United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
STADTMUELLER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
who is incarcerated at Redgranite Correctional Institution,
filed a pro se complaint claiming his civil rights
were violated. See (Docket #1). On September 25,
2017, each Defendant filed a separate motion for summary
judgment. (Docket #27, #34). On October 4, 2017, Plaintiff
filed a motion requesting that certain alleged procedural
deficiencies in Defendants' submissions be addressed or,
in the alternative, that the motions be stricken. (Docket
#40). He further requested that Defendants' motions be
held in abeyance until the claimed deficiencies are
will be granted a short extension to respond to the motions,
but he presents no viable basis for striking them in their
entirety. First, he claims that none of the documents served
on him were signed. Id. at 1. However, documents
that are filed electronically with the Court do not need an
inked signature to be considered validly signed. The papers
filed with the Court all bear electronic signatures, which is
all that is required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 or
any of the Court's Local Rules, especially in a case like
this one, where Plaintiff's objection is technical and
raises no real doubt as to the authenticity of any of
Defendants' submissions. See Magyar v. Saint Joseph
Reg'l Med. Ctr., 544 F.3d 766, 770 (7th Cir. 2008).
Plaintiff complains that Defendants cited unpublished
opinions in their briefs without providing copies of them.
(Docket #40 at 2). Plaintiff says that, as an inmate, he
cannot access electronic case research services and so cannot
retrieve unpublished cases. Id. Defendants represent
that they have now mailed copies of all the unpublished cases
they cited. (Docket #42). The oversight having been quickly
rectified, there is no reason for the Court to take the
drastic step of striking the motions.
Plaintiff contends that Defendant Lori Doehling's
submissions were confusing to him, as they were printed on
both sides of every piece of paper but not in any sort of
organized fashion. (Docket #40 at 2). Defendant's counsel
has reserved those papers with single-sided printing, (Docket
#41), so again there is no longer any reason to strike the
Plaintiff claims that because Defendants each filed their own
motion for summary judgment, he will be overburdened in
responding to them. (Docket #40 at 2). The Court is not
sympathetic, as Plaintiff chose to file a lawsuit against two
individuals and cannot now complain that it will require an
investment of time and effort to litigate this matter. This
is not a colorable basis for either striking the motions or
granting an extension of time to respond to them.
Plaintiff says that Defendant Christine Dietrich references a
declaration in her motion which is not attached thereto.
Id. Defendant has clarified that the declaration in
question is attached to Defendant Doehling's motion.
(Docket #42). The Court assumes this abates Plaintiff's
Plaintiff objects to the disclosure of his financial
information in connection with the declaration of Michelle
Sonnentag. (Docket #40 at 3). Attached to the declaration is
a copy of Plaintiff's prison trust account statement.
Plaintiff cites no rule or other authority providing that his
prison trust account statement must be protected from
disclosure, and the Court notes that trust account statements
are routinely filed on the public docket for purposes of
determining whether a prisoner can proceed without prepayment
of the filing fee. Plaintiff's concern with his financial
privacy is not enough, standing alone, to warrant relief.
Plaintiff notes Defendants' assertion in their motions
that he cannot sustain his state-law medical negligence
claims without the testimony of a medical expert.
Id. at 4-5. Plaintiff complains that without
counsel, he lacks the resources to secure the necessary
expert testimony. Id. Without commenting on the
propriety of Defendants' defense to Plaintiff's
state-law claims, the Court is not moved by Plaintiff's
repackaging of his earlier requests for appointment of
counsel, which this Court has now denied three times.
has provided that indigent prisoners may file their cases
without prepaying the associated fees. See Doty v.
Doyle, 182 F.Supp.2d 750, 751 (E.D. Wis. 2002). However,
there is no such authority supporting the appointment of a
medical expert for a prisoner free of charge. Porter v.
Dep't of Treasury, 564 F.3d 176, 180 n.3 (3d Cir.
2009) (noting that “granting of IFP status exempts
litigants from filing fees only. It does not exempt litigants
from the costs of copying and filing documents; service of
documents other than the complaint; costs; expert witness
fees; or sanctions.”) (internal citations omitted). As
the Seventh Circuit has instructed, “like any other
civil litigant, [a prisoner] must decide which of [his] legal
actions is important enough to fund, ” Lindell v.
McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 1111 (7th Cir. 2003); thus, if
a prisoner concludes that “the limitations on his funds
prevent him from prosecuting [a] case with the full vigor he
wishes to prosecute it, he is free to choose to dismiss it
voluntarily and bring it at a later date.” Williams
v. Berge, No. 02-CV-10, 2002 WL 32350026, at *8 (W.D.
Wis. Apr. 30, 2002). Plaintiff will not be appointed counsel
so that counsel may expend his or her own resources to fund
Plaintiff presents no good reason to strike Defendants'
motions for summary judgment, the Court declines to do so.
However, because of the time expended in rectifying some of
the purported procedural lapses in Defendants'
submissions, the Court will grant Plaintiff a brief extension
of time to respond to their motions. Plaintiff shall file his
responses to Defendants' motions no later than
November 20, 2017.
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion to
strike Defendants' motions for summary judgment or to
hold them in abeyance (Docket #40) be and the same is hereby
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall file
responses to Defendants' motions for summary judgment no
later than November 20, 2017. No