Jail inmate wants proper psychiatric care before trial, suit says

Kelly Holleran Apr. 19, 2010, 9:58am

An inmate at the Madison County Jail has filed suit against the sheriff and the jail's doctor, alleging the doctor changed his bi-polar and schizophrenia medications, leading the inmate to hear and see imaginary beings.

Hubert D. Hill claims a psychiatrist had previously determined he needed to be on certain medications to stabilize his bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia. However, when Hill arrived at the jail, defendant Dr. Robert Blankenship changed Hill's prescriptions, according to the complaint filed April 9 in Madison County Circuit Court.

"Without proper medication, plaintiff can pose a serious risk to others," Hill wrote. "Plaintiff has already had one episode where isolation was needed because plaintiff was seeing objects and hearing voices."

Defendant Sheriff Robert Hertz and Blankenship have violated Hill's 14th Amendment rights by allowing Blankenship to practice psychiatric medicine when he does not possess a valid psychiatric license and by failing to provide Hill with proper medical treatment, the suit states.

Hill wants a properly certified psychiatrist to determine which medication he should be taking and to treat him before his trial. He also wants the court to order Hertz to allow a certified psychiatrist to see him, to order Blankenship to stop practicing psychiatry without being properly licensed and to award Hill more than $50,000.

This marks at least the second lawsuit Hill has filed while a prisoner at the jail. In an Oct. 15, 2008, lawsuit, Hill claimed his defense lawyer did not represent him well after police arrested him and charged him with illegal possession of a pharmaceutical prescription.

Hill alleged he fired Morgan Scroggins after Scroggins refused to talk with him about the evidence or statements against him. When Hill asked the public defender to assign another lawyer to his case, Madison County Public Defender John Rekowski reassigned Scroggins, according to Hill's complaint.

Still, Scroggins' conduct remained unchanged, but Rekowski did nothing about it, the suit states.

In his October complaint, Hill sought a declaratory judgment regarding Scroggins' duty to him and unspecified punitive damages. He also sought injunctive relief that would have removed Scroggins from his case and would have assigned a special public defender to him.

In his 2008 case and in his current case, Hill appeared and will be appearing pro se.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-417.

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