United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ADELMAN, District Judge
Oscar Garner, a Wisconsin state prisoner who is representing
himself, filed a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, alleging that defendants violated his Fourteenth
Amendment rights at the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility
(“WSPF”). ECF No. 1. This matter comes before me
on plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without
prepayment of the filing fee and for screening of the
complaint. ECF Nos. 1-2.
Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) applies to
this action because plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed
this complaint. 28 U.S.C. §1915. The law allows inmates
to proceed with their lawsuits in federal court without
pre-paying the $350 filing fee. Id. The inmate must
comply with certain requirements, one of which is to pay an
initial partial filing fee. Id.
January 23, 2017, I assessed an initial partial filing fee of
$33.88. ECF No. 6. Plaintiff paid that amount on February 1,
2017. Therefore, I will grant plaintiff's motion to
proceed without prepayment of the filing fee.
PLRA requires me 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).
I may dismiss an action or portion thereof 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).
state a claim under the federal notice pleading system,
plaintiffs must provide me with 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 Atlantic 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
factual content of the complaint must allow me 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
follow the two-step analysis set forth in Twobly to
determine whether a complaint states a claim. Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 679. First, I determine whether the
plaintiff's legal conclusions are supported by factual
allegations. Id. Legal conclusions not support by
facts “are not entitled to the assumption of
truth." Id. Second, I determine whether the
well-pleaded factual allegations “plausibly give rise
to an entitlement to relief." Id. Pro
se allegations, “however inartfully pleaded,
” are given a liberal construction. See Erickson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).
April 13, 2005, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Karen E.
Christenson entered an order in criminal case no. 04-CF-1584
instructing plaintiff to pay restitution and other costs in
the amount of $3, 008.66, payable from up to 25% of his
prison wages. ECF No. 1, ¶ 4. Ten years later, in June
2015, plaintiff received his inmate trust account statement
which indicated that he had an outstanding balance of $2,
473.66 for criminal case no. 04-CF-1584. Id., ¶
5. On June 30, 2015, someone at WSPF wrote on plaintiff's
inmate trust account statement that they “took $2,
473.66 for court obligations.” Id., ¶ 6.
Ms. Sutter, an Inmate Complaint Examiner (“ICE”),
confirmed that plaintiff owed this amount and was required to
pay it. Id., ¶ 7.
year later, in June 2016, Ann M. Peacock (not a defendant in
the case) sent plaintiff a letter stating, among other
things, that he still owed $2, 473.66 in criminal case no.
04-CF-1584. Id., ¶ 8. Plaintiff wrote to J.
Hill (inmate accounts) and told him that the Milwaukee County
Clerk of Court still had not received his payment of $2,
473.66 even though someone had taken the money out of his
prison account over a year ago. Id., ¶ 9. Hill
wrote back on August 31, 2016 stating that he sent the money
to the “cashier's unit.” Id.,
¶¶ 9, 35. Plaintiff wrote to the cashier's unit
several times with no response. Id., ¶¶
10-11. He also wrote to Hill, Sutter, Molldrem, Boughton,
Dickman, Jim Schwochert, Cathy Jess, and Julio Barron with no
response. Id., ¶ 12. Plaintiff also filed an
inmate complaint which was rejected because WSPF had
“already addressed this issue through WSPF-2016-21379,
” a different inmate complaint plaintiff had filed
earlier in the year. Id., ¶ 13.
received an updated trust account statement indicating that
he still owed money in criminal case no. 04-CF-1584.
Id., ¶ 14. Along with this statement, plaintiff
received notice that WSPF would now deduct 50% from his
prison wages. Id., ¶ 15. Plaintiff never gave
anyone permission to deduct 50% from his prison wages, and
the Milwaukee County Circuit Court never ordered WSPF to
start deducting 50% from his account. Id.,
¶¶ 20, 29-32. Plaintiff states that he continues to
pay restitution for an obligation he satisfied sometime in
2015. Id., ¶¶ 24-25, 38-39.
filed a different inmate complaint regarding the 50%
deduction, and this complaint was dismissed because he had
“signed a settlement agreement [in WSPF-2015-12804]
saying that he would pay all restitution owed.”
Id., ¶ 33. Plaintiff states that he never
signed a settlement agreement and defendants cannot prove
that he did. Id., ¶¶ 32, 34.
October 2016, plaintiff asked Ms. Broadbent to print out a
case called Bub v. Fuller. Id., ¶ 21.
She looked for the case on LexisNexis and could not find it.
Id. She told plaintiff that if the case is not on
LexisNexis, she could not go to other sources to look for it
due to prison rules. Id. Plaintiff states that there