United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
MICHAEL J. JONES, Plaintiff,
RONALD SWENSEN, Defendant.
OPINION & ORDER
D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE
Michael J. Jones, a prisoner incarcerated at the Columbia
Correctional Institution (CCI), brings claims under the First
and Fourteenth Amendments, contending that defendant
correctional officer Ronald Swensen retaliated and
discriminated against him for filing an inmate grievance by
either encouraging other inmates to threaten him or turning a
blind eye to the inmates' threats. Swensen has filed a
motion for summary judgment. Dkt. 48. Although Jones did not
file his response to Swensen's motion on time, I extended
the deadline for his response. See Dkt. 61. Jones
responded to Swensen's motion, but he has also filed a
motion to compel Swensen to produce certain documents, and a
motion for the court's assistance in recruiting counsel.
deny Jones's motions and grant Swensen summary judgment.
Jones does not explain how Swensen violated the rules of
discovery, nor does he seek documents that are relevant.
Jones has shown that he has the ability to litigate his
claims, but he presents only thin and conclusory proposed
findings of fact that are insufficient to withstand summary
following facts are drawn from the verified amended complaint
and the parties' summary judgment materials, and are
undisputed unless otherwise noted.
Michael J. Jones is an inmate confined at CCI, a
maximum-security prison in Portage, Wisconsin. At CCI, Jones
has been continuously housed in either DS-1 or DS-2, which
are segregation units. Defendant Ronald Swensen is a
correctional officer who has worked in DS-1 and DS-2.
has been diagnosed with various mental conditions, which
include persecutory-type delusional disorder, antisocial
personality disorder, and depressive disorder. Defendant says
that Jones also has a documented history of exaggerating his
mental health issues for secondary gain: placement in
“SMU, ” a housing unit within CCI that provides
activity-based programs for inmates with serious mental
illnesses or those with severe impairments.
and June 2013, Jones filed a series of inmate complaints,
claiming that other inmates violated his privacy by hearing
his thoughts and “seeing through his eyes.” He
also claimed that staff knew what was going on and harassed
him about the size of his penis. In at least one of these
complaints, Jones identified defendant Swensen as one of the
staff members harassing him.
says that Jones never told him that he filed an inmate
grievance against him. But in his verified amended complaint,
Jones says that Swensen told him, “You'll pay for
telling on me.” Dkt. 13, at 3. Jones also said that
other inmates told him “your getting your ass kicked
for suing.” Id.
months later, Swensen filed his complaint in this case,
asserting a wide range of claims. Dkt. 1. I dismissed all
claims except two: a retaliation claim and an equal
protection claim. For his retaliation claim, Jones alleges
that that he filed an inmate complaint against Swensen, and
Swensen retaliated against him by either (1) encouraging
other inmates to threaten him or (2) turning a blind eye to
the other inmates' threats. As for the equal protection
claim, Jones alleges that this same retaliation was based on
either his race or gender.
denies that he has ever encouraged other inmates to threaten
Jones or ever knowing that other inmates have threatened
Jones. And Swensen states that even if the other inmates did
in fact threaten Jones, had he known about those threats, he
would have taken steps to stop that behavior by means such as
reporting it to a supervisor or writing a disciplinary
Jones's motion to compel
filed a one-page letter that I will construe as including a
motion to compel the production of documents. Dkt. 62. The
letter states that Swensen “refuses to turn over the
discovery questions that [Jones is] requesting[.]”
Id. It also states that Swensen is “refusing
to send [Jones] the police record, criminal history, inmate
write ups, internal rules and policies the defendant signed
to become an officer, any threats or sexual harassment