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Gish v. Jackson

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

December 27, 2016

CHRISTOPHER GISH, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. EDGAR B. JACKSON, and RELEVANCE COUNSELING, Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2), GRANTING THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR ACCESS TO RELEASE ACCOUNT (DKT. NO. 8), AND DISMISSING THE CASE

          HON. PAMELA PEPPER United States District Judge.

         The plaintiff, a Wisconsin state prisoner who is representing himself, filed a civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. §1983 alleging that the defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights when they prescribed him medication that caused him to murder his girlfriend. Dkt. No. 1. This order resolves the plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, dkt. no. 2, and his motion for access to his release account, dkt. no. 8, and screens the plaintiff's complaint.

         I. IN FORMA PAUPERIS STATUS

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act applies to this action because the plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed his complaint. 28 U.S.C. §1915. The law allows a court to give an incarcerated plaintiff the ability to proceed with his lawsuit without pre-paying the civil case-filing fee, as long as he meets certain conditions. Id. One of those conditions is a requirement that the plaintiff pay an initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. §1915(b). Once the plaintiff pays the initial partial filing fee, the court may allow the plaintiff to pay the balance of the $350 filing fee over time, through deductions from his prisoner account. Id.

         On July 19, 2016, the court assessed an initial partial filing fee of $28.34. Dkt. No. 6. The plaintiff paid that amount through two payments received on August 1, 2016 and August 23, 2016. Therefore, the court will grant the plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filling fee, and will allow the plaintiff to pay the balance of the $350.00 filing fee over time from his prisoner account, as described at the end of this order.

         II. SCREENING OF PLAINTIFF'S AMENDED COMPLAINT

         A. Standard for Screening Complaints

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires federal courts to 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 may dismiss a compliant, or part of it, if the claims alleged are “frivolous or malicious, ” fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         To state a claim under the federal notice pleading system, the plaintiff must provide a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is entitled to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The complaint need not plead specific facts, and need only provide “fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). “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).

         The factual content of the complaint must allow the court to “draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. Indeed, allegations must “raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Factual allegations, when accepted as true, must state a claim that is “plausible on its face.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         Federal courts follow the two-step analysis set forth in Twombly to determine whether a complaint states a claim. Id. at 679. First, the court determines whether the plaintiff's legal conclusions are supported by factual allegations. Id. Legal conclusions not supported by facts “are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Id. Second, the court determines whether the well-pleaded factual allegations “plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Id. The court gives 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)).

         B. Facts Alleged in the Complaint

         Defendant Edgar Jackson is a psychiatrist employed by Relevance Counseling Services (“RCS”) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dkt. No. 1, ¶ 6. On July 9, 2012, the plaintiff's girlfriend introduced the plaintiff to Jackson because Jackson was their son's doctor. Id. After meeting with the plaintiff for only five minutes, Jackson prescribed the plaintiff one-milligram tablets of Xanax/Alprazolam and Lamicatal. Id., ¶¶ 6, 10. Jackson instructed the plaintiff to take this tablet three times a day, for a total of three milligrams per day. Id., ¶ 12.

         The plaintiff states, “Dr. Edgar B. Jackson was unaware of the legal medical dose a person was allowed to intake into their system as a 1st time patient.” Id., ¶ 9. He states that Jackson should have prescribed the plaintiff only .025-.05 milligram tablets, three times a day, for a total of 0.75-1.5 milligrams per day. Id., ¶¶ 10, 12. Jackson also did not inform the plaintiff of any of the side effects of the drugs, including “speaking incoherently, state of confusion, hallucinating, impaired ...


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