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Lind v. Director, Florida Civil Commitment Center

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Fort Myers Division

May 16, 2017

EDWARD LIND, Plaintiff,
v.
DIRECTOR, FLORIDA COMMITMENT CENTER, sue in official capacity, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JOHN E. STEELE UNITED STA.TES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court upon the following:

Defendant Director, Florida Civil Commitment Center's (“Defendant Director's” or “Defendant's”) motion for summary judgment (Doc. 1, filed January 9, 2017);
Plaintiff Edward Lind's (“Plaintiff's”) motion for summary judgment (Doc. 33, filed January 9, 2017); Defendant Director's amended motion for summary judgment (Doc. 34, filed January 10, 2017);
Defendant Director's response in opposition to Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 36, filed February 15, 2017);
Plaintiff Edward Lind's second motion for summary judgment, construed as a response in opposition to Defendant's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 37, filed February 16, 2017); and
Defendant Director's response in opposition to Plaintiff's second motion for summary judgment (Doc. 39, filed March 21, 2017).

         For the reasons given in this Opinion and Order, Defendant Director's motions for summary judgment are granted. Plaintiff's motions for summary judgment are denied, and judgment will be entered in favor of defendant.

         I. Background and Procedural History

         Plaintiff, an involuntarily civilly committed resident of the Florida Civil Commitment Center (“FCCC”) in Arcadia, Florida, [1]initiated this action on January 4, 2016 by filing a complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Director of the Florida Civil Commitment Center (Doc. 1). Plaintiff's original complaint is the operative complaint before the Court.

         On April 29, 2016, Defendant Director filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Plaintiff's complaint was moot because he (Plaintiff) had received the only relief requested in the complaint (Doc. 11).[2] In response, Plaintiff agreed that he had received surgery for his groin hernia, but had not yet received surgery to correct his abdominal hernia (Doc. 22).

         Defendant Director filed an answer and affirmative defenses to the complaint (Doc. 25), and on September 21, 2016, the parties were directed to conduct discovery (Doc. 26). Thereafter, both parties filed motions for summary judgment on September 9, 2017 and attached documents in support of their motions (Doc. 29; Doc. 33). The following day, Defendant Director filed an amended motion for summary judgment (Doc. 34). The parties were directed to respond to the motions (Doc. 35). The parties were cautioned that: (1) failure to respond to a motion for summary judgment indicates that the motion is unopposed; (2) all material facts asserted in the motions would be considered admitted unless controverted by proper evidentiary materials; and (3) Plaintiff could not rely solely on the allegations of his pleadings to oppose the motions (Doc. 35) (citing Griffith v. Wainwright, 772 F.2d 822, 825 (11th Cir. 1985)). Despite the warnings, Plaintiff did not respond to Defendant Director's motions for summary judgment. However, the Court will liberally construe Plaintiff's second motion for summary judgment as his response to Defendant Director's motions. See Tannenbaum v. United States, 148 F.3d 1262, 1263 (11th Cir. 1998) (“Pro se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than pleadings drafter by attorneys and will, therefore, be liberally construed.”).

         II. Pleadings

         Complaint

         In his complaint, Plaintiff alleges that he suffers from one abdominal and one groin hernia (Doc. 1 at ¶ 4). The hernias cause him great pain. Id. at ¶ 5. He has sought surgery from medical professionals at the FCCC, but they refuse to provide surgery. Id. at ¶¶ 6-7. Plaintiff asserts that the defendant's deliberate indifference to his medical need violates his constitutional rights under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Id. at ¶ 8.

         Plaintiff seeks only an order from this Court compelling Defendant Director to provide hernia surgery (Doc. 1 at ¶ 9).

         Defendant Director's Motion for Summary Judgment

         In his motion for summary judgment, Defendant Director alleges that Plaintiff has received ample care for his hernias and that his § 1983 complaint is based merely upon Plaintiff's disagreement with the treatment provided (Doc. 34). Defendant asserts that the proper treatment for a hernia is a “classic” example of a matter for medical judgment and that “[n]o constitutional violation exists where an inmate and a prison medical official merely disagree as to the proper course of medical treatment.” Id. at 11.

         To support his motion for summary judgment, Defendant Director attaches Plaintiff's medical records (Doc. 34-1; Doc. 34-2); an affidavit of Jacques Lamour, M.D. (Doc. 34-3, “Lamour Aff.”); and an affidavit from Donald Sawyer (Doc. 34-4, “Sawyer Aff.”).

         In Plaintiff's construed response to Defendant's motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff urges that the responses to the grievances he filed regarding his hernia treatment were “frivolous” because they merely advised him to speak with the medical department, which presumably, was not providing the treatment Plaintiff desired (Doc. 37 at 1). Plaintiff urges, for the first time in this response, that nothing has been done about his hemorrhoid problem; that he is ...


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