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Odole v. Kenosha County Detention Center Health Department

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

May 27, 2016

ROTIMI ODOLE, Plaintiff,
v.
KENOSHA COUNTY DETENTION CENTER HEALTH DEPARTMENT, UNKNOWN DENTIST, UNKNOWN ICE DEPT OFFICIAL, and JOHN AND JANE DOES, #1-10, Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS (DKT. NO. 2) AND SCREENING PLAINTIFF’S COMPLAINT

          HON. PAMELA PEPPER United States District Judge

         The plaintiff, a pro se Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) detainee, filed a complaint alleging that the defendants violated his civil rights at the Kenosha County Detention Center. Dkt. No. 1. This order resolves the plaintiff’s motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and screens the plaintiff’s complaint.

         I. IN FORMA PAUPERIS STATUS

         A district court may authorize a plaintiff to proceed in forma pauperis (in other words, to proceed without pre-paying the filing fee) if the plaintiff submits an affidavit listing the assets he possesses, swearing that he is unable to pay the fees, and stating his belief that he is entitled to relief. 28 U.S.C. §1915(a).

         The plaintiff has filed such an affidavit. Dkt. No. 2. He states that he is in ICE custody, is unemployed, has no property or assets, and has no money in his checking account. Id. Based on the plaintiff’s affidavit, the court is satisfied that he has demonstrated that he is unable to pay the filing fee. The court will grant the plaintiff’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis.

         II. SCREENING OF THE PLAINTIFF’S AMENDED COMPLAINT

         A. Standard for Screening Complaints

         The court is required to screen complaints brought by individuals proceeding in forma pauperis. 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2). The court may dismiss a case, or part of a case, if the claims alleged are “frivolous or malicious, ” fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B).

         To state a claim under the federal notice pleading system, plaintiffs must provide a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is entitled to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The complaint need not plead specific facts, and need only provide “fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). “Labels and conclusions” or a “formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action” will not do. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).

         The factual content of the complaint must allow the court to “draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. Indeed, allegations must “raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Factual allegations, when accepted as true, must state a claim that is “plausible on its face.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         Federal courts follow the two-step analysis set forth in Twombly to determine whether a complaint states a claim. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. First, the court determines whether the plaintiff’s legal conclusions are supported by factual allegations. Id. Legal conclusions not support by facts “are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Id. Second, the court determines whether the well-pleaded factual allegations “plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Id. The court gives pro se allegations, “however inartfully pleaded, ” a liberal construction. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).

         In the context of a §1983 claim, the plaintiff must allege that: (1) he was deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) the deprivation was visited upon him by a person or persons acting under the color of state law. Buchanan-Moore v. County of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824, 827 (7th Cir. 2009)(citing Kramer v. Village of North Fond du Lac, 384 F.3d 856, 861 (7th Cir. 2004). A suit seeking monetary damages under § 1983 also must allege that the defendants were personally involved in the constitutional deprivation. Matz v. Klotka, 769 F.3d 517, 527 (2014).

         B. Facts Alleged in the Proposed Complaint

         The plaintiff is an ICE detainee. Dkt. No. 1 at ¶9. He alleges that while he was in custody at the Kenosha County Detention Center, defendant Unknown Dentist “tried to take” tooth #32 from the plaintiff’s mouth, even though there was nothing wrong with the tooth. Id. at ¶2. This procedure harmed his gum, and Unknown Dentist did not give the plaintiff “anything” and “continued to make [the plaintiff] wait.” Id. The plaintiff asserts that after four weeks of pain and suffering, he went to “the dentist, which or who extracted part of [his] ...


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