United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
TREON D. VAUGHN, Plaintiff,
J. P. STADTMUELLER, U.S. District Court Judge, Defendant.
WILLIAM C. GRIESBACH, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT
Treon Vaughn, who is incarcerated at Kenosha County Detention
Center, filed a pro se complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
alleging that his civil rights were violated. This matter
comes before the court on the plaintiff's petition to
proceed in forma pauperis.
plaintiff is required to pay the statutory filing fee of
$350.00 for this action. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b)(1). If a prisoner does not have the money to pay the
filing fee, he or she can request leave to proceed in
forma pauperis. The plaintiff has filed a certified copy
of his prison trust account statement for the two-month
period immediately preceding the filing of his complaint. The
plaintiff has been assessed an initial partial filing fee of
$33.59 in this action, but he indicates he is unable to pay
that fee and requests that fee be waived. It appears the
prisoner will be unable to pay the initial partial filing
fee, and so it is waived. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4).
court is required 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).
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. §
is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either
in law or in fact. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25,
31 (1992); Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325
(1989); Hutchinson ex rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d
895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997). The court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327.
“Malicious, ” although sometimes treated as a
synonym for “frivolous, ” “is more usefully
construed as intended to harass.” Lindell v.
McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 1109-10 (7th Cir. 2003)
state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading
system, the plaintiff is required to provide a “short
and plain statement of the claim showing that he is entitled
to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). It is not necessary
for the plaintiff to plead specific facts and his statement
need only “give the defendant 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)). However, a complaint that offers “labels and
conclusions” or “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 555). To state a claim, a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, “that is plausible on its face.”
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). The complaint allegations
“must be enough to raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555
state a claim for relief 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 deprivation was visited upon his by a person or
persons 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). The court is
obliged to give the plaintiff's pro se
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)).
alleges that Judge Stadtmueller improperly dismissed three
previous lawsuits: Vaughn v. Litscher et al., No.
16-1486 (E.D. Wis. 2016); Vaughn v. McCoy et al.,
No. 16-1499 (E.D. Wis. 2016); and Vaughn v. Wisconsin
Supreme Court et al., No. 16-1557 (E.D. Wis. 2016).
Judge Stadtmueller dismissed all three lawsuits following
Vaughn's failure to file his six-month trust account and
subsequent failure to pay the filing fees. While Vaughn may
disagree with the order, Judge Stadtmueller's ruling was
unquestionably made within the scope of his judicial
capacity. As such, he is absolutely immune from suit. See
Dawson v. Newman, 419 F.3d 656, 660-61 (7th Cir. 2005).
Therefore, this action is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b)(2).
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the plaintiff's motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis be and hereby
IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is
DISMISSED with prejudice pursuant to 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b)(2) for seeking
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff's motion
for appointment of counsel is DENIED as
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Kenosha County Sheriff
or his designee shall collect from the plaintiff's prison
trust account the $350.00 balance of the filing fee by
collecting monthly payments from the plaintiff's prison
trust account in an amount equal to 20% of the preceding
month's income credited to the prisoner's trust
account and forwarding payments to the clerk of the court
each time the amount in the account exceeds $10 in accordance
with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). The payments shall be
clearly identified by the case name and number assigned to
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court enter
IS FURTHER ORDERED that copies of this order be sent