Horn v. Warden
To prevail on a claim that prison officials violated an inmate's rights under the Eighth Amendment, a prisoner must prove officials were deliberately indifferent to a serious medical need. The petitioner, Vernon Horn, alleged that he is incarcerated at MacDougall Correctional Institute in Suffield, Conn. and that the defendants denied the petitioner medicine for his asthma and a bunk pass for a low bunk. Horn's complaint alleged that he was denied adequate medical care and that the defendants were deliberately indifferent, in violation of his rights under the Eighth Amendment. The court found that the defendants arranged medical exams, CT scans, blood tests and X-rays. Although doctors could order additional tests, the petitioner did not present any evidence that he required them. The petitioner admitted that he currently receives medical treatment for asthma and that his asthma has resolved. The petitioner has received temporary low bunk passes in the past. The court found that indicated that low bunk passes were issued when doctors concluded that a medical need existed. The court could not find that the defendants engaged in deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition, merely because the petitioner requested and was denied a permanent low bunk pass. "[J]ust because the petitioner thinks and desires to have that low bunk pass permanently," wrote the court, "does not warrant the court finding that the respondent has engaged in deliberate indifference." The court denied the petition for habeas corpus. Madeline Melchionne represented the state, and the petitioner represented himself.