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Scott v. Benson

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Western Division

June 9, 2015

DANIEL J. SCOTT, Plaintiff,


DONALD E. O'BRIEN, Senior District Judge.

Before the Court are the Plaintiff's Motions to Continue the above captioned cases. See 11-CV-4055-DEO, Docket No. 97; and 13-CV-4028-DEO, Docket No. 71. The Defendant(s) resists both motions. See 11-CV-4055-DEO, Docket No. 98; and 13-CV-4028-DEO, Docket No. 72. (The arguments in both cases are largely the same.) After considering the parties' arguments, the Court now enters the following.


Mr. Scott is a patient at CCUSO, the Civil Commitment Unit for Sexual Offenders located in Cherokee, Iowa. An Iowa jury found that he has a mental abnormality associated with being a sexually violent predator. In re Det. of Scott, 742 N.W.2d 605 (Table) (Iowa Ct. App. 2007). Since his commitment to CCUSO, Mr. Scott has filed several suits before this Court. A partial history is set out below.

On August 5, 2011, this Court conducted an initial review of a Complaint filed by Mr. Scott in case 11-CV-4055-DEO. The Court appointed Mr. Scott an attorney and let his claim proceed on the following claims:

(1) he is improperly required to follow certain dietary restrictions due to illness; (2) his electric wheelchair was improperly taken from him as a form of punishment; (3) his mail is being opened to confiscate contraband; (4) CCUSO has provided him insufficient handicap facilities; and (5) CCUSO has insufficient measures to prevent the spread of infectious disease, specifically, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA.

11-CV-4055-DEO, Docket No. 10. Both the Plaintiff and the Defendant filed a number of preliminary motions in that case. On September 28, 2012, this Court entered an Order granting in part and denying in part the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion to Dismiss. 11-CV-4055-DEO, Docket No. 48. The Court dismissed certain Defendant(s), but the Court denied the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and allowed the case to proceed against Defendant Mary Benson. The State appealed, and the 8th Circuit reversed this Court and stated the Court had used the wrong legal standard. Specifically, The 8th Circuit stated:

[b]oth parties argued to the district court that the deliberate indifference standard from the Eighth Amendment should govern Scott's Fourteenth Amendment claim. Relying on a non-binding case, McDonald v. Eilers, Civ. No. 88-2751, 1988 WL 131360, at *2 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 7, 1988), the district court instead analyzed Scott's claim under the professional judgment standard from Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307 (1982).

Scott v. Benson, 742 F.3d 335, 339 (8th Cir. 2014), Docket No. 76. The 8th Circuit went on to say:

where a patient's Fourteenth Amendment claim is for constitutionally deficient medical care, we apply the deliberate indifference standard from the Eighth Amendment. Senty-Haugen v. Goodno, 462 F.3d 876, 889-90 (8th Cir. 2006). Accordingly, the district court should have applied the deliberate indifference standard to Scott's claim.

Scott, 742 F.3d at 339.

Based on the 8th Circuit's ruling, the Court ordered additional briefing. On May 12, 2014, the Court again denied the State's Motion for Summary Judgment, this time applying the deliberate indifference standard. 11-CV-4055-DEO, Docket No. 87. The case is currently scheduled for trial on June 29, 2015.

While the main issue' in case 11-CV-4055 was progressing through the Court, the parties filed a number of ancillary motions. On February 3, 2012, the Defendants' attorney, Gretchen Kraemer, filed an Emergency Motion. 11-CV-4055-DEO, Docket No. 16. Ms. Kraemer stated that Mr. Scott's potassium was dangerously low because of his diabetes. Ms. Kraemer requested authority to transport and treat Mr. Scott even though he was refusing treatment. Id. The Court granted the Defendants' Emergency Motion on the same day. 11-CV-4055-DEO, Docket No. 17.

On March 14, 2013, Ms. Kraemer filed another Emergency Motion stating that Mr. Scott was refusing treatment for an infection. Ms. Kraemer requested this Court allow the Defendants to treat Mr. Scott against his will. 11-CV-4055-DEO, Docket No. 58. On March 15, 2013, the Court conducted a hearing regarding the Defendants' Emergency Motion. During that hearing, the Court advised the parties of a letter written to the Court by Mr. Scott, in which Mr. Scott argues that forced medication is a violation of his constitutional rights. The Court entered an Order 11-CV-4055-DEO, Docket No. 64, authorizing the Defendants to transport Mr. Scott to a hospital and ...

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