United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
BARBARA B. CRABB District Judge.
plaintiff Patricia Williams receives services from the
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation of the Wisconsin
Department of Workforce Development to help her find
employment. One of the services she receives is the
development of an “individualized plan for employment,
” which outlines the duties and responsibilities of
both plaintiff and the division in plaintiff's employment
search. In this case, plaintiff is proceeding on claims that
defendant Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and
several of its employees violated the Rehabilitation Act by
eliminating payments for car repairs and work clothes from
the list of vocational services that the state would provide
as part of plaintiff's individualized plan for
employment; and (2) failing to consult plaintiff before
removing those services from the plan.
motions are before the court: (1) defendants' motion for
summary judgment, dkt. #24; (2) plaintiff's “motion
to dismiss defendants summary judgment, ” dkt. #37; (3)
plaintiff's “motion to reply, ” dkt. #41; (4)
plaintiff's “motion for leave to file sur-reply
memorandum, ” dkt. #45; and (5) plaintiff's
“memorandum and motion for consolidation of both cases
& add other defendants, ” dkt. #46. For the reasons
explained below, I am granting plaintiff's “motion
to reply, ” denying plaintiff's remaining motions
and granting defendants' motion for summary judgment.
motions can be resolved without extended discussion. First,
plaintiff's “motion to dismiss defendants'
summary judgment” is not easy to follow, but I
understand plaintiff to be asking the court to strike
defendants' summary judgment motion on the ground that
defendants included with the materials they served on her
documents for a case filed by a different plaintiff in a
different judicial district. That is not a ground for
striking or denying a summary judgment motion. Plaintiff does
not allege that defendants failed to serve her with all the
summary judgment materials related to this case, so plaintiff
suffered no prejudice from this mistake. She was free to
disregard any documents that did not relate to her case.
in plaintiff's one-paragraph “motion to reply,
” which she filed approximately one week after
defendants filed their summary judgment reply brief,
plaintiff does not specify what she is requesting. However,
the following day, plaintiff filed belated responses to
defendants' proposed findings of fact, dkt. #42, so I
assume she was asking for permission to file those.
Defendants later submitted a reply to those responses, dkt.
#44, so I see no harm to defendants in considering
plaintiff's responses. Accordingly, I will construe
plaintiff's “motion to reply” as a motion to
file untimely responses to defendants' proposed findings
of fact and I will grant the motion.
plaintiff does not explain in her “motion for leave to
file sur-reply memorandum” why she wants to file a
sur-reply brief. She says generally that she wants to
“address several arguments made by Defendants in
their reply memorandum, ” but she does identify what
those arguments are and she did not attach a proposed
sur-reply to her motion. In any event, I did not need to
consider any arguments that defendants raised in their reply
brief, so I will deny this motion as unnecessary.
plaintiff seeks to consolidate this case with another case
she filed in this court, Williams v. Department of
Workforce Development, No. 16-cv-830-bbc (W.D. Wis.).
Because this case is ripe for a decision on summary judgment
and case no. 16-cv-830-bbc is just getting started, it makes
little sense to combine the two cases. Accordingly, I will
deny plaintiff's request for consolidation.
DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
is proceeding on two claims, both of which arise under the
Rehabilitation Act and relate to her “individualized
plan for employment.” First, she says that defendants
violated the Act by removing "car repairs" and
"work clothes" from the list of items that the
state would pay for. Second, she says that defendants
violated the Act by failing to consult her before removing
devotes much of her 53-page summary judgment brief to a
number of other issues that are outside the scope of her
complaint and the court's screening order, such as
allegations of discrimination and retaliation. Because a
plaintiff cannot amend her complaint in a summary judgment
brief, Anderson v. Donahoe, 699 F.3d 989, 997 (7th
Cir. 2012), I decline to consider these other issues.
ask the court to grant them summary judgment as to both of
the claims on which plaintiff is proceeding, raising multiple
procedural and substantive arguments: (1) the individual
defendants cannot be sued under the Rehabilitation Act; (2)
plaintiff did not exhaust her administrative remedies as to
her claim that defendants improperly removed car repairs from
her individualized plan for employment; (3) defendant
Department of Workforce Development did not violate the
Rehabilitation Act by eliminating car repairs and work
clothes from her individual plan for employment because those
services were not necessary to achieve plaintiff's
employment goals; (4) plaintiff agreed to the changes in her
individualized plan for employment, so she was not denied
“informed choice”; and (5) the individual
defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. In addition,
defendants argue that the court is required to give
“substantial deference” to the ...