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Vick v. Moore

United States District Court, D. Rhode Island

May 30, 2019

Charlie D. Vick
v.
United States Marshal Service Deputy Marshal Brent Moore, Deputy Marshal John Doe 1, and Deputy Marshal John Doe 2; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Agent John Doe 3; Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility and Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation[1]

          ORDER

          Andrea K. Johnstone United States Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff, Charlie D. Vick, an inmate at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility (“Wyatt”), has filed a complaint (Doc. No. 1) asserting that he was subjected to excessive force incident to his arrest and deliberate indifference to his medical needs while in pretrial detention. The matter is before the court for preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

         Standard

         The court conducts a preliminary review of prisoner complaints filed in forma pauperis. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A. Pro se complaints are construed liberally. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (per curiam). In considering whether the complaint states a claim, the court determines whether, stripped of legal conclusions, and with all reasonable inferences construed in plaintiff's favor, the complaint contains “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief'” upon which relief can be granted. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citation omitted). Claims may be dismissed, sua sponte, if, among other things, the court lacks jurisdiction, a defendant is immune from the relief sought, or the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A(b)(1).

         Background

         Vick alleges that on January 17, 2019, federal officers appeared at the apartment in Everett, Massachusetts, where Vick was staying, with a warrant for Vick's arrest. Those officers included United States Marshal Service (“USMS”) Deputy Marshal Brent Moore; two unnamed USMS Deputy Marshals identified here as Deputy Marshals John Doe 1 and John Doe 2; and an unnamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) agent, identified here as ATF Agent John Doe 3. Vick asserts he complied with those officers' orders to put his hands up and get down on the floor, and that he did not resist arrest. While Vick was on the floor restrained by Deputy Marshal Moore, and while ATF Agent John Doe 3 was watching nearby, Deputy Marshals John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 swore at Vick and kicked him several times in the mouth, neck, back, and ribs, resulting in bruises to Vick's back and side, scratches and cuts on his face and lips, and substantial damage to his teeth, for which he continues to require dental procedures. Vick asserts that the force used in arresting him took a toll on his mental and emotional health and has impacted his ability to connect with his children and family. He continues to suffer mental health problems, including sleep difficulties, anxiety, flashbacks, irritability, aggression, emotional numbness, and depression.

         Vick alleges that after his arrest and initial court appearance he was sent to Wyatt for pretrial detention. Upon his arrival at Wyatt, Vick told unspecified corrections officers about the injuries he sustained during his arrest. Vick complained that he was in a lot of pain, and he requested medical attention. Vick alleges that although the Wyatt officers documented his injuries, no one provided him with proper medical attention at Wyatt, even after he grieved the issue, until, he asserts, the court in Vick's criminal case ordered the facility to provide him with medical care.

         Vick filed this action naming Wyatt, the USMS, and the ATF as defendants, and identifying Moore, Deputy Marshals John Doe 1 and John Doe 2, and ATF Agent John Doe 3 as individuals who may be liable for using excessive force incident to his arrest. Vick further asserts that unspecified officers, officials, or health care providers at Wyatt were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs relating to his injuries during his pretrial detention, until the court in Vick's criminal case ordered them to provide him with proper treatment.

         Discussion

         I. Claims

         Construed liberally, the Complaint (Doc. No. 1) asserts claims under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), against Moore and the John Doe arresting officers for using excessive force during Vick's arrest, in violation of the Fourth Amendment, and claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against unspecified Wyatt health care providers or officers, and/or Wyatt's municipal operator, the Central Falls Detention Facility Corporation (“CFDFC”), [2] for deliberate indifference to Vick's injuries. Before this court can complete its preliminary review of Vick's complaint, however, it requires additional information regarding Vick's medical care claims, as explained below.

         II. Medical Care Claims

         A. Standard

         The Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause prohibits conditions of confinement, including inadequate medical care, amounting to pretrial punishment. See Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535 (1979). A Fourteenth Amendment medical care claim requires a showing of a failure or delay in attending to a “serious medical need.” Miranda-Rivera v. Toledo-Davila,813 F.3d 64, 74 (1st Cir. 2016). An inmate alleging that defendants violated his Fourteenth Amendment right to medical care must also plead facts regarding the defendants' state of mind. An inmate may state a claim if he or she pleads facts showing deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Leite v. Bergeron,911 F.3d 47, 52- 53 (1st Cir. 2018) (“A prison official is deliberately indifferent where she ‘knows of and disregards an excessive risk to inmate health or safety.'” (citations omitted)); Zingg v. Groblewski,907 F.3d 630, 635 (1st Cir. 2018) (“‘deliberate indifference'” can be manifested by “‘a denial of needed medical treatment in order to punish the inmate, '” or ...


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