United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
ROBERT STEED, MAFAYETTE FIELDS, LAWRENCE NORTHERN, and JAMES PITTMAN, Plaintiffs,
A-UNIT 3 SHIFT OFFICER, C/O BURKE, C/O HOLSCLAW, C/O THILL, RN WARNER, LIEBL and JOHN OR JANE DOE OF THE RESTRICTIVE STATUS HOUSING UNIT, Defendants.
D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE
case involving plaintiff prisoners’ claims regarding
the dispensation of medication by correctional officers has
been stayed pending recruitment of counsel for plaintiffs.
There are two issues currently before the court.
first is severance of plaintiffs Lawrence Northern’s
and Robert Steed’s claims that do not belong in this
case. Plaintiffs Northern and Steed have claims that may
remain in this lawsuit, but they also have claims that may
only be brought in separate suits. Plaintiff Northern alleges
that defendant Nurse Johnson retaliated against him by
failing to dress a surgical wound, and plaintiff Steed
alleges that defendant Nurse Julie B. refused to give him his
hypertension medication for a week. I gave them each a chance
to explain whether they would like to proceed only with their
claims in this lawsuit, proceed only with their separate
claims in a new lawsuit, or proceed with both sets of claims.
plaintiffs Northern and Steed have responded by stating that
they would like to pursue both their claims in this case and
their claims belonging in separate lawsuits. Plaintiff
Northern filed a series of responses in which he suggested
that his separate claims be added to his pending
13-cv-367-jdp lawsuit, but then retracted that request after
speaking with court-recruited counsel in that case.
See Dkt. 41-43. Accordingly, I will sever
Northern’s claims against Nurse Johnson into a new
lawsuit (that case number will be 16-cv-377-jdp) and assess
him an initial partial payment of $213.18-the same amount as
his initial partial payment in this case-for his new case.
Steed says that he would like to proceed in a separate
lawsuit with his claims against defendant Nurse Julie B., and
asks whether he should submit an amended complaint and new
petition for leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Dkt. 44. It is not necessary for him to submit these
documents. I will sever his claims against Nurse Julie B.
into a new lawsuit (case no. 16-cv-378-jdp), direct the clerk
of court to docket the complaint in this action in the
’378 case, and assess him an initial partial payment of
$144.92, which is the same amount as his initial partial
payment in this case. Defendant will be served with the
complaint after Steed pays the initial partial payment, and
defendant need answer only plaintiff’s allegations
regarding his claim in the new lawsuit.
second issue before the court is the state’s motion to
stay the case, Dkt. 52, pending resolution of a similar case
currently pending in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Wisconsin, Jackson v. Wall, No.
15-cv-358-wcg. In that case, the plaintiff alleges that he
has been harmed by correctional officers’ provision of
medications at the Jackson Correctional Institution and the
Columbia Correctional Institution. The court has already
recruited counsel for plaintiff in that case.
in this case state, “The Wisconsin Department of
Corrections has agreed, ‘that any ruling for injunctive
relief regarding the dispensing of medication by correctional
officers will be implemented by the Department throughout its
male correctional facilities, subject to the outcome of any
appeal of such ruling.’” Dkt. 52, at 1-2.
not inclined to stay this case for what would likely be more
than a year because there is no guarantee that the issues
litigated in the Eastern District will resolve every claim
brought in this case. But because the issues raised in these
two cases are so similar, I conclude that it may be
appropriate to transfer this case to the Eastern District of
Wisconsin for consolidation with the Jackson case.
Before doing so, I will give the parties a chance to explain
whether they have any objections to transfer and
consolidation of this case.
will be responding to this order without the benefit of
counsel. If I transfer the case, it will then be up to the
Eastern District to decide whether to ask counsel already on
the Jackson case to represent the plaintiffs in this
case as well, or to seek other counsel for them. If I decide
not to transfer the case, I will recruit counsel to represent
plaintiffs in this district.
Plaintiff Lawrence Northern’s claims against defendant
Nurse Johnson are SEVERED into case no. 16-cv-377-jdp.
Northern is assessed $213.18 as an initial partial payment of
the filing fee for this new lawsuit. Northern may have until
June 28, 2016, to submit this initial partial payment.
Plaintiff Robert Steed’s claims against defendant Nurse
Julie B. are SEVERED into case no. 16-cv-378-jdp. Steed is
assessed $144.92 as an initial partial payment of the filing
fee for this new lawsuit. Steed may have until June 28, 2016,
to submit this initial partial payment.
parties may have until June 28, 2016, to respond to this
order regarding the issue of transferring this case to the
Eastern District of Wisconsin for purposes of ...