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COLE v. MIRAFLOR

March 26, 2002

RICHARD COLE, PLAINTIFF,
V.
DOCTOR FELICITAS MIRAFLOR, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert W. Sweet United States District Judge.

O P I N I O N

Defendant Dr. Felicitas Miraflor ("Miraflor") has moved pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 for summary judgment to dismiss the complaint of plaintiff Richard Cole ("Cole"), a prison inmate, alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

For the reasons set forth below, the defendant's motion will be granted.

Parties

Cole is a prison inmate in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services ("DOCS"), currently incarcerated at Wende Correctional Facility ("Wende").

Miraflor is a medical doctor, who during the relevant times for this case was stationed at the Otisville Correctional Facility ("Otisville"), in New York.

Facts

Cole filed this complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his constitutional and civil rights resulting from interference with his access to the courts and deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

In 1965, Cole suffered a back injury after he was beaten with ax handles by corrections officers at the Brooklyn House of Detention during a riot.

From 1965 to the present, Cole has been in the custody of the DOCS, with the exception of several intermittent periods of release. While incarcerated, Cole has sought treatment for his back from the various medical departments at the prison facilities and on occasion from outside consultants or specialists, with the recommendation of medical professionals within DOCS.

Cole was transferred to Otisville in November 1995. He was incarcerated at Otisville from November 1995 to January 15, 1997. During his stay, he visited the Otisville Medical Center on numerous occasions. He saw a nurse on five occasions, on November 14, 1995; January 5, 1996; April 14, 1996; October 31, 1996; and December 13, 1996. Cole saw Miraflor on three occasions, on November 29, 1995; January 17, 1996; and November 14, 1996. He also had an appointment with another doctor, Dr. Robert Sarreck, on May 3, 1996.

The parties do not agree as to what occurred during each visit with the defendant, Miraflor. Cole claims that on each occasion, he requested a permit to sleep in a lower bunk to ease his back pain, and Miraflor refused these requests each time.

Miraflor claims that each visit consisted of her prescribing medication to ease the pain and that Cole never asked for a lower bunk permit.

The New York Department of Corrections provides an administrative grievance system. Cole has not pursued these administrative remedies in light of his ...


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