United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
KEVIN L. WILKE, Plaintiff,
TANYA SHAW, DR. TEODORA ROMANA, LIETUENANT HEATHER WITTIG, SHERIFF JEFFREY NETT, CORPORAL PAUL HANNEMAN, CORRECTIONAL HEALTHCARE COMPANIES, INC., BONNIE ALT, and SANDRA GEISTLER, Defendants.
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S FIRST MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION (DKT. NO. 78), DENYING PLAINTIFF’S
SECOND MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION (DKT. NO. 79), AND GRANTING
DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME (DKT. NO.
Pamela Pepper United States District Judge
court held a telephonic status conference on December 22,
2016. Following that hearing, the court entered a minute
order and a separate written order, both of which resolved
motions pending in this case. Dkt. Nos. 76, 77. On January
15, 2016, the plaintiff filed two motions for
reconsideration. Dkt. Nos. 78, 79.
one group of defendants filed a motion for a brief extension
of time to file their motion for summary judgment. Dkt. No.
81. Although arguably the need to rule on the motion now is
moot, because those defendants have filed their motion, the
court will grant the motion.
Plaintiff’s First Motion for Reconsideration
first motion for reconsideration, the plaintiff asks the
court to reconsider its denial of his requests for injunctive
relief. Dkt. No. 78. At the time the plaintiff made those
requests, he was in the Marquette County Jail, and was asking
the court to require that facility to provide him access to
certain legal materials. Dkt. No. 77 at 2. This court denied
those requests because, by the time the court ruled on the,
the plaintiff had been released from the Marquette
County Jail. When a prisoner seeks injunctive relief for a
condition specific to a particular institution, and then is
transferred out of that institution, his request that the
court order that institution to do something becomes
moot. Lehn v. Holmes, 364 F.3d 862, 871 (7th Cir.
2004); Higgason v. Farley, 83 F.3d 807, 811 (7th
plaintiff now argues that his requests for injunctive relief
were not moot, because when he was in the Marquette County
Jail, he was in the middle of prosecuting an appeal in the
state appellate court, and the Marquette County Jail denied
him access to that court. Dkt. No. 78 at 1. Even if that is
true, the court cannot go back in time and order the
Marquette County Jail to give the plaintiff access to the
Court of Appeals. There is nothing the court can order the
Marquette County Jail to do that would remedy the fact that
months ago, the jail did not give him access to the Court of
Appeals. There is nothing this court can do in this case
regarding the plaintiff’s inability to appeal.
appears to the court from reading the plaintiff’s
motion that what he really wants is to bring a claim against
the Marquette County Jail for interfering with his ability to
appeal his conviction. If that is what the plaintiff wants to
do, he will need to file a separate lawsuit to do it. This
case is about the medical care the plaintiff received after a
fight at the jail. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has
held in George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir.
2007) that "[u]nrelated claims against different
defendants belong in different suits."
Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b) allows any order adjudicating
fewer than all the claims to be revised at any time before
the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims and the
rights and liabilities of all the parties. Motions to
reconsider (or more formally, to revise) an order under Rule
54(b) are judged by largely the same standards as motions to
alter or amend a judgment under Rule 59(e): "to correct
manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered
evidence." Rothwell Cotton Co. v. Rosenthal &
Co., 827 F.2d 246, 251 (7th Cir.1987) (quoting Keene
Corp. v. Int'l Fid. Ins. Co., 561 F.Supp. 656,
665-66 (N.D.Ill.1982), aff'd, 736 F.2d 388 (7th Cir.1984)
(citation and footnote omitted)), amended by, 835 F.2d 710
(7th Cir.1987); compare Moro v. Shell Oil Co., 91
F.3d 872, 876 (7th Cir.1996) (providing nearly identical
standard for motion under Rule 59(e)). The court made no
manifest error of law or fact when it denied the
plaintiff’s requests for injunctive relief. Nor has the
plaintiff presented any newly discovery evidence. The court
will deny this motion.
Plaintiff’s Second Motion for Reconsideration
second motion to reconsider, the plaintiff asks the court to
change its decision directing the plaintiff to answer an
interrogatory that requests a list of all the jails and
prisons where the plaintiff has been incarcerated. Dkt. No.
79. The plaintiff argues that the court has no grounds to
order him to provide this information, and that the
defendants want it only to "bash" the
plaintiff’s reputation to the court.
are the same relevance arguments the plaintiff made in
writing and during the telephonic status conference. The
court explained in detail in the minute order that all the
court had was deciding was whether the defendants
could see the information, not whether that information could
be shown to a jury. Dkt. No. 76 at 2-3. In other words, the
court explained to the defendant that while the discovery
rules allowed the defendants to obtain this information, the
plaintiff needed to trust that the court would not allow them
to use the information just to make him look bad in front of
a jury, if the case went to trial. Id. at 3. The
court also limited the required disclosure to incarceration
in adult institutions; the plaintiff does not have to turn
over the information regarding any juvenile
facilities in which he may have been detained. Id.
The court also noted that the information could be made
subject to a protective order; that is, marked "for
attorneys’ eyes only." Id.
motion, the plaintiff argues that he can’t think of any
reason the defendants would want this information, other than
to attack his reputation. Dkt. No. 79 at 2. He argues that
any information about what facilities he’s been
in-particularly while a pretrial detainee-is not relevant.
Id. He argues that what the defendants should have
done was ask him whether he’d ever broken any bones in
his hand before in his life. Id. at 3.
court ruled that the plaintiff had to provide this
information because it may well be relevant. The defendants
cannot obtain the information they need simply by asking the
defendant whether he ever has broken bones in his hand.
First, the defendant might not remember other injuries, while
institutions where he has been would keep records. Second,
there could be other issues which might impact the
plaintiff’s claims-did he ever have bruises or sprains
to that hand? Did he ever complain, in other facilities, of
pain or weakness in that hand? Did the plaintiff ever injure
that hand, in any way, while in another facility? There are
many other reasons that information about where the plaintiff
has been incarcerated in the past five years could be
relevant to his claim in this case. The discovery rules allow
parties to obtain any evidence "that is relevant to any
party’s claim or defense." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1).
Where the defendant has been incarcerated over the past five
years is relevant, and while the court understands that the
plaintiff is worried about providing this information, and
does not want to provide this information, and is concerned
that the defendants will use the information to make the
plaintiff look bad, the court has ruled that he must provide
the information to the defendants.
court did not make a manifest error of law or fact in
ordering that the plaintiff had to answer Interrogatory No.
7, and the plaintiff has not presented any newly discovered
evidence. See Rothwell, 827 F.2d at 251. The court
will deny the plaintiff’s motion. If the plaintiff has