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SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Danny Campen, a/k/a Julio Bondi #181184 vs. SCDOC

South Carolina Department of Corrections

Danny Campen, a/k/a Julio Bondi #181184

South Carolina Department of Corrections





This matter is before the Administrative Law Judge Division (Division) pursuant to the appeal of Danny Campen, a/k/a Julio Bondi, an inmate incarcerated with the South Carolina Department of Corrections (Department) since October 18, 1993. Alleging that he was denied psychiatric treatment in violation of the Eighth Amendment, Inmate Campen filed a grievance on March 3, 2000. He received a Final Decision from the Department on May 25, 2000. On June 15, 2000, Inmate Campen filed this appeal with the Division.


In October 1999, Inmate Campen attempted to commit suicide by slashing his wrists and hanging himself in his cell at Broad River Correctional Institution (BRCI). As a result, Inmate Campen was transferred to Gilliam Psychiatric Hospital (Gilliam), where he remained until February 2000. During his stay at Gilliam, Inmate Campen was under the care of Dr. Rital, who prescribed at least three different anti-depressant medications, including Desyrel, which was apparently prescribed to help Inmate Campen sleep. Upon his return to BRCI, Inmate Campen began receiving his dose of Desyrel between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. Consequently, Inmate Campen slept through the late afternoon and into the night, awaking in the very early morning. After a couple of days, Inmate Campen began holding his dose of Desyrel until 8:00 p.m., taking it just before he went to bed. On February 29, 2000, Department physician Dr. Boulware renewed Inmate Campen's medications as follows: Buspar 10 mg BID (1); Desyrel 75 mg QHS (2); Prozac 20 mg QAM (3); Tagamet 400 mg BID (5). Shortly thereafter, medical staff discovered that Inmate Campen had been holding his Desyrel dose. Because Desyrel is a controlled substance, the medical staff began requiring Inmate Campen to take the Desyrel in front of the dispensing nurse. Inmate Campen refused, explaining that the Desyrel had been prescribed by his Gilliam psychiatrist to help him sleep. He also explained that the effect of taking Desyrel at 3:00 p.m. was to put him to sleep immediately. Inmate Campen filed an emergency grievance with the Department on March 3, 2000, requesting that his daily dose of Desyrel be dispensed in the manner prescribed, at bedtime. In response to his grievance, the Department's medical staff explained to Inmate Campen that the nursing staff at BRCI only work until 3:00 p.m. and that is why his Desyrel is dispensed at 3:00 p.m. In her Encounter notes, Department R.N. Mackey noted that Inmate Campen's medical record did not require that he receive Desyrel at "precisely 8 p.m." After several days of Inmate Campens' refusing to take the Desyrel, Dr. Boulware changed Inmate Campen's Desyrel prescription from "75 mg QHS" to "75 mg QPM (6)." The medical staff continued to dispense Inmate Campen's Desyrel between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m., and Inmate Campen continued to refuse to take it at that time.

On March 14, 2000, Inmate Campen filed his Step Two grievance, reiterating that the Desyrel originally prescribed by Dr. Rital of Gilliam was to be dispensed at 8:00 p.m. to help him sleep. In its Final Decision of May 3, 2000, the Department informed Inmate Campen that the order prescribing Desyrel at bedtime had been changed to one prescribing Desyrel in the p.m., which meant that an afternoon dispensation of Inmate Campen's Desyrel was acceptable. This appeal followed. III. ANALYSIS

The Division's jurisdiction to hear this matter is derived entirely from the decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court in Al-Shabazz v. State, 338 S.C. 354, 527 S.E.2d 742 (2000). In Al- Shabazz, the Supreme Court created a new avenue by which inmates could seek review of final decisions of the Department of Corrections in "non-collateral" matters, i.e., matters in which an inmate does not challenge the validity of a conviction or sentence, by appealing those decisions to the Division and ultimately to the circuit court pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act. 338 S.C. at 373, 376, 527 S.E.2d at 752, 754. In its appellate capacity, the Division is concerned with ensuring that the constitutional rights of the appellants are not violated.

The Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment is violated by the deliberate indifference of prison officials to the serious medical needs of prisoners. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 97 S.Ct. 285 (1976). To state a cognizable claim for medical mistreatment, a prisoner must allege "acts or omissions sufficiently harmful to evidence 'deliberate indifference'" to his serious medical needs. 97 S.Ct. at 292. Deliberate indifference may be demonstrated by either actual intent or reckless disregard. Miltier v. Beorn, 896 F.2d 848 (4th Cir. 1990). As long as there is a legitimate medical reason for a course of treatment, however, an inmate's disagreement with the treatment provided is insufficient to state a cognizable claim for medical mistreatment. See Wright v. Collins, 766 F.2d 841 (4th Cir. 1985).

In this case, the Record reflects that Inmate Campen has suffered and continues to suffer from severe depression, which is, without question, a serious medical condition. In addition, the Department's failure to dispense Inmate Campen's anti-depressant medications as originally prescribed rises to the level of deliberate indifference. The Department is certainly aware of Inmate Campen's prior suicide attempt. In addition, the Department is undoubtedly aware of the purpose for the anti-depressants prescribed by Inmate Campen's psychiatrist. Nevertheless, the Department insists on dispensing Inmate Campen's Desyrel in a manner inconsistent with his psychiatric needs. The Department has failed to provide a legitimate medical reason for altering the time it dispenses Inmate Campen's anti-depressant medications. Instead, the Department has offered an administrative reason for dispensing Inmate Campen's prescription for Desyrel at 3:00 p.m.; its nursing staff leaves at 4:00 p.m. The Record provided by the Department contains no opinions of Inmate Campen's treating psychiatrist regarding Inmate Campen's depression and course of treatment. Further, the Record provided by the Department contains no medical explanation for the change regarding Inmate Campen's prescription for Desyrel, from "75 mg QHS", to be taken at bedtime, to "75 mg QPM", to be taken in the p.m. Nor does the Record provide an explanation regarding the effect of that change, if any. Instead, it contains very brief and cryptic computer entries of Inmate Campen's encounters with medical personnel, mostly made by Department nurses to document that Inmate Campen refused to take his Desyrel at 3:00 p.m. Clearly, the Department's cavalier treatment of Inmate Campen's serious psychiatric needs rises to the level of deliberate indifference proscribed by the Eighth Amendment.

Because the Department has failed to produce any evidence that it had a legitimate medical reason for altering the dosing of Inmate Campen's Desyrel, the Department's Final Decision denying Inmate Campen's grievance is REVERSED. Moreover, the Department must find a means of dispensing Inmate Campen's medication as originally prescribed by his psychiatrist at Gilliam until such time as its dispensation is no longer medically necessary.


IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the Final Decision of the Department is REVERSED;

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Department find a means to dispense Inmate Campen's medications as originally prescribed, including but not limited to Inmate Campen's prescription for Desyrel 75 QHS, until such time as a thorough psychiatric examination, performed by a licensed psychiatrist, reveals that such dispensation is no longer medically necessary.




Administrative Law Judge Division

Post Office Box 11667

Columbia, South Carolina 29211-1667

May 23, 2001

Columbia, South Carolina

1. A prescription for "Buspar 10 mg BID" means that the patient is to take 10 milligrams of Buspar twice daily.

2. A prescription for "Desyrel 75 mg QHS" means that the patient is to take 75 milligrams of Desyrel at bedtime.

3. A prescription for " Prozac 20 mg QAM (4)

4. A prescription for "

5. A prescription for "Tagamet 400 mg BID" means that the patient is to take 400 milligrams of Tagamet twice daily.

6. A prescription for "Desyrel 75 mg QPM" means that the patient is to take 75 milligrams of Desyrel in the p.m., which could either be afternoon or evening.

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