United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ROBERT L. TATUM, Plaintiff,
EDWARD WALL, et al., Defendants.
DECISION AND ORDER
RUDOLPH T. RANDA U.S. District Judge.
plaintiff has filed a motion for reconsideration of the
Court's May 5, 2016, Order screening his complaint. (ECF
No. 16.) He contends that the Court erred because, (1) the
Court lacks jurisdiction over this action since the plaintiff
consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C.
§ 636; (2) the Court erroneously determined that the
plaintiff's complaint allegations were implausible; (3)
the Court directed the plaintiff to file an amended complaint
and stated that if he failed to file an amended complaint the
case might be dismissed for failure to prosecute; and (4) the
Court denied class certification based on the plaintiff's
pro se status.
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)).
5, 2016, the Court issued an order screening the
plaintiff's class action complaint. (ECF No. 14.) The
Court declined to certify a class because the plaintiff is
proceeding pro se. (ECF No. 14 at 7.) Next, the
Court determined that the plaintiff could not proceed on his
claim against the 41 defendants alleging the Wisconsin
Department of Corrections' custom of a "Blue Code of
Silence" was the moving force behind his allegations
because the plaintiff's conspiracy claim was implausible.
(Id. at 8.) Lastly, the Court found that the
plaintiff's complaint against the 41 defendants violated
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 18 and 20 insofar as it
advanced unrelated claims against unrelated defendants.
(Id. at 10.) The Court directed the plaintiff to
file an amended complaint incorporating only properly related
claims if he wanted to proceed and advised the plaintiff that
failure to file an amended complaint might result in
dismissal of the case for failure to prosecute.
Magistrate Judge Jurisdiction
the plaintiff takes issue with the fact that this case was
not transferred to a magistrate judge after he consented to
magistrate judge jurisdiction. In the Eastern District of
Wisconsin, magistrate judges "are designated to exercise
the jurisdiction and authority provided by 28 U.S.C. §
636(c), when all parties consent to it[.]" Gen.
L.R. 73 (E.D. Wis.) (emphasis added). At this time, only the
plaintiff has consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction.
Thus, transfer to a magistrate judge would be premature.
Court denied class action status because the plaintiff is
pro se. It would be improper for the Court to
certify a case where the class representative is pro
se. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(4); Howard v.
Pollard, 814 F.3d 476, 478 (7th Cir. 2015). The
plaintiff has not shown that the Court erred by declining to
consider the other Rule 23(a) factors.
Plausibility of Plaintiff's Complaint
screening the complaint, the Court determined that the
plaintiff's claim that the Wisconsin Department of
Corrections' custom of a Blue Code of Silence is the
moving force behind his allegations was implausible.
According to Tatum, individually and as a part of the policy
of the Blue Code of Silence, he has been subjected to
multiple violations of his rights. The Blue Code of Silence
allegedly uses various tactics to reinforce its policies,
such as ensuring that the Inmate Complaint Review System is a
sham, obstructing the plaintiffs' access to attorneys and
to the courts, and lying in official reports. The
perpetuation of the Blue Code of Silence has allegedly
resulted in constitutional violations, such as: denial of due
process; denial of access to the courts; excessive force,
unnecessary strip searches and sexual assault; retaliation;
unlawful conditions of confinement in observation status;
forced medical intervention and force-feeding; unlawful
in-cell cameras; assault/battery/distress; unlawful
conditions of confinement related to unfair and unnecessary
security precautions; and denial of equal protection.
It appears that the plaintiff attempts to join all 41
defendants and multiple claims together in one action under
the Wisconsin Department of Corrections' Blue Code of
Silence because all ...