United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
DECISION AND ORDER SCREENING THE COMPLAINT (DKT. NO.
PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff filed a complaint on March 30, 2017, alleging that
the defendants violated his constitutional rights. Dkt. No.
1. Less than a month after the court received the complaint,
the court received a letter from the plaintiff, asking
whether he could amend his complaint and asking the court to
explain the process for doing so. Dkt. No. 7. The court
provided the plaintiff with information about amending
complaints, and told him that, if he wanted to amend his
complaint, he needed to send the amended complaint to the
court by June 30, 2017. Dkt. No. 8. The court also told the
plaintiff that if it did not receive an amended complaint by
the deadline, the court would screen his original complaint.
days before the deadline, the court received another letter
from the plaintiff. Dkt. No. 9. This letter asked the court
to disregard the plaintiff's previous request that he be
allowed to file an amended complaint, and asked the court to
screen his original complaint. Id.
Screening the Plaintiff's Complaint
Prison Litigation Reform Act applies to this case because the
plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed the complaint. 28
U.S.C. §1915. That law requires courts to screen
complaints to identify whether the plaintiff states viable
claims. 28 U.S.C. §1915A(a). The court must dismiss a
complaint if the plaintiff raises 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
state a claim, a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, “that is plausible on its
face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility
when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows a court
to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
proceed 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
defendant was 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). The
court gives a pro se plaintiff's 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)).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 18(a), “[u]nrelated
claims against different defendants belong in different
suits, ” to prevent prisoners from dodging the fee
payment or three strikes provisions in the PLRA. George
v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). “A
party asserting a claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, or
third-party claim may join, as independent or alternate
claims, as many claims as it has against an opposing
party.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a). “[M]ultiple claims
against a single party are fine, but Claim A against
Defendant 1 should not be joined with unrelated Claim B
against Defendant 2.” George, 507 F.3d at 607.
Joinder of multiple defendants into one case is proper only
if “any right to relief is asserted against them
jointly, severally, or in the alternative with respect to or
arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences; and any question of law or fact
common to all defendants will arise in the action”
The Court's Analysis
plaintiff named three defendants in his complaint-Armor
Correctional Staff (whom he also refers to as Armor
Correctional Services), Armor Dental Staff, and Aramark
Kitchen Services (which he also calls Aramark Food Services).
Dkt. No. 1 at 1.
plaintiff first alleges that, while at the Milwaukee County
Jail, he showed the dentist a tooth that hurt. Dkt. No. 1 at
2. The dentist allegedly told the plaintiff that he would
pull the tooth, but, according to the plaintiff, the dentist
pulled the wrong tooth. Id. A few weeks later, the
plaintiff's gum continued to hurt and he could feel
chipped tooth fragments in his gum. Id. at 3. The
plaintiff believes that the dentist extracted only half of
his tooth, but he states that, because he is afraid, he
refused further dental services. Id. The court will
refer to these allegations as Case #1.
the plaintiff alleges that his meals are served to him on
old, plastic trays that are chipped and damaged. Id.
at 2-3. The plaintiff states that he often has to pick
plastic chips from the trays out of his food. Id. at
3. The plaintiff states that this is a violation of Wisconsin
food regulations. Id. The court will refer to these
allegations as Case #2.
the plaintiff alleges that in late December 2016, he was
suffering from heat exhaustion and tooth aches. Id.
He states that he passed out in his cell, and that when he
came to, at about 9:30 p.m., he pushed his emergency call
button. Id. He states that Armor Correctional Staff
did not arrive at his cell until 10:42 p.m., and that during
the intervening time, he could have passed out or had a
seizure or died. Id. When the staff arrived, they
checked his vitals, accused him of lying, and threatened to
charge him for the call. Id. The court will refer to
these allegations as Case #3.