United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ADELMAN United States District Judge
plaintiff, David Liederbach, who is confined at the Milwaukee
County Jail, is representing himself. He filed a complaint
alleging that officers of the City of Milwaukee Police
Department used excessive force against him. This matter
comes before the court on plaintiff’s petition to
proceed without prepayment of the filing fee (in forma
pauperis). He has been assessed and paid an initial
partial filing fee of $344.15. See 28 U.S.C. §
court shall screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking
relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee
of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The
court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the
prisoner has raised claims that are legally “frivolous
or malicious, ” that fail to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either
in law or in fact. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25,
31 (1992); Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325
(1989); Hutchinson ex rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d
895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997). The court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327.
“Malicious, ” although sometimes treated as a
synonym for “frivolous, ” “is more usefully
construed as intended to harass.” Lindell v.
McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 1109-10 (7th Cir. 2003)
state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading
system, the plaintiff is required to provide a “short
and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is
entitled to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). It is not
necessary for the plaintiff to plead specific facts and his
statement need only “give the defendant 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)). However, a complaint that offers mere
“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). To state
a claim, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, “that is plausible on its
face.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 570). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). The complaint allegations
“must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555
considering whether a complaint states a claim, courts should
follow the principles set forth in by Twombly by
first, “identifying pleadings that, because they are no
more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Legal
conclusions must be supported by factual allegations.
Id. If there are well-pleaded factual allegations,
the court must, second, “assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.” Id.
state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
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 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)); see also
Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980). The court is
obliged to give the plaintiff’s 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)).
alleges that on July 24, 2014, Milwaukee Police Officers
Aaron V. Frantal and Matthew L. Davis approached him and
“immediately confronted me aggressively uncoerced
[sic].” (ECF No. 1 at 2.) Officer Frantal attempted to
grab plaintiff and Officer Davis attempted to spray him with
O.C. spray. Plaintiff blocked the spray. A physical
altercation arose among the three of them. The officers began
hitting plaintiff and he continued to defend himself. The
officers used a taser gun on plaintiff several times.
Eventually a third officer, Officer Vargas-Ramos, arrived and
tasered plaintiff. Soon other officers arrived and continued
the assault on plaintiff, grabbing and hitting him
relentlessly. When plaintiff could no longer sustain himself
he succumbed to their weight. Plaintiff was arrested and
incarcerated for several days until his release.
alleges that he continues to suffer physically and has been
diagnosed with PTSD from the incident. He does not know why
the officers assaulted him.
relief, plaintiff seeks monetary damages from defendant City
of Milwaukee Police Department for the unnecessary use of
excessive force, false imprisonment, injury, and misconduct
in public office.
allegations implicate his rights under the Fourth Amendment
to the United States Constitution for the following claims:
excessive force, false arrest, and false imprisonment.
the only defendant in this case is the City of Milwaukee
Police Department. Because plaintiff seeks damages based on
the police officers’ actions against him, he should
name the individual officers ...