United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
WILLIAM M. CONLEY District Judge.
Michael Morris brings this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, and seeks leave to proceed under the in forma
pauperis statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1915, on his claims
that numerous defendants violated his constitutional rights.
Normally, the court would proceed to screen his complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. However, Morris alleges
numerous claims against different defendants for unrelated
conduct in violation of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20.
For reasons explained in more detail below, this requires
that Morris identify which of his claims he wishes to pursue
in this case, as well as decide whether he wants to pursue
the other claims separately. Alternatively, plaintiff may
voluntarily dismiss the other claims without prejudice to his
bringing them at another time provided the applicable statute
of limitations has not expired. Once Morris has made his
selection, the court will screen those claims under 28 U.S.C.
is currently incarcerated at the Wisconsin Secure Program
Facility (“WSPF”), in Boscobel, Wisconsin,
although some of the allegations in his complaint took place
while he was incarcerated at the New Lisbon Correctional
Institution (“NLCI”). His amended complaint names
31 defendants, who the court will group as NLCI, WSPF and
addition to the institution itself, the NLCI defendants
include: Timothy Duoma, the warden; Timothy Thomas, the
deputy warden; Ms. Kennedy, the school administrator; Brendon
Ingenthron, an inmate complaint examiner (“ICE”);
John Doe, an ICE supervisor; and Mr. Davenport and Ms. Weiss,
who both work in NLCI's business office. Again in
addition to the institution, the WSPF defendants include:
Gary Boughton, the warden; Mr. Brown and Ms. Ray, both ICE;
Ms. Dickman, Ms. Sutter and Ms. Dressler from WSPF's
business office; correctional officers Jane Doe, Harn, A.
Mink, J. Strasser and C. Morrison; Lieutenant Shannon Sharpe;
Ms. Payne from the warden's office; and Mr. Boardman, an
inmate advocate. The Madison defendants include: Mr. Parisi;
John or Jane Doe; Cindy O'Donnell; Charles Factor; and A.
Overview of Claims
speaking, Morris alleges that the NLCI defendants violated
his rights to an education and to due process, and also
retaliated against him for attempting to appeal two adverse
inmate complaint decisions. When Morris arrived at NLCI, he
learned that inmates need to either have a general education
diploma (“GED”) or high school equivalency
diploma (“HSED”), and he would have to attend
classes. Since Morris did not want to do so, he spoke to Ms.
Kennedy, who told him that the warden may permit exceptions
to the requirement that inmates take classes. After Morris
responded that he had a “sex case” and would not
have time for classes, Kennedy allegedly told him to hold off
asking the warden for an exception and that she would get
back to him. When Kennedy did not get back to him, however,
Morris filed a complaint against her, which was dismissed
after Kennedy told the investigator she never told Morris
that there were exceptions to the education requirement.
Morris agreed to take classes, but when he appeared for class
he allegedly learned that most of the other students were
being paid to attend. Morris then left, received a
conduct report and was removed from classes. Morris later
filed two inmate complaints, Nos. 2013-22848 and 2013-22849,
about these incidents, which were dismissed by Thomas and
Ingenthron. Apparently anticipating denial of those
complaints, Morris also requested two legal loans so that he
could appeal those decisions, as well as file an
“imminent danger lawsuit.” However, Morris claims
that his loan was delayed by Mr. Davenport, Ms. Weiss, and a
John or Jane Doe, which caused him to miss the deadline to
file his appeal. By virtue of these actions, Morris claims
that these defendants violated his Fourteenth Amendment right
to an education and his Due Process Clause right to pursue
his inmate complaints.
also alleges that after these incidents, certain NLCI
defendants retaliated against him by transferring him to
WSPF. In December of 2013, following his request for the
legal loans he needed to appeal his inmate complaint
decisions, Morris learned that Ms. Dennison had prepared
paperwork for his transfer to WSPF. Initially, after Morris
got in trouble for calling Ms. Kennedy a “bitch,
” Morris told his social worker that he was willing to
be transferred from NLCI to WSPF. When he learned that the
papers had been prepared, however, Morris responded that he
changed his mind and did not want to go to WSPF. As a result,
he refused to sign the paperwork requesting the transfer.
Nevertheless, despite presenting no security risk at NLCI,
Morris eventually was transferred, which he now alleges was
in retaliation for his inmate complaints.
further alleges that the WSPF defendants violated his First,
Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights by (1) mishandling his
inmate complaints, (2) an officer twisting his handcuffed
hand and pushing him against a cell door, and (3) restricting
his use of legal resources.
Inmate Complaints and Conduct Reports
claims that several WSPF defendants curbed his ability to
appeal a case he lost in Juneau County Circuit Court and
inmate complaints that had been dismissed while housed at
NLCI. Generally, Morris challenges the limitations that DAI
Policy #309.51(III)D placed on his ability to pursue appeals.
This policy was adopted under Wis.Stat. § 301.328, which
provides that legal loans to inmates are limited to $100
annually, but that if an inmate repays part of the loan
during the year, he can re-borrow that amount without it
counting against the $100 limit. Section 301.328(1m) also
states that “No prisoner may receive a litigation loan
in any amount until he or she has repaid a prior loan in full
or has made arrangements for repayment.”
the language of the statute, Morris alleges that while at
WSPF, DAI Policy #309.51(III)D was invoked to impose a legal
loan maximum of $50 annually on any inmate with outstanding
loans. As he was denied loans because he carries a legal loan
balance, Morris further claims that this policy violated his
right to access the courts. In particular, Morris claims that
in mid-2014, he was told that he reached his legal loan limit
and could not pursue his inmate complaint appeals or a
postconviction motion in the Wisconsin state courts. Although
many of the allegations with respect to this claim are ...