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Yeoman v. Manlove

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

October 26, 2017

ADAM YEOMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. J. MANLOVE, NURSE GAIL, SGT. TRITT, and HSM SCHRUBBE, Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2) AND SCREENING THE AMENDED COMPLAINT (DKT. NO. 8)

          HON. PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The plaintiff, a Wisconsin state prisoner who is representing himself, filed a civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that the defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights at the Waupun Correctional Institution (“WCI”). Dkt. No. 8. This order resolves the plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee and screens the plaintiff's amended complaint.

         I. THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) applies to this action because the plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed his complaint. 28 U.S.C. §1915. The law allows a court to give an incarcerated plaintiff the ability to proceed with his lawsuit without pre-paying the civil case-filing fee as long as he meets certain conditions. Id. One of those conditions is a requirement that the plaintiff must pay an initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. §1915(b). Once the plaintiff pays the initial partial filing fee, the court may allow the plaintiff to pay the balance of the $350 filing fee over time, through deductions from his prisoner account. Id.

         On September 5, 2017, the court assessed an initial partial filing fee of $47.29. Dkt. No. 5. The plaintiff paid that amount on September 15, 2017. The court will grant the plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filling fee and will allow the plaintiff to pay the balance of the $350.00 filing fee over time from his prisoner account, as described at the end of this order.

         II. SCREENING OF THE PLAINTIFF'S AMENDED COMPLAINT

         A. Standard for Screening Complaints

         The PLRA requires federal courts to 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 may dismiss a case, or part of a case, if the claims alleged are “frivolous or malicious, ” fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §1915(e)(2)(B).

         To state a claim under the federal notice pleading system, the plaintiff must provide a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is entitled to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The complaint need not plead specific facts, and need only provide “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)). “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).

         The factual content of the complaint must allow the court to “draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. Allegations must “raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Factual allegations, when accepted as true, must state a claim that is “plausible on its face.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.

         Federal courts follow the two-step analysis in Twombly to determine whether a complaint states a claim. Id. at 679. First, the court determines whether the plaintiff's legal conclusions are supported by factual allegations. Id. Legal conclusions not supported by facts “are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Id. Second, the court determines whether the well-pleaded factual allegations “plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Id. The court gives 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)).

         B. Facts Alleged in the Amended Complaint

         0n January 20, 2015, the plaintiff ran into a concrete wall while playing basketball, and both heard and felt a “snap” in his forearm. Dkt. No. 8 at 2, 8. He immediately told Sergeant Tritt, and asked to see a nurse, but Tritt responded, “You don't look all that hurt to me, ” and refused to call the Health Services Unit. Id. at 2-3. A different officer overheard their conversation and called for an emergency escort. Id. at 3.

         The plaintiff indicates that immediately upon arriving at the HSU, he was “forced” to sign a $7.50 medical co-pay; he argues that this is against Division of Adult Institutions policy. Id. The plaintiff told Nurse Gail that he had both heard and felt his bone snap; he described feeling numbness in his fingers. Id. Gail recorded the plaintiff's pain as a ten out of ten, but the plaintiff says that she “did not believe that [his] arm was broken.” Id. Instead, she noted that he had a two-centimeter laceration on his arm and gave him a Band-Aid to cover the wound. Id. Gail asked if the plaintiff had his own pain medication and an ice bag in his cell (items he indicates inmates are not allowed to have without a medical restriction). Id. Even though the plaintiff answered “no, ” Gail stated that the plaintiff was ...


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