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Meeks v. Feldner

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

April 6, 2016

JERRY J. MEEKS, Plaintiff,
TOM FELDNER, et al., Defendants.



Plaintiff Jerry J. Meeks, who is representing himself, is currently incarcerated at Oshkosh Correctional Institution. He filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and was granted leave to proceed on his claims that defendants[1] Tom Feldner and Easton Lind failed to protect him from harm in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

On December 22, 2016, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff requested to extend the deadline by which he was to respond to the motion, which I allowed on January 5, 2016. However, rather than filing a response to the motion, plaintiff filed his own motion for summary judgment on March 3, 2016, more than two months after the dispositive motion deadline. Defendants moved to strike plaintiff’s filing on March 16, 2016; they also filed a reply brief in support of their own motion. Because plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment was untimely and fails to comply with the requirements of Civil Local Rule 56, I will deny his motion for summary judgment. However, because plaintiff is representing himself and likely unfamiliar with the court’s procedural requirements, I will deny defendants’ motion to strike and construe plaintiff’s filing as a response to defendants’ motion.


A. Parties and Claims

Plaintiff is a Wisconsin Department of Corrections (“DOC”) inmate who was housed at the Wisconsin Resource Center (“WRC”) during the times relevant to this lawsuit. (Docket #45 ¶1.) The WRC is a medium-security facility of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services that provides individualized mental health care for inmates serving criminal sentences. (Id. at ¶4.) Inmates may be transferred from a DOC institution to the WRC because their behavior poses problems to themselves or others in the correction environment where appropriate treatment may not be available. (Id.)

At the relevant time, Feldner and Lind were employed by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services as Psychiatric Care Technicians (“PCT”) at the WRC. (Id. at ¶2, 3.) PCTs report and document observations of inmates’ attitudes, behaviors and programmatic functioning in compliance with required monitoring, record keeping, and reporting. (Id. at ¶6.) They also assist in maintaining the security and cleanliness of assigned units, make recommendations for Treatment Learning Plans, and assist new inmates by orienting them to the unit rules, policies and procedures. (Id.)

I allowed plaintiff to proceed on an Eighth Amendment claim that Feldner and Lind failed to protect him from sexual advances and contact by another inmate. (Id. at ¶5.)

B. January 23, 2013 Incident

On January 23, 2013, Feldner and Lind were working on the H unit at WRC during the second shift, which runs from 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. (Id. at ¶7.) Defendants were familiar with plaintiff and another inmate, Caballero, who were housed on that unit. (Id.)

Plaintiff alleges that Caballero began to speak to him sexually, to which plaintiff responded in a loud voice, “Jose, I don’t like you in a sexual way so stop asking me can you have sex with me.” (Id. at ¶8.) Plaintiff alleges that defendants did nothing, so he continued to pace the dayroom and hallway. (Docket # 52 ¶6.) Caballero followed plaintiff and again asked him to have sex with him; plaintiff threatened to hurt Caballero if he did not leave him alone. (Id. at ¶7.) Plaintiff states that Caballero began rubbing himself and then grabbed plaintiff’s buttocks. (Id. at ¶8.) Plaintiff then walked to his cell, but Caballero forced his way in and grabbed plaintiff. (Id. at ¶9.) Plaintiff states that he pushed his way out of his cell and yelled down to defendants, who “didn’t act on his alert bec[ause] 20 min[utes] later they let [Caballero] sit next to [him] at dinner.” (Id. at 11.) Plaintiff states that they then took Caballero off the unit. (Id.)

According to Feldner, at about 6:00 p.m., plaintiff told him that “someone had grabbed his ass.” (Docket 45 ¶10.) Plaintiff then locked into his cell for the evening count. (Id.) Once the count was completed, plaintiff came out of his cell to make a previously arranged telephone call, which Feldner supervised. (Id. at ¶11.) When the call was over, plaintiff told Feldner that earlier that day, at about 4:30 p.m., Caballero had grabbed his buttocks and told plaintiff he loved him. (Id.) Feldner states that plaintiff was visibly agitated and disclosed that he had been abused as a child and that the incident was causing him great stress. (Id. at ¶13.)

Feldner reported the allegations to his supervisor. (Id. at ¶14.) Both inmates were secured so the supervisor could review video footage as part of her investigation into plaintiff’s allegations. (Id.) After reviewing the video, the supervisor instructed Feldner to remove Caballero from the housing unit and write a report documenting plaintiff’s complaint. (Id.) The supervisor wrote a conduct report against Caballero for the inappropriate behavior. (Id. at ¶15.)

Feldner states that he did not see the incident between plaintiff and Caballero and did not know anything about it until plaintiff reported it to him about two hours after it happened. (Id. at ¶16.) Feldner also states that he did not see any inappropriate conduct by Caballero toward plaintiff at any time prior to the incident. (Id.) Feldner’s involvement ended once he completed his report and provided it up the chain of command to ...

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