United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
Stadtmueller, U.S. District Judge.
who is currently incarcerated at Dodge Correctional
Institution, filed a pro se complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his civil rights were
violated. (Docket #1). This matter comes before the Court on
Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis.
(Docket #2). Plaintiff has been assessed and paid an initial
partial filing fee of $15.77. See 28 U.S.C. §
Court is required to 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); Gladney v. Pendelton Corr. Facility, 302
F.3d 773, 774 (7th Cir. 2002). 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; Gladney, 302 F.3d at 774. “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 (7th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted);
accord Paul v. Marberry, 658 F.3d 702, 705 (7th Cir.
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)); see Christopher v. Buss, 384 F.3d
879, 881 (7th Cir. 2004). However, a complaint that offers
“labels and conclusions” or “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); Christopher, 384
F.3d at 881.
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. § 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. Vill. of N. 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,
alleges that on January 15, 2017, the Wisconsin Department of
Corrections (“WDOC”) falsely imprisoned him in
the Racine County Jail after a string of events involving
clerical errors in his criminal record that are apparently
the fault of the Racine County Clerk of Court and the Circuit
Court Access Database. The first error involves violations he
says he did not commit, and the second involves a charge he
says was dismissed. These errors, he says, are defamatory and
have proven a barrier to his “freedom and
employment.” (Docket #1 at 3). Apparently, an erroneous
portion of Plaintiff's criminal record was referenced by
probation agent Mike Emmerich (“Emmerich”), who
is not named as a defendant, when Emmerich sought to have
Plaintiff re-confined in the Racine County Jail. Plaintiff
states that “[t]he agent was not truthful during the
preliminary when he told public defender Shelia Smith,
[magistrate] Jason Lubetke and the Plaintiff that the
battery, child abuse, endanger safety was not a charge on
file nor was it being used against the Plaintiff. Agent
states that ‘the questioned child neglect is just an
example of guidelines that we use.'” (Docket #1 at
3-4). Plaintiff mentions the due process clauses of the
Fourteenth and Fifth Amendments as sources of the
constitutional rights implicated here.
subsequently filed two “supplements” to his
complaint in which he appears to withdraw his claim under the
Fourteenth Amendment but add claims under the First, Sixth,
Seventh, and Ninth Amendments. (Docket #9 and #11). The only
additional fact alleged in these supplements is that every
grievance Plaintiff files gets dismissed. (Docket #9 at 1).
seeks as relief compensatory and punitive damages, as well as
the removal from his criminal record of a charge that he
claims has been dismissed. (Docket #1 at 4). He also demands
that “clerks not . . . neglect their duties” and
that a cross-reference system be implemented to prevent
future clerical errors related to criminal records.
aside the procedural defects in Plaintiff's piecemeal
submissions, Plaintiff's complaint, even when liberally
construed to include all supplements, suffers from fatal
defects. The first relates to immunity.
Eleventh Amendment bars a suit against a state, in federal
court, regardless of the relief sought, unless Congress has
overridden the state's immunity or the state has waived
it. Ryan v. Ill. Dep't of Children & Family
Servs., 185 F.3d 751, 758 (7th Cir. 1999). Section 1983
does not abrogate Wisconsin's Eleventh Amendment
immunity. Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police,
491 U.S. 58, 66 (1989). Nor has Wisconsin waived its
immunity. Buchanan v. City of Kenosha, 57 F.Supp.2d
675, 677 (E.D. Wis. 1999). Therefore, Plaintiff's claim
against the State of Wisconsin is barred by the Eleventh
Eleventh Amendment immunity extends to state or governmental
entities that are considered “arms of the State.”
Will, 491 U.S. at 70. As a state agency, defendant
WDOC enjoys the state's Eleventh Amendment immunity from
federal lawsuits. Alvarado-Reyes v. Reynolds, No.
14-CV-101-WMC, 2015 WL 901826, at *2 (W.D. Wis. Mar. 3,
2015); see also Kroll v. Board of Trustees of Univ. of
Ill., 934 F.2d 904, 907 (7th Cir. 1991). Like his claim
against the State of Wisconsin, Plaintiff's claim against
WDOC is also barred.
next names as a defendant the “Circuit Court Access
Database, ” which he says is also known as
“CCAP.” (Docket #1 at 2). “CCAP” is
an acronym for Wisconsin's Consolidated Court Automation
Programs, “a case management system” that
“provides public access online to reports of activity
in Wisconsin circuit courts for those counties that use CCAP.
Circuit court employees enter all CCAP data in the county
where the case files are located, and the information feeds
into the statewide access system.” State v.
Bonds, 717 N.W.2d 133, 138 (Wis. 2006). The Wisconsin