United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Glen E. Conrad Chief United States District Judge
Wali Muhammad, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed
this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
alleging that the defendant, a prison doctor, used excessive
force and/or sexually assaulted him during rectal
examinations and denied him adequate medical care related to
his complaints of bloody stools. After review of the record,
the court concludes that defendant's motion to dismiss
must be granted, plaintiffs motion for summary judgment must
be denied, and all other claims, added through amendment,
must be summarily dismissed.
is incarcerated at Red Onion State Prison ("Red
Onion"). The matter is now before the court on
Muhammad's second amended complaint and a motion to
dismiss by the defendant, Dr. Earl "Happy"
Smith. Muhammad responded to this motion by
filing a document titled "cross motion for summary
judgment" and numerous documents and two-page
affidavits.In this motion, Muhammad also moves for
voluntary dismissal of his excessive force/sexual assault
claims and seeks to add new defendants and claims related to
his medical treatment for bloody stools at Red Onion. The
court will allow this dismissal and amendment.
construed, Muhammad's allegations, exhibits, and
amendments offer the following sequence of events related to
his claims. Muhammad's submitted medical records from
2015 indicate that he suffers from chronic constipation and
lactose intolerance, in addition to other medical concerns.
He first complained about seeing blood in his feces in early
October 2015. On four occasions, appointments scheduled for
Muhammad to see the prison doctor in October were cancelled.
Muhammad was brought to the medical unit on November 3, 2015,
for a prostate and hemorrhoidal examination to which Muhammad
allegedly did not consent. Dr. Smith explained that the
purpose of this rectal exam was to check for blood in the
"anallingus cavity canal" (Am. Compl. 2, ECF No.
34.) Muhammad reported that he was not bleeding from the
rectum, but had been seeing a moderate amount of blood in his
fecal matter. A stool sample was taken, and he returned to
his cell. The stool sample Muhammad provided tested positive
Smith examined Muhammad again on November 10. Muhammad showed
the doctor an article about an inmate with similar symptoms
who had been diagnosed with stage three colon cancer. Based
on the article, Muhammad asked for referral to a
gastroenterologist and a colonoscopy to diagnose the cause of
his bloody stools. Dr. Smith said that he, as the primary
care physician, would decide the course of treatment for
Muhammad's medical issues.
was escorted back to the medical unit on November 19 for
another rectal examination to check for possible enlargement
of his prostate and hemorrhoid issues. Muhammad told a
medical administrator and Dr. Smith that he did not have
either of these problems and wanted to sign a refusal of
treatment form. Dr. Smith allegedly told Muhammad that if he
refused the rectal exam, he should stop writing complaints
about having blood in his stools. After performing the rectal
exam, Dr. Smith placed Muhammad in a cell in the medical unit
for observation and said that the medical staff believed
Muhammad was manipulating his feces for attention.
examination on January 12, 2016, Dr. Smith allegedly said
that he would not provide treatment for Muhammad's
continued complaints of blood in his stools. The doctor
recognized that Muhammad had filed complaints under Prison
Rape Elimination Act ("PREA") procedures,
characterizing the rectal exams on November 3 and 19, 2015,
as sexual assaults. Dr. Smith allegedly added, "You know
that didn't happen, don't you." (Id.
early 2016, a woman named Abigail Turner, whom Muhammad
identifies as his attorney, wrote on his behalf to Dr. Mark
Ammonette, an administrator for the Virginia Department of
Corrections ("VDOC"). Turner's letter expressed
concern that although Muhammad "ha[d] found blood in his
feces for several months, " Red Onion's
"medical administrator ha[d] said no further assessments
[would] take place." (ECF No. 53-1, at 62.) Dr.
Ammonette responded by letter dated February 16, 2016,
stating as follows, with respect to the complaint of blood
Thank you for your correspondence regarding Abdul Muhammad
DOC#l 005782. I have spoken to his treating Physician at Red
Onion . . . and have also reviewed limited records on the
offender as well as received an email from the Health
Authority at the facility providing some information.
Evaluation of Mr. Muhammad has shown that, while one sample
provided by the offender was positive for blood, four other
samples were sent for testing which showed no evidence of
blood in the stool. Also, blood work was done which showed no
evidence for blood loss and screening lab tests for some
causes of rectal bleeding were negative. Based on these
findings, Dr. Happy Smith, Mr. Muhammad's treating
Physician at the facility, does not feel that further work-up
is indicated at this time. He will follow Mr. Muhammad
clinically and if it appears in the future that Mr.
Muhammad's complaint does warrant further work-up Dr.
Smith will refer him for additional appropriate consultation
(ECF No. 53-1, at 63.) Dr. Ammonette also indicated, "I
cannot 'order' a physician to render specific
treatment to an offender/patient. Our Physicians are trained
and licensed practitioners who render care based on their own
evaluation and medical judgment and, while I may discuss
cases with our Physicians, I cannot tell them what to
was escorted to the medical unit on March 10, 2016, where he
learned that Dr. Smith intended to perform another rectal
examination. Muhammad refused this exam, reminded the doctor
that both previous rectal exams had showed negative results,
and asked if the doctor would refer him to a
gastroenterologist to diagnose the cause of his continued
problem with bloody stools. Dr. Smith sent Muhammad back to
his cell without performing the rectal exam.
March 29, Muhammad had an appointment with Dr. Smith, who
prescribed high fiber packets for treating constipation. (ECF
No. 53-1, at 9.) When Muhammad tried to talk, Dr. Smith
allegedly said, "I am not going to have you having your
lawyer contact my boss, Mark Ammonette on me, " and told
Muhammad that if he said one more word, the appointment was
over. (Id. 6.) Dr. Smith allegedly said, "I am
not going to do anything about your bloody stools."
(Id. 7.) Muhammad ...