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Price v. Brown

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

August 7, 2017

ROLAND PRICE, Plaintiff,
v.
LEBBEUS BROWN, PHILLIP FRIEDRICH, AND CO OLSEN, Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER SCREENING PLAINTIFF'S THIRD AMENDED COMPLAINT (DKT. NO. 28)

          HON. PAMELA PEPPER United States District Judge.

         The plaintiff filed his third amended complaint on April 7, 2017. Dkt. No. 28. The court must 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 part of it, 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. §1915A(b). 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)).

         To 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 him 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).

         I. Allegations in the Complaint

         The third amended complaint is thirteen pages long, and contains allegations that span almost six years and three different prisons. Dkt. No. 28.

         The plaintiff begins by discussing a conduct report that he received, which resulted in a hearing in January 2011 at the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility (WSPF). Id. at 2. He alleges that defendant Brown wrote and investigated this report. Id. at 3. He maintains that all conduct reports must be designated by the security director as either a major or a minor offense, and says that if the conduct report doesn't contain such a designation, the WSPF lacks the “jurisdictional authorities” to process the report. Id. The plaintiff alleges that a Captain Gardner (not a defendant) did not “check the type of hearing procedure.” Id. The plaintiff also asserts that following the hearing, he was placed in administrative segregation, while similarly situated non-black inmates were placed on temporary lockup status pending a decision on their conduct reports. Id. The plaintiff suggests that he received this treatment because he had filed multiple complaints against defendant Brown, and asserts that more than half of the staff at WSPF are under Brown's influence. Id. at 3.

         The plaintiff's “claim #2, ” “claim #3, ” and “claim #4” relate to property deemed contraband and destroyed by defendant Phillip Friedrich. Id. at 3-11. In claim #2, the plaintiff asserts that Friedrich seized his legal papers as contraband after Brown wrote the conduct report. Id. at 3-4. He claims that Friedrich seized the documents to prevent the plaintiff from filing inmate complaints and taking legal action. Id. at 5.

         In claim #3, the plaintiff alleges that in May 2012, he was transferred out of WSPF to Columbia Correctional Institution, and that Friedrich “packed out” his property. Id. at 6. The plaintiff alleges that when he got to CCI, property was missing, and although he followed the procedures CCI staff told him to follow, his property was “gone.” Id. at 7.

         In claim #4, the plaintiff turns his attention back to his time at WSDF, and alleges that the facility's failure to follow Wisconsin law, and Friedrich's destruction of his legal papers, damaged his ability to present appeals, as well as his marriage and family support system. Id. at 8-10. He says that he was denied access to the courts because of this. Id. at 10.

         The plaintiff's final claim alleges that defendant Olsen denied the plaintiff legal loans and withheld legal mail at New Lisbon Correctional Institution. Dkt. No. 28 at 11-13. According to the plaintiff, Olsen delayed the plaintiff's outgoing mail a number of times in 2016 and 2017. Id.

         II. Analysis

         A. Failure to Mark Conduct Report as Minor or Major; Placement in Segregation

         The plaintiff's first claim asserts that Captain Gardner didn't designate the conduct report that Brown wrote as either “minor” or “major, ” and thus that the WSDF didn't have the authority to process that conduct report. This claim does not assert a constitutional violation, and the plaintiff did not name Gardner as a defendant. The court will not allow the plaintiff to proceed on this claim.

         The plaintiff also asserts that he “was placed” in segregation, while non-black inmates were placed in temporary lock-up status. He implies a discrimination claim, but the plaintiff does not say who placed him in ...


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