United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
SHANE T. ROBBINS, Plaintiff,
WAUPUN CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION, WILLIAM POLLARD, ANN SCARPITA, and JOHN DOE, Defendants.
ADELMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, Shane T. Robbins, who is incarcerated at Waupun
Correctional Institution, is representing himself. He filed a
complaint alleging that the defendants violated his
constitutional rights. 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 $21.61.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1).
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, 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). Plaintiff need not
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,
alleges that on September 22, 2015, defendant Officer John
Doe gave him another inmate's medication. According to
plaintiff, he suffered serious side effects from the
medication including a massive headache, ringing in his head,
and red, veiny hands. Since the September 22, 2015 incident,
correctional staff have given plaintiff the wrong medication
three times, but he did not take the medications because he
noticed they were wrong. Plaintiff also states that, since
all of the recent complaints, officers have gotten better
about showing inmates their medications before disbursing
asserts that he would not have received the wrong medication
if health services staff, instead of officers, distributed
medication to inmates. Plaintiff claims that the negligence
of non-medical personnel disbursing medication and giving the
wrong medication put his health and life in jeopardy and
violates the Eighth Amendment to the United States
relief, plaintiff would like to see medical personnel
disburse medication, to minimize errors in handing out the
wrong medication, and to minimize inmates not receiving their
medication. Plaintiff also seeks declaratory relief. He
further asserts that defendant Scarpita should be held
accountable for her part in refusing to look into all the
claims of inmates receiving wrong medication. He states that
William Pollard should be held accountable for his part in
refusing to look into inmates receiving wrong medication.
establish liability under the Eighth Amendment, a prisoner
must show: (1) that his medical need was objectively serious;
and (2) that the official acted with deliberate indifference
to the prisoner's health or safety. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994); Chapman v.
Keltner, 241 F.3d 842, 845 (7th Cir. 2001); see also
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104-05 (1976);
Zentmyer v. Kendall County, Ill., 220 F.3d 805, 810
(7th Cir. 2000). Assuming that the plaintiff's ingestion
of the wrong medication constitutes a serious medical need, a
prison official acts with deliberate indifference when
“the official knows of and disregards an excessive risk
to inmate health or safety.” Farmer, 511 U.S.
at 837; see also Norfleet v. Webster, 439 F.3d 392,
396 (7th Cir. 2006); Chapman, 241 F.3d at 845 (a
finding of deliberate indifference requires evidence
“that the official was aware of the risk and
consciously disregarded it nonetheless”). Negligence
does not meet this standard and “even admitted medical
malpractice does not give rise to a constitutional
violation.” Norfleet, 439 F.3d at 396 (quoting
Walker, 293 F.3d at 1037); see also
Estelle, 429 U.S. at 106.
initial matter, plaintiff has named Waupun Correctional
Institution as a defendant. State agencies, including the
Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC), are not
“persons” or suable entities under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. See Ryan v. Ill. Dep't of Children and
Family Servs., 185 F.3d 751, 758 (7th Cir. ...