiff's complaint allegations in its
October 11, 2016 Memorandum Opinion as follows:
In his complaint (ECF No. 1) as supplemented (ECF Nos. 2, 6
and 7), Plaintiff Juan Barnes alleges that he has been denied
both pain medication for a chronic pain condition in his hip
and leg and treatment for a broken finger.1 Barnes states
that on October 7, 2015, he requested an increase of his pain
medication, Tramadol (100 mg), but received no response.
Barnes then filed two additional sick call slips on October
12 and 14, 2015, but again received no response. He states
that by October 22, 2015, the pain was so unbearable he asked
his mother to call on his behalf, but her attempt to speak
with medical staff was denied. Barnes claims that he signed a
release in 2014 permitting medical staff to discuss his care
with his mother. ECF No. 1 at pp. 1 - 2.
Barnes continued to request treatment for his pain with the
assistance of correctional officers, one of whom spoke with
Krista Clark2 directly. Barnes states that, although Clark
assured Officer Self that she would look into why Barnes had
not been seen, nothing occurred. Barnes states that on
October 26, 2015, he wrote a formal inmate complaint
regarding his sick call and asked Officer Ipcuss to call
Clark about his pain. Barnes states that Clark said she would
see him that day, but he was not seen and he did not receive
a response from another sick call slip submitted on November
1, 2015. ECF No. 1 at p. 2.
Barnes states that on November 4, 2015, he broke his finger
and informed Officer D. Ellifritz about his injury. Ellifritz
called the medical department on Barnes' behalf and
reported back to Barnes that their advice was to put a warm
compress on his finger and put in a sick call slip. Barnes
states that his finger, which he injured in a fall, was
swollen and he could not move it. He claims that Ellifritz
told the medical staff with whom he spoke that it was
“illegal” not to examine Barnes, but they did not
change their response and did not view the complaint as one
requiring emergent care. Barnes states that he put in a sick
call slip for his finger and received no response. ECF No. 1
at pp. 2 - 3.
Barnes states that on November 5, 2015, Krista Bilak took
away all of his medication prescribed for pain (Tramadol) and
for psychiatric symptoms of auditory and visual
hallucinations (Risperidol). Barnes states that on November
4, 2015, he also received an adjustment ticket for passing a
magazine to another inmate, which he admits doing. When the
other inmate was found with the magazine, it was discovered
that two medications, Tegretol and Neurontin, were hidden
inside of it. Barnes states that he does not take those
medications, but his prescriptions were revoked regardless.
He claims that no effort was made to determine whether the
medication found in the magazine was something he had access
to before his prescriptions were summarily revoked and he
attributes these actions to the fact that he is African
American. Barnes claims that there is also video evidence
that proves he took his medication in the pill line that day,
making it impossible for him to give it to someone else. He
alleges that the other inmate, Jeremy Cochran, who was caught
with the magazine did not have his prescriptions revoked
because he is White. ECF No. 1 at pp. 3 - 4.
Barnes claims, in the first supplemental complaint, that
medical staff were still refusing to see him as of November
18, 2015, even though they had been in the disciplinary
segregation unit, where he was housed, seeing other inmates
all week. Barnes further states that the Adjustment Hearing
Officer found him not guilty on the charge regarding the
medication because the pills in question were never
confiscated and taken to a nurse for identification. Barnes
states that, notwithstanding that fact, Bilak took his
medication, including Risperidol and Prozac which he had been
prescribed for treatment of his mental health issues. He
states that the termination of this medication adversely
affected his mental state. Barnes further alleges that his
broken finger remained untreated as of November 18, 2015. ECF
No. 2 at p. 1.
In another supplemental filing Barnes states that he still
had not been seen by Krista Bilak as of November 24, 2015. He
states that several people have tried to tell Bilak that
Barnes did not pass his medication to anyone and claims Bilak
could simply verify that fact by watching the tier video
footage from November 4, 2015, showing that he took his
medication in the pill line. He maintains that Bilak's
sole motive for removing his health care plan and medication
is the fact that he is African American and states that
correctional officers will verify that Barnes did not engage
in any wrong-doing. ECF No. 5 at pp. 1 - 2.
Barnes claims that he is the only inmate who is denied access
to his medical record despite his numerous requests. He
states that the chronic pain, which stems from a healed
fracture in his leg, was only effectively treated with
Tramadol. Barnes states that prior to receiving Tramadol, he
was prescribed Naproxen, Baclofen, Elavil, Mobic, Roboxen,
Neurontin, Tegratol, Tylenol, Aspirin, and Motrin, but none
of it relieved his pain. He claims that when he asked for his
Tramadol dose to be increased, Bilak used the “fact I
was caught with someone else's pills” to revoke the
prescription. ECF No. 5 at p. 4. He asserts that he could
have beaten the charges against him, but he took
responsibility for passing the magazine and maintains it had
nothing to do with his medications. Id.
Barnes claims in another supplemental paper that on November
22, 2015, he saw Bilak walking on the tier with an officer
who was escorting her to cell 15. He states that he banged on
his door and yelled, “why are you doing this to
me?” Barnes claims that Bilak turned, looked at him,
laughed, and waved as she continued to walk past his cell.
ECF No. 6 at p. 2.
Barnes states in another supplemental complaint that on
December 2, 2015, he saw “a spokesperson” for
Bilak and claims Bilak was still ignoring him. He states this
“Indian man” ordered medication for him, but
prescribed a 50 mg dose of Tramadol instead of the 100 mg
dose he had requested. The prescription was written for four
weeks. ECF No. 7 at p. 1.
Barnes asserts that he should be receiving the treatment that
has proven effective for managing his pain, which was 100 mg
of Tramadol. He further alleges that his complaint regarding
his finger remained unaddressed in December of 2015. ECF No.
7 at p. 2.
Barnes alleges that Bilak and “several other Wexford
providers” are aware of the pain he suffers based on
his hospital and jail medical records, yet they have taken no
action in two years to determine the source of his pain. He
states that when he broke his femur bone a metal rod was put
into his leg and he later developed hip degeneration. The
chronic pain he experiences dates back to 2008. ECF No. 11 at
Barnes again alleges that the prescription for 100 mg of
Tramadol was unjustly stopped after the November 4, 2015
incident despite the fact that his medication was not a part
of that incident. He further claims that he is being denied
“all care” and the resulting pain is
“interfering with daily activities.” ECF No. 11
at p. 2.
On January 19, 2016, Barnes filed a complaint with prison
staff, asserting that he was seen by William Beeman but was
not prescribed pain medication. His complaint received no
substantive response because it was written on the wrong
form. ECF No. 15 at p. 2, see also ECF No. 15-1.
Barnes claims that this refusal to respond to his claim is
retaliation for having filed the instant case. Id.
at p. 1.
1 Barnes abandons the claim regarding the failure to address
the injury to his finger in his later filed papers.
2 It is unclear if “Krista Clark” is a different
member of medical staff, or if Barnes mistakenly wrote
“Clark” instead of “Bilak.”
ECF No. 34 at pp. 1 - 5.
filed a motion to dismiss (ECF No. 20) in response to
Plaintiff's complaints, which was denied without
prejudice by this court because it did not adequately address
Barnes' colorable claim of an Eighth ...
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