United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
RUDY E. MCWASHINGTON, Plaintiff,
BRADLEY J. JANSEN, WENDY LEMKE, and BRYANT DORSEY, Defendants.
Stadtmueller, U.S. District Judge
Rudy E. McWashington, who is incarcerated at Brown County
Jail, proceeds in this matter pro se. He filed a
complaint alleging that the defendants violated his
constitutional rights. (Docket #1). This matter comes before
the court on Plaintiff's petition to proceed without
prepayment of the filing fee (in forma pauperis).
(Docket #2). Plaintiff has been assessed and paid an initial
partial filing fee of $58.91. See 28 U.S.C. §
court shall screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking
relief against a governmental entity or an officer or
employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof 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. Id. §
is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either
in law or in fact. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25,
31 (1992); Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325
(1989); Hutchinson ex rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d
895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997). The court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327.
“Malicious, ” although sometimes treated as a
synonym for “frivolous, ” “is more usefully
construed as intended to harass.” Lindell v.
McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 1109-10 (7th Cir. 2003)
state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading
system, the plaintiff is required to provide a “short
and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is
entitled to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). It is not
necessary for the plaintiff to plead specific facts and his
statement need only “give the defendant fair notice of
what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S.
41, 47 (1957)). However, a complaint that offers mere
“labels and conclusions” or a “formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). To state
a claim, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, “that is plausible on its
face.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 570). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). The complaint's
allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555 (citation omitted).
considering whether a complaint states a claim, courts should
follow the principles set forth in Twombly by first,
“identifying pleadings that, because they are no more
than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Legal
conclusions must be supported by factual allegations.
Id. If there are well-pleaded factual allegations,
the court must, second, “assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.” Id.
state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. Section 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). 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)).
complaint presents claims leveled against both the public
defender and prosecutors assigned to his criminal case in
Brown County. (Docket #1). Since the filing of his complaint,
Plaintiff has offered motions to amend or supplement his
pleading. (Docket #7 and #8). Piecemeal amendments to a
pleading are not permitted; Plaintiff's complaint must
contain all of the defendants, and the claims alleged against
them, in one complete document. The motions will be denied.
Court will permit Plaintiff the opportunity to correct these
deficiencies in his pleading. If he chooses to offer an
amended complaint, Plaintiff must do so no later than October
17, 2017. The amended complaint supersedes the prior
complaint and must be complete in itself without reference to
the original complaint. See Duda v. Board of Educ. of
Franklin Park Pub. Sch. Dist. No. 84, 133 F.3d 1054,
1056-57 (7th Cir. 1998). In Duda, the Seventh
Circuit emphasized that in such instances, the “prior
pleading is in effect withdrawn as to all matters not
restated in the amended pleading[.]” Id. at
1057 (citation omitted); see also Pintado v. Miami-Dade
Housing Agency, 501 F.3d 1241, 1243 (11th Cir. 2007)
(“As a general matter, ‘[a]n amended pleading
supersedes the former pleading; the original pleading is
abandoned by the amendment, and is no longer a part of the
pleader's averments against his adversary.'”)
(quoting Dresdner Bank AG, Dresdner Bank AG in Hamburg v.
M/V OLYMPIA VOYAGER, 463 F.3d 1210, 1215 (11th Cir.
2006)). If an amended complaint is received, it will be
screened pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion
for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee
(in forma pauperis) (Docket #2) be and the same is
IS FURTHER ORDERED that on or before October
17, 2017, Plaintiff shall file an amended pleading
curing the defects in the original complaint as described
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's motions for
leave to amend the complaint (Docket #7 and #8) be and the
same are hereby DENIED;
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the agency having custody of
Plaintiff shall collect from his institution trust account
the balance of the filing fee by collecting monthly payments
from Plaintiff's prison trust account in an amount equal
to 20% of the preceding month's income credited to
Plaintiff's trust account and forwarding payments to the
Clerk of Court each time the amount in the account exceeds
$10 in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). The
payments shall be clearly identified by the case name and
number assigned to this action. If Plaintiff is transferred
to another institution, county, state, or federal, the
transferring institution shall forward a copy of this Order
along with Plaintiff's remaining balance to the receiving
IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this order be sent
to the officer in charge of the agency ...