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Scott v. Rodriquez

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

March 24, 2017

DEMETRIC SCOTT, Plaintiff,
v.
MEGHAN RODRIQUEZ, SPENCER SIARNICKI, SCOTT WALKER, and, JON E. LITSCHER, Defendants.

          ORDER

          WILLIAM E. DUFFIN U.S. Magistrate Judge.

         Plaintiff Demetric Scott, a Wisconsin state prisoner who is representing himself, filed a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the defendants violated his civil rights. This matter comes before the court on Scott's motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee (ECF No. 2) and for screening of the complaint (ECF No. 1).

         Motion for Leave to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing Fee

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) allows inmates to proceed with their lawsuits in federal court without pre-paying the full case filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. Inmates must comply with certain requirements, one of which is to pay an initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). The court assessed an initial partial filing fee of $1.90. (ECF No. 5.) Scott paid that amount on February 22, 2017. Therefore, the court will grant Scott's motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee.

         Screening of the Complaint

         The PLRA requires courts to screen complaints brought by inmates 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, ” 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. § 1915A(b).

         To state a claim under the federal notice pleading system, the plaintiff must provide 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. Gib son, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). A complaint that offers mere “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 555).

         The complaint must contain sufficient factual matter that when accepted as true “states a claim to relief 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's allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citation omitted).

         Federal courts follow the two-step analysis set forth in Twombly to determine whether a complaint states a claim. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. First, the court determines 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, the court determines whether the well-pleaded factual allegations “plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Id. The court gives 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)).

         Factual Allegations

         The factual allegations in the complaint involve three separate time periods. (ECF No. 1 at 2-8.) The facts involving Correctional Officer Meghan Rodriquez arise from Scott's incarceration at the Waupun Correctional Institution (“WCI”) in March 2014. (Id. at 2-5.) The facts involving Probation Agent Spencer Siarnicki arise from an “unlawful search” at Scott's residence in May 2015. (Id. at 6.) And the facts involving the third incident (no individual defendants are identified) occurred at WCI in November and December 2016. (Id. at 7-8.)

         1. March 2014

         On March 20, 2014, Rodriquez distributed medication at WCI. (Id. at 2.) She tried to give Scott five psychotropic pills. (Id.) Scott explained that he usually only received three pills at bedtime and asked Rodriguez to check his medication chart. (Id.) Scott also told Rodriguez that his doctor would not change his medication without examining him, and that a different correctional officer, Tereance Lash (not a defendant), had given him the wrong inmate's prescription in August 2013. (Id. at 3.) Rodriquez stated “how and the fuck should I know any of this, I just work here.” (Id.) Scott took all of the medication that Rodriquez gave him and within 45 minutes became violently sick. (Id.)

         Scott later reviewed his medical records and found numerous errors, including failure to note the dosage he received and failure to note whether he actually took his medication on a particular day. (Id. at 4.) Scott alleges that correctional officers should not be allowed to distribute prescription medication, a task that ...


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