United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
Stadtmueller U.S. District Judge.
plaintiff, a prisoner incarcerated at Waupun Correctional
Institution, proceeds pro se in this matter in which
he alleges that his civil rights were violated. (Docket #54).
On December 15, 2016, the Court granted summary judgment in
favor of the defendants. (Docket #80 and #81). On December
21, 2016, the plaintiff filed a notice of his intent to
appeal that ruling. (Docket #82). On January 5, 2017, the
plaintiff filed a motion to proceed on his appeal in
forma pauperis. (Docket #89).
plaintiff may not proceed without prepayment of the filing
fee on appeal if the Court certifies in writing that the
appeal is not taken in “good faith.” 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(a)(3). To determine whether the petitioner takes
the appeal in “good faith, ” the Court must
determine whether “a reasonable person could suppose
that the appeal has some merit.” Walker v.
O'Brien, 216 F.3d 626, 632 (7th Cir. 2000); see
also Lee v. Clinton, 209 F.3d 1025, 1026 (7th Cir.
2000). An appeal is taken in “good faith” when it
seeks review of an issue that is not clearly frivolous.
Lee, 209 F.3d at 1026. This is the case when a
reasonable person could suppose the issue to have some legal
plaintiff's motion is largely based on a disagreement
with the Court's determination that he failed to dispute
the defendants' proffered facts. (Docket #89 at 2-4). As
stated in its order on summary judgment, the plaintiff failed
to even arguably comply with the federal and local rules of
procedure on how to properly dispute facts, though he was
repeatedly provided those rules. (Docket #80 at 1-3). While
the Court attempted to liberally construe the plaintiffs'
filings by considering his overlong legal brief, it was
entitled to disregard his factual briefing for its
noncompliance. Zoretic v. Darge, 832 F.3d 639, 641
(7th Cir. 2016) (“While we liberally construe the
pleadings of individuals who proceed pro se, neither
appellate courts nor district courts are obliged in our
adversary system to scour the record looking for factual
disputes. . . . We have repeatedly held that requiring strict
compliance with [local rules on summary judgment] is not an
abuse of the district court's discretion.”).
plaintiff further contends that the Court erred in denying
his requests for appointed counsel. (Docket #89 at 4).
Pro se civil litigants have no inherent right to
counsel. Smith v. Cooper, 83 F. App'x 837, 839
(7th Cir. 2003). Throughout this action, the plaintiff has
demonstrated that he is capable of understanding the nature
of his case and making cogent, appropriate arguments in
support thereof. The Court reiterated this fact in the
summary judgment order and noted that his procedural failings
appeared primarily due to a refusal to read the rules rather
than an underlying inability to understand them. (Docket #80
at 3 n.2, 17-18).
no reasonable person could agree that the plaintiff has
offered any meritorious grounds for his appeal. For that
reason, the Court must find that the instant appeal is not
taken in good faith. The Court will, therefore, deny the
motion for leave to proceed on appeal in forma
the Court certifies that the appeal is not taken in good
faith, the Court provides the following information to the
plaintiff regarding proceeding before the Seventh Circuit.
The plaintiff will not be able to proceed on appeal without
paying the filing fee, unless the court of appeals gives him
permission to do so. The plaintiff has 30 days from the date
of this order to request that the Seventh Circuit review the
Court's denial of his motion for leave to appeal without
prepayment of the filing fee on appeal. Fed. R. App. P. 24.
If plaintiff requests review by the Seventh Circuit, he must
include an affidavit and statement of issues he intends to
present on appeal, pursuant to Fed. R. App. P. 24(a). He must
also provide a copy of this order, in addition to the notice
of appeal he previously filed. If the plaintiff does not
request review of this order, the Seventh Circuit may choose
not to address the Court's denial of the plaintiff's
motion; instead, it may require the plaintiff to pay the full
filing fee before it considers his case. Failure to pay a
required fee may result in dismissal of the appeal.
plaintiff's motion also contains an ancillary request for
“transcripts, ” but it appears the plaintiff
actually seeks copies of the parties' briefing on summary
judgment and the Court's summary judgment order. (Docket
#89 at 1). The plaintiff should already have these documents
as part of the briefing and/or docketing process, and to the
extent he wishes to provide them to the Seventh Circuit, they
will be transmitted directly to the Court of Appeals as part
of the record in this matter. If the plaintiff nevertheless
insists that he be provided copies of these documents, he
should know that he may be charged for them. The plaintiffs
request will, therefore, be denied without prejudice so that
he may consider whether he truly wants to bear that cost.
IT IS ORDERED that the plaintiff's motion for leave to
appeal without prepayment of the filing fee (Docket #89) be
and the same is hereby DENIED; and
FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiffs motion for
“transcripts” (Docket #89 at 1) be and the ...