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Stechauner v. Wall
United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
July 11, 2017
MATTHEW C. STECHAUNER, Plaintiff,
EDWARD F. WALL, JON E. LITSCHER, CATHY JESS, JAMES GREER, PAUL KEMPER, JUDY P. SMITH, JASON ALDANA, KRISTEN VASQUEZ, DANIELLE FOSTER, SGT. JAMISON, SGT. BROWN, OFFICER DISMUKE, LORA BLASIUS, DOCTOR KREMBS, DOCTOR PATRICK MURPHY, DOCTOR WHEATLEY, DOCTOR SHEIDE, DOCTOR ADAMS, SGT. NEAL, DAWN FOFANA, JOHN DOES, and JANE DOES, Defendants.
D. PETERSON District Judge.
plaintiff Matthew C. Stechauner, a Wisconsin prisoner
incarcerated at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution (OCI),
filed a proposed complaint, alleging that prison officials
failed to provide adequate medical care for his various
physical and mental conditions. Dkt. 1. Stechauner has paid
his partial filing fee.
next step is for me to screen his complaint and dismiss any
portion that is legally frivolous, malicious, fails to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted, or asks for money
damages from a defendant who by law cannot be sued for money
damages. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915 and 1915A. Stechauner is
a pro se litigant, so I must read his complaint generously.
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 521 (1972) (per
reviewing the complaint with these principles in mind, I
conclude that Stechauner's complaint has three problems:
(1) some of his allegations fail to state a claim; (2) some
allegations violate Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 8
because they are too vague; and (3) the complaint as a whole
violates Rules 18 and 20 because Stechauner's claims
belong in separate lawsuits. I will dismiss Stechauner's
complaint, but Stechauner may file an amended complaint that
fixes these problems.
complaint contains 133 numbered allegations against 20 named
defendants in addition to various Doe defendants. I will not
recount Stechauner's lengthy allegations but instead
summarize them. In short, Stechauner's complaint contains
seven sets of allegations:
1. Prison employees at Stechauner's old prison, the
Racine Correctional Institution (RCI), failed to provide
proper medical care for Stechauner's physical conditions,
such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, and back pain.
2. Prison officials at RCI retaliated against Stechauner for
complaining about the lack of proper medical care at RCI by
sending him to OCI.
3. Prison employees at RCI violated Stechauner's rights
guaranteed under the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
4. Prison employees at OCI failed to provide proper medical
care for Stechauner's physical conditions.
5. Correctional officers at OCI ignored Stechauner's
threats of suicide.
6. Staff members at the OCI Psychological Service Unit
ignored Stechauner's requests to see a psychiatrist for
mental health issues such as anxiety and suicidal ideations.
7. Defendant Doctor Sheide denied Stechauner's right to
personal hygiene by not allowing him to shower and to brush
his teeth from September 22, 2016, to September 26, 2016.
I require pro se litigants to satisfy Rules 18 and 20 by
separating allegations that belong in separate lawsuits
before I screen their complaints. But here, some of the
problems in Stechauner's complaint are obvious, and if he
were to file separate lawsuits, he will incur multiple
strikes under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Given
Stechauner's pro se status, providing him with some
guidance is appropriate. Accordingly, I begin the discussion
by identifying the allegations that fail to state a claim.