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Czapiewski v. Pingel

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

February 1, 2017

DAVID CZAPIEWSKI, Plaintiff,
v.
JILL PINGEL, RICHARD ZIMKIEWICZ, BRIAN BANTLEON, and JOHN DOE, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Lynn Adelman District Judge

         Plaintiff, a Wisconsin state prisoner who is representing himself, filed a civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. §1983. This matter is before me on plaintiff's motion to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee (Docket #2) and for screening of his complaint (Docket #1).

         Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing Fee

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act gives courts discretion to allow prisoners to proceed with their lawsuits without prepaying the $350 filing fee, as long as they comply with certain requirements. 28 U.S.C. §1915. One of those requirements is that the prisoner pay an initial partial filing fee. On January 4, 2017, I ordered plaintiff to pay an initial partial filing fee of $2.94. Plaintiff paid that fee on January 23, 2017. As such, I will grant plaintiff's motion to proceed without prepayment of the full filing fee; he must pay the remainder of the filing fee over time as set forth at the end of this order.

         Screening of Plaintiff's Complaint

         Federal law requires that I 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). I 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).

         To state a claim, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, “that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows a court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

         To proceed 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 defendant was 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). I will give a pro se plaintiff's 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)).

         Allegations in the Complaint

         Plaintiff alleges that he is mentally ill. He has been told by psychiatric and psychological staff to immediately inform prison staff when he is having thoughts of harming himself or others. When he did so in the past, prison staff temporarily placed him in “observation status” (a non-punitive status) until psychological services could evaluate him.

         On November 13, 2015, plaintiff informed his unit's psychiatric care technicians that he was having thoughts of harming himself and staff and wanted to be put on observation status. Defendant Jill Pingel wrote plaintiff a conduct report for making threats and told him to “lock in his room.” Plaintiff complied. Defendant Brian Bantleon approved the conduct report. Later that day, defendant Richard Zimkiewicz placed plaintiff in temporary lock-up status in the restricted housing unit pending determination on the conduct report. Plaintiff lost his prison job as a result of being placed in temporary lock-up.

         Plaintiff states that no one placed him on observation status despite his cries for help. He also contends that Zimkiewicz never contacted Psyche Services or “John Doe” (the significance and/or position of John Doe is unclear) to inform them of plaintiff's statements. Later that night, plaintiff harmed himself by jumping off his sink head first onto the concrete floor. He lost consciousness for several minutes.

         Plaintiff was ultimately found not guilty ...


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