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Karow v. Heyde

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

May 10, 2016

THADDEUS JASON KAROW, Plaintiff,
v.
NURSE HEYDE, NURSE ANDERSON, DR. HANNULA, WARDEN PUGH, LAUREN NELSON-BOBB, SGT. BOWE, C.O. II HAND, C.O. II RAISANEN, C.O. II SEICHTER, SGT. WALTER, C.O. II SNIDER, SGT. CLARK, C.O. II RUEBRANDY, and C.O. II KIEFFER, Defendants.

ORDER

JAMES D. PETERSON, DISTRICT JUDGE

Pro se plaintiff Thaddeus Jason Karow, an inmate at the Stanley Correctional Institution (SCI), brings claims that prison staff failed to adequately treat his severe knee pain and then unreasonably kept him shackled to his bed when he was ultimately sent to the hospital. Several motions are currently before the court.

A. Suggestion of death

On December 4, 2015, defendants submitted a suggestion of death notice under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25, stating that defendant Kathryn R. Heyde died on September 1, 2015. Plaintiff responded by filing a motion to substitute “Heyde’s successor or representative” as a party. Dkt. 42. In response, defendants state that they have located Heyde’s personal representative and that the attorney general has accepted service on the estate’s behalf. I will grant plaintiff’s motion and direct the clerk of court to amend the caption to substitute “The Estate of Kathryn R. Heyde” for Heyde.[1]

B. Amended complaint

In the court’s January 19, 2016, order, I denied plaintiff’s motion to amend the complaint because he had not submitted a proposed amended complaint and there was no way to tell whether it was appropriate to grant him leave. Dkt. 44, at 4. I gave plaintiff a short time to file a proposed amended complaint. Id. Plaintiff has now renewed his motion to file an amended complaint, Dkt. 46, and has submitted a proposed amended complaint, Dkt. 47. Defendants have filed a motion asking the court to screen the complaint. I will grant plaintiff’s motion for leave to file an amended complaint and defendants’ motion to screen the complaint.

In his new amended complaint, plaintiff states that he incorrectly identified two of the previously named defendants. Plaintiff has already been allowed to proceed on claims against defendants Nurse Anderson and C.O. Ruebrandy, but plaintiff wishes to amend his complaint to substitute Patricia Sherreiks for Anderson and C.O. Ruehrdanz for Ruebrandy. I will allow plaintiff to make these substitutions, and will direct the state to notify the court whether it chooses to accept service for these defendants.

Plaintiff also adds new defendants Warren Dohms, Sandra Cooper, Eric Speckhart, Michael Kasten (all captains), Lt. Tabor, and James Launderville (both lieutenants). Plaintiff states that these defendants supervised the correctional officers who kept plaintiff shackled to his hospital bed following knee surgery despite the discomfort and pain it caused him. Plaintiff states that the new defendants knew that the shackling was harming plaintiff yet continued to order the correctional officers to restrain him at all times. This is sufficient to state Eighth Amendment claims against each of the new defendants, and I will allow him to add these defendants to the case.

C. Motions to compel

Plaintiff has filed two motions to compel discovery. Dkt. 49 and 70.

1. Prison policies

In his first motion to compel, plaintiff asks for copies of the prison policies related to his shackling, particularly the policies related to off-site trips like plaintiff’s hospital stay. Defendants are understandably reluctant to share information with plaintiff about security procedures so that he or other inmates cannot exploit that information in an escape attempt. On the other hand, plaintiff needs to be able to litigate his case, and a key point is why defendant prison officials believe it is necessary to shackle a prisoner in his hospital bed even when doing so may be painful for the injured, presumably immobile prisoner.

In their briefing, both parties present reasonable alternatives to full disclosure. Defendants have agreed to give plaintiff at least some access to the policies that, from their titles, seem to be the most directly relevant policies at issue. Defendants state that they have produced or will produce an unredacted version of their “non-restricted” DAI Policy # 500.70.10 (Mechanical Restraints), redacted versions of DAI Policy # 306.00.13 (Transportation Medical Vigils) and SCI Policy 408.19 (Vigils at Local Hospital). The defendants also “will provide Karow access” to SCI’s “Expectations and Rules for Vigil Officers at Local Hospitals” and to redacted documents pertaining to SCI “vigil guidelines and post orders.”

For his part, plaintiff alternatively requests that defendants submit completely unredacted versions of the documents to the court so that I may review them in camera. I have previously suggested that this might be a way to handle these potentially sensitive documents, Dkt 44, at 3-4, so I will grant plaintiff’s request and direct defendants to submit to the court under seal completely unreacted versions of all the policies discussed in this order. Plaintiff should respond to defendants’ summary judgment motion as best he can given the redacted documents he receives, and should point out in his briefing what issues he is hindered in litigating due to the redactions. If I ...


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