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Santiago v. Stamp

March 4, 2007


The opinion of the court was delivered by: William M. Skretny United States District Judge



In this action, pro se Plaintiff Jose Santiago alleges pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 that Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights by denying him adequate medical treatment while he was an inmate in the custody of the New York State Department of Correctional Services ("DOCS"). Presently before this Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.*fn1 This Court has reviewed and considered the motion papers and finds that oral argument is unnecessary. For the following reasons, Defendants' motion is granted in its entirety.


A. Procedural History

Plaintiff's Complaint was entered on the docket on January 14, 2005. Because Plaintiff was granted in forma pauperis status, his Complaint was screened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(a). As a result of this screening process, it was determined that only Plaintiff's claim that he was denied adequate medical care was actionable.*fn2 Defendants' filed the instant Motion for Summary Judgment on May 10, 2006. After this Court granted an extension of time, Plaintiff filed his response on June 21, 2006. The facts underlying Plaintiff's claim are discussed below.

B. Facts

This case involves Plaintiff's claim that Defendants intentionally denied him access to catheter supplies, which he contends he needed in order to urinate. At all times relevant, Plaintiff was an inmate in the custody of the DOCS residing at the Southport Correctional Facility ("Southport"). (Defendants' Rule 56 Statement of Undisputed Facts ("Defendants' Statement"), ¶ 2.) Defendants Michael Stamp, Robert Brandt and John Alves, M.D., are, and were at all times relevant, employed by DOCS in various capacities. (Defendants' Statement, ¶¶ 1, 11, 17.) Defendant Stamp is a correctional officer. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 1.) Defendant Brandt is a registered nurse. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 11.) Defendant Alves is a physician and the Facility Health Services Director at Southport. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 17.)

Plaintiff states that he was examined by a "specialist" while he was previously incarcerated at the Elmira Correctional Facility in 2001 and 2002. (Santiago Decl., ¶ 4.) This "specialist" determined that Plaintiff had a "bladder problem" that caused him to need the assistance of a catheter to fully empty his bladder. (Santiago Decl., ¶ 4.) The medical staff at Elmira provided Plaintiff the necessary supplies and instructed him on how to use a catheter. (Santiago Decl., ¶ 4.) According to Plaintiff, his medical condition was not similarly accommodated when he became an inmate at Southport.

On June 20, 2003, while at Southport, Plaintiff was released from his cell for an hour of exercise. (Santiago Decl., ¶ 5.) After 15 or 20 minutes, Plaintiff felt the need to urinate and allegedly asked Defendant Stamp to allow him to return to his cell to retrieve his medical supplies for use in the bathroom. (Santiago Decl., ¶ 5.) Defendant Stamp allegedly refused to permit Plaintiff to exit the exercise yard for this purpose. (Santiago Decl., ¶ 5.) Thereafter, Defendant Stamp observed Plaintiff urinating on the corner of a building in the exercise yard (without the assistance of a catheter), and issued him a Misbehavior Report. (Defendants' Statement, ¶¶ 9, 13.)

After this incident, Defendant Stamp visually inspected Plaintiff's cell and observed what appeared to be the cut-off finger of a latex glove containing feces. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 3.) As a result of this discovery, Defendant Stamp's supervisor authorized a full cell-frisk of Plaintiff's cell. (Defendants' Statement, ¶¶ 4, 8.) At approximately 8:00 a.m., Defendant Stamp conducted the cell-frisk and recovered the following items: a Rowaca enema kit; #84 betadine (iodine) pads; 29 pairs of gloves; 6 catheter tips (1 tampered with); 4 catheters; 16 lubriderms; and expired oxybutrin medication. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 4.)

Defendant Stamp confiscated the stockpiled medical supplies because Plaintiff's possession of them violated the DOCS rules and regulations. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 5.) He then completed a Contraband Receipt and turned the items over to medical staff. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 5.) Plaintiff received a Misbehavior Report for possessing the items and was charged with various violations. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 6.) Plaintiff does not deny that he possessed these items, but he disputes the circumstances under which they were discovered. (Santiago Decl., ¶¶ 6-7, 9.)

At 11:30 a.m., Defendant Brandt, at Defendant Alves' direction, issued Plaintiff 1 catheter, 1 pair of gloves, 1 lubricant, and 2 betadine pads. (Defendants' Statement, ¶ 14.) Plaintiff disputes the timing and course of events after the cell-frisk, but essentially agrees that he was provided additional medical supplies later in the day. (Santiago Decl., ¶¶ 9, 12, 15, 16.)

Thereafter, Defendant Alves examined Plaintiff on June 25, 2003, and advised him that he ordered that he be provided 1 pair of gloves and 1 catheter per week, as well as 1 lubricant and 2 betadine pads per day. (Defendants' Statement, ΒΆ 23.) Defendants maintain that Plaintiff refused to accept such supplies on at ...

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