United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
QUENTRELL E. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff,
WARDEN TIM HAINES, et al ., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM M. CONLEY District Judge.
25, 2016, this court permitted pro se plaintiff
Quentrell Williams to proceed on Eighth Amendment claims for
excessive force against defendant Esser, and for failure to
intervene against defendants Lentz and Jane Doe. The court
specifically found that Williams stated Eighth Amendment
claims with respect to the following incidents:
• Officer Lentz failed to protect Williams from
self-harm on March 3, 2013 when he gave Williams a glass
nasal spray bottle that Williams used to cause self-harm;
• Lt. D. Esser used excessive force against Williams on
March 3, May 25 and June 29, 2013, by spraying Williams with
an incapacitating agent, and on June 25, 2013, by forcibly
removing Williams from his prison cell; and
• Nurse Jane Doe failed to intervene and protect
Williams from the chemical agent incidents involving Esser.
(See Order, dkt. #37, at 5-7.)
subsequently filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on
exhaustion grounds as to the March 3, 2013, incident only.
(Dkt. #44.) Williams failed to file an opposition brief or
otherwise dispute any facts advanced by defendants in support
of its motion, and for the following reasons, defendants'
motion will now be granted.
42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), “[n]o action shall be
brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983
of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner
confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility
until such administrative remedies as are available are
exhausted.” Generally, to comply with § 1997e(a),
a prisoner must “properly take each step within the
administrative process, ” Pozo v. McCaughtry,
286 F.3d 1022, 1025 (7th Cir. 2002). This includes following
instructions for filing the initial grievance, Cannon v.
Washington, 418 F.3d 714, 718 (7th Cir. 2005), as well
as filing all necessary appeals, Burrell v. Powers,
431 F.3d 282, 284-85 (7th Cir. 2005), “in the place,
and at the time, the prison's administrative rules
require.” Pozo, 286 F.3d at 1025.
purpose of these requirements is to give the prison
administrators a fair opportunity to resolve the grievance
without litigation. Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81,
88-89 (2006). If a prisoner fails to exhaust his
administrative remedies before filing his lawsuit, then the
court must dismiss the case. Perez v. Wisconsin Dept. of
Corr., 182 F.3d 532, 535 (7th Cir. 1999). Because
exhaustion is an affirmative defense, defendants bear the
burden of establishing that plaintiff failed to exhaust.
Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 216 (2007).
exhaust state administrative remedies in Wisconsin, inmates
must follow the inmate complaint review process set forth in
the Wisconsin Administrative Code ch. DOC 310. Under these
provisions, prisoners start the complaint process by filing
an inmate complaint with the institution complaint examiner
within 14 days after the occurrence giving rise to the
complaint. Wis. Admin. Code § DOC 310.09(6). The
complaint must “[c]ontain only one issue per complaint,
and shall clearly identify the issue.” Id.
institution complaint examiner rejects a grievance for
procedural reasons without addressing the merits, an inmate
may appeal the rejection. Id. § 310.11(6). If
the complaint is not rejected, the institution examiner makes
a recommendation on the complaint to the reviewing authority.
Id. § 310.11(6). The offender complaint is then
decided by the appropriate reviewing authority whose decision
can be appealed by the inmate to the correctional complaint
examiner (corrections examiner). Id. §§
310.12, 310.13. The corrections examiner then makes a
recommendation to the Secretary of the Department of
Corrections, who takes final action. Id.
§§ 310.13, 310.14.
plaintiff's other claims, the record
supports defendants' position that Williams never
submitted a grievance with respect to the March 3, 2013,
incident. Defendants submitted Williams' Inmate Complaint
History Report and his offender complaints. (Dkts. #45-1,
#45-2.) Neither his report nor complaints described a March
3, 2013, incident where Esser sprayed Williams with an
incapacitating agent and a nurse then failed to help him.
Defendants also submitted a letter to Williams on May 5,
2013, returning his complaint materials because
“[c]omplaints shall contain only one issue and that
issue shall be clearly identified.” (Dkt. #45-3, at 1.)
The returned complaint, dated March 3, 2013, did not describe
the use of an incapacitating agent either. Rather, the
complaint includes only the following statement: “Lt.
Esser is torturing me by denying clothes, etc. naked in
observation, resulting from mental illness.”
(Id. at 2.) As none of Williams' grievances even
referenced a March 3, 2013, incident where Esser used a
chemical spray and Jane Doe failed to help him, it is
apparent that Williams did not exhaust this particular claim.
As such, defendant's motion will be granted.
final issue as to the claims against defendant Jane Doe
generally. Following the preliminary pretrial conference in
this matter, the court issued an order outlining the schedule
of this lawsuit and provided information to the parties about
the applicable rules. (See Prelim. Pretrial Conf.
Order, dkt. #43.) The order included a section describing the
procedure by which Williams should identify the Jane Doe
defendant. Specifically, the order directed plaintiff to file
an amended complaint identifying Jane Doe by December 23,
2016. (Id. at 3.) The court warned Williams that the
failure to meet this deadline may result in dismissal of the
claims against this defendant. As that deadline has come and