United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
JOSE A. ADAMES, Plaintiff,
ROBERT J. BIKOWSKI, JONATHAN S. PAWLYK, BRAD D. BADE, NATHAN E. HAYNES, and JODI L. TRITT, Defendants.
STADTMUELLER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
November 9, 2016, the Court screened Plaintiff's original
complaint and allowed Plaintiff to proceed on an excessive
force claim against several of the Defendants. (Docket #8).
On November 28, 2016, Plaintiff requested leave to file an
amended complaint. (Docket #14). The Court granted
Plaintiff's request (Docket #17), and on December 19,
2016, Plaintiff filed his amended complaint (Docket #20).
noted in the first screening order, the Court is required to
screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against
a governmental entity or an 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. §
1915A(b). All of the standards cited in the first screening
order remain applicable here. (Docket #8 at 1-3).
allegations in his amended complaint similar to those in his
original complaint, but they add several additional details.
Plaintiff alleges that on January 31, 2016, he informed
Defendant Jonathan Pawlyk (“Pawlyk”), a
correctional officer, of his suicidal thoughts. (Docket #20
at 3). Pawlyk responded that there was no psychological staff
available to see him. Id. Plaintiff attempted
suicide later that day by hanging himself in his cell, but he
failed in his attempt. Id. He instead fell from the
top of his sink and hit his head on the floor, knocking
himself unconscious. Id.
alleges that while he was unconscious, he was pepper-sprayed
by Defendant Jodi L. Tritt (“Tritt”) and tasered
twice by Defendant Nathan E. Haynes (“Haynes”).
Id. Plaintiff was then handcuffed, shackled, and
dragged from his cell. Id. On Haynes' orders,
Pawlyk and Defendant Robert J. Bikowski
(“Bikowski”) dragged Plaintiff in a headlock, by
the neck, or by his arms down the hallway to a strip search
cell. Id. at 3-5. Pawlyk, Bikowski, Bade, and Haynes
then performed a strip search of Plaintiff. Id. at
4. Haynes ordered Bade and Pawlyk to apply a
“compliance hold” on Plaintiff's wrists in
the event that Plaintiff did not comply with staff directives
to open his mouth during the search. Id. The two
officers then applied the compliance hold to Plaintiff's
wrists-Bade on the left arm and Pawlyk on the right-while
Bikowski performed the actual strip search. Id. The
compliance hold caused Plaintiff excruciating pain and caused
the handcuffs Plaintiff was wearing to lacerate his skin.
Id. Plaintiff claims that although he complied with
the officers' directives during the search, Bade
continued to apply the compliance hold. Id.
the search was completed, the officers placed a towel around
Plaintiff's waist for privacy, and Pawlyk and Bade
escorted Plaintiff to an observation cell. Id. Even
as they were escorting him to the observation cell, Pawlyk
and Bade continued to apply the compliance hold to
Plaintiff's wrists, which caused further lacerations and
severe pain. Id. Plaintiff alleges that he could not
talk at this point and therefore was not able to report to
anyone the injuries he had suffered to his head, back, neck,
shoulders, and wrist. Id. Plaintiff claims that the
correctional officers acted with “brutality.”
further alleges that he was never taken to a hospital after
this incident and that “it took me over 20 hours just
to be seen by a nurse.” Id. He asserts that he
was seen by a nurse the next day, February 1, 2016, and was
given ibuprofen for pain. Id. He wrote to the
medical services personnel at the prison on February 11 and
18, 2016, complaining that he was still in a lot of pain and
that the ibuprofen was not helping at all. Id. He
alleges that at this time he was unable to sleep because he
was not able to lay down on his head, neck, or shoulders.
Id. He attributes those injuries to the
officers' conduct on January 31, 2016. Id. He
also claims that as a result of that incident, his hands fall
asleep often and he cannot squeeze anything very hard because
it causes pain. Id.
his original complaint, Plaintiff's primary claim is for
Defendants' use of excessive force against him on January
31, 2016. As before, the Court finds that Plaintiffs'
allegations, construed liberally, suffice to state such a
claim with respect to Defendants Tritt, Haynes, Bade, Pawlyk,
and Bikowski. See Outlaw v. Newkirk, 259 F.3d 833,
837 (7th Cir. 2001); Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S.
1, 7 (1992).
also appears to allege facts supporting a claim for
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. To state a claim of
deliberate indifference to serious medical need, Plaintiff
must allege: (1) an objectively serious medical condition;
(2) that Defendants knew of the condition and were
deliberately indifferent in treating it; and (3) this
indifference caused Plaintiff some injury. Gayton v.
McCoy, 593 F.3d 610, 620 (7th Cir. 2010). “With
regard to the deliberate indifference prong, ” the
Seventh Circuit instructs that “[t]he official must
have subjective knowledge of the risk to the inmate's
health, and the official also must disregard that
risk.” Id. Mere negligence will not suffice.
amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges that his treatment after
the January 31, 2016 incident was delayed and that the pain
medication he was provided was insufficient to curb his pain.
However, Plaintiff fails to explain what Defendants did or
did not do with respect to his serious medical needs.
“[P]ublic employees are responsible for their own
misdeeds but not for anyone else's.” Burks v.
Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592, 596 (7th Cir. 2009). Defendants,
who are correctional officers and not medical staff, are
generally not responsible for Plaintiff's medical care.
Instead, they are liable for deliberate indifference to
Plaintiff's medical needs only if they ignored his
medical complaints, failed to investigate such complaints, or
permitted him to receive treatment from prison medical staff
knowing that they were mistreating or not treating
Plaintiff's conditions. Hayes v. Snyder, 546
F.3d 516, 525 (7th Cir. 2008); Berry v. Peterman,
604 F.3d 435, 440 (7th Cir. 2010). Plaintiff's amended
complaint contains no such allegations and, as a result,
Plaintiff has not stated a deliberate indifference claim
against the existing Defendants. If Plaintiff wishes to
proceed on such a claim, he must submit another amended
complaint stating the same and identifying the appropriate
prison officials who allegedly acted with deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs. Plaintiff is
advised that if he files an amended complaint, it will
supersede the prior complaint and must be complete in itself
without reference to the original complaint. See Duda v.
Bd. of Educ. of Franklin Park Pub. Sch. Dist. No. 84,
133 F.3d 1054, 1056-57 (7th Cir. 1998).
the Court finds that Plaintiff may proceed only on the
following claim at this time: excessive force by Defendants
Tritt, Haynes, Pawlyk, Bade, and Bikowski on January 31,
2016, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Court will also address Plaintiff's pending motion for
transfer to another correctional institution. (Docket #19).
Plaintiff requests that the Court order his transfer to
another prison because, according to him, he has received
threats from a correctional officer about this lawsuit and
has suffered retaliation in the form of searches of his
effects. Id. Plaintiff's motion must be denied,
for the matter of transfer between correctional institutions
is generally not within the Court's purview. Instead,
this is an administrative matter for the Department of
Corrections to consider. See Capoeira v. Pollard,
Case No. 16-CV-224, 2016 WL 1452398, at *4 (E.D. Wis. Apr.
13, 2016); Lindsey v. Brown, No.
2:13-cv-00068-JMS-WGH, 2013 WL 5148347, at *1 (S.D. Ind.
Sept. 11, 2013). Additionally, Plaintiff's unverified
allegations of retaliation do not clearly demonstrate that he
is in imminent danger of irreparable harm, thereby meriting
preliminary injunctive relief. See Teamsters Local Unions
Nos. 75 & 200 v. Barry Trucking, 176 F.3d 1004, 1011
(7th Cir. 1999); Christian Legal Soc'y v.
Walker, 453 F.3d 853, 870 (7th Cir. 2006); Douglas
v. Lemmon, No. 2:16-cv-00368-JMS-DKL, 2016 WL 7034965,
at *2 (S.D. Ind. Dec. 2, 2016) (denying motion for transfer
to another prison based on alleged retaliation for bringing
lawsuit). The motion will, therefore, be denied.
IT IS ORDERED that pursuant to an informal service agreement
between the Wisconsin Department of Justice and this Court,
copies of Plaintiffs amended complaint (Docket #20) and this
order will be electronically sent to the Wisconsin Department
of Justice for service on Defendants Jodi L. Tritt, Nathan E.
Haynes, Jonathan S. Pawlyk, Brad D. Bade, and Robert J.
FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to the informal service
agreement between the Wisconsin Department of Justice and
this Court, those Defendants shall file a responsive pleading
to the complaint within ...