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Amonoo v. Sparling

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

February 16, 2016

KWESI B. AMONOO, Plaintiff,
v.
KAREN SPARLING, et al., Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

STEPHEN L. CROCKER Magistrate Judge

In this proposed civil action, plaintiff Kwesi B. Amonoo seeks leave to proceed under the in forma pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915, on his claims that the fourteen named defendants violated his constitutional rights in numerous ways. The parties consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction, and on February 8, 2016, this case was reassigned to me. (Dkt. #9.) Amonoo has made the initial partial payment required under § 1915(b)(1), so the court would normally proceed to screen plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. Unfortunately for plaintiff, it is evident from the complaint that Amonoo alleges numerous claims against different defendants for unrelated conduct in violation of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20. Accordingly, plaintiff may not bring his claims in a single lawsuit.

As explained in more detail below, Amonoo must identify which of his lawsuits he wishes to pursue as Case No. 15 cv 603 and weigh whether he wants to (1) pursue the others separately or (2) voluntarily dismiss the other claims and defendants without prejudice to bringing them at another time provided the applicable statute of limitations has not expired. Once Amonoo has made his selection, the court will then screen this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

Amonoo has also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction (dkt. #6), alleging that individuals employed at the institution where he is currently incarcerated will obstruct his access to the courts. The court will deny this motion at this time because Amonoo has not complied with the court's procedures for seeking preliminary injunctions and because the facts, as presented, do not warrant this relief.

ALLEGATIONS OF FACT[1]

I. Parties

Plaintiff Kwesi Amonoo is an inmate at the New Lisbon Correctional Institution ("NLCI"). All of the defendants are employed in various positions at NLCI. Holdsclaw, Kutina, McDonald and Eggers are correctional officers. Forsythe and Martinson are correctional officers who have seniority as lieutenants, and Flathammer is a captain. Karen Sparling is a religious coordinator at NLCI. Sutton is a food service manager. Lynn Washetas is a program director. Feiber and Waiter are nurses. Ingenthron is an Inmate Complaint Examiner ("ICE"). Finally, Bender is a property officer.

II. Nature of Complaints

The factual allegations in Amonoo's complaint fall roughly into the following five categories of complaints.[2]

A. Destruction of Prayer Oil

Amonoo alleges that on Februrary 28, 2014, Holdsclaw searched his cell and seized a bottle containing his prayer oil, the use of which is obligatory according to his religious beliefs as a practicing Muslim. He claims that Holdsclaw eventually returned the bottle, but not before pouring out his prayer oil. Amonoo alleges that Holdsclaw's actions hindered him from practicing his religion by preventing him from using oil during prayer.

Amonoo also alleges that, on a later date, defendant Kutina took his prayer oil bottle after searching his cell even though Amonoo is permitted to possess the bottle. He further alleges that after Kutina left his bottle unattended, defendant McDonald destroyed it without giving Amonoo any of the procedural rights he should have been afforded. Amonoo claims that the actions of Kutina and McDonald similarly impeded him from practicing his religion.

B. Retaliation

Amonoo claims that on one occasion, after a family member answered his phone call, he laid down the receiver to take laundry to his cell. While the phone was unattended, McDonald spoke rudely to the recipient of Amonoo's call and then hung up the phone. Amonoo alleges that McDonald acted in retaliation against ...


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