United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
WILLIAM E. DUFFIN U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE
plaintiff, Jerry Ray Richardson, who was previously confined
at the Waukesha County Jail, is representing himself. He
filed a complaint alleging that the defendants violated his
constitutional rights by placing him in segregation without a
hearing. This matter comes before the Court on
Richardson's petition to proceed without prepayment of
the filing fee (in forma pauperis). On August 31,
2016, the court determined that he lacks the funds to pay an
initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4).
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, Richardson 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 Richardson 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's
allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555 (citation omitted).
considering whether a complaint states a claim, courts should
follow the principles set forth in 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)).
27, 2016, Richardson was booked into the Waukesha County
Jail. He was taken directly to a restrictive housing unit and
placed on “administrative segregation.”
Richardson was not disruptive or threatening and did not
receive an incident report prior to the placement. He did not
receive a due process or disciplinary hearing before being
placed on administrative segregation. Richardson was in
segregation twenty-four hours per day for eleven days (July
27 - August 7, 2016) without recreation or time out of his
cell. He wrote to defendants Schnabl, Acheson, Haas and
Mueller about the situation. They told him that he was not
being punished or in a “punitive” status.
contends that his and other inmates' due process rights
have been violated. He seeks $50, 000 damages for the mental
stress and suffering he endured for the eleven days he spent
in the cell. Richardson also requests that the Court prohibit
the Waukesha County Jail from using its present
classification system because it uses deceptive language to
justify the practices it uses to violate prisoners'
pretrial detainee may not be punished without due
process. See Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535
(1979). Due process requires that an inmate receive notice
and an opportunity to be heard before being placed in
segregation as a punishment for a disciplinary infraction.
See Higgs v. Carver, 286 F.3d 437, 438 (7th Cir.
2002) (citations omitted). But no process is required when a
pretrial detainee is segregated to protect jail staff and
other prisoners from his violent propensities. See
id.; Zarnes v. Rhodes, 64 F.3d 285, 291-92 (7th
Cir. 1995). Likewise, no process is required if he is placed
in segregation not as punishment but for managerial reasons,
for example, due to available jail space or to protect the
inmate from himself. See Higgs, 286 F.3d at 438;
Bell, 411 U.S. at 535-41; Rapier v. Harris,
172 F.3d 999, 1002-16 (7th Cir. 1999). “As long as the
purpose was indeed a preventive rather than a punitive one,
he would not be entitled to notice and a hearing.”
Higgs, 286 F.3d at 438 (citing Swofford v.
Mandrell, 969 F.2d 547, 549-50 (7th Cir. 1992)).
case, Richardson alleges that he was told that he was placed
in administrative segregation for non-punitive purpose, but
it appears that he does not believe this was true. He alleges
that jail officials use “deceptive” language to
justify placing inmates on “administrative
segregation.” Construed liberally, the Court finds that
Richardson's allegations that he was placed in
segregation for eleven days without recreation or any
opportunity to leave his cell states a due process claim.
See Higgs, 286 F.3d at 438-39 (court of appeals
remanded case to district court because it could not
determine from the record whether the inmate had been placed
in lockdown segregation for preventive purposes or as
September 30, 2016, Richardson notified the court that he has
been released from the jail and that he now resides at a
street address in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Since Richardson is
no longer confined at the Waukesha County Jail, his request
for injunctive relief is moot. Lehn v. Holmes, 364