United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2) AND
SCREENING COMPLAINT UNDER 28 U.S.C. §1915A
PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, a Wisconsin state prisoner who is representing
himself, filed this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983, dkt.
no. 1, along with a motion for leave to proceed without
prepayment of the filing fee, dkt. no. 2. This order resolves
his motion and screens his complaint.
Motion for Leave to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) applies to this case
because the plaintiff is incarcerated. 28 U.S.C. §1915.
The PLRA allows a court to give an incarcerated plaintiff the
ability to proceed with his lawsuit without prepaying the
case filing fee, as long as he meets certain conditions. One
of those conditions is that the plaintiff must pay an initial
partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. §1915(b).
April 5, 2017, the court ordered the plaintiff to pay an
initial partial filing fee of $7.88. Dkt. No. 5. The
plaintiff paid $7.90 on April 11, 2017. Accordingly, the
court will grant the plaintiff's motion. The court will
require the plaintiff to pay the remainder of the filing fee
over time as explained at the end of this decision.
Screening the Plaintiff's Complaint
requires the court 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 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 U.S.C. §1915A(b).
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,
The Plaintiff's Allegations
plaintiff alleges that on July 26, 2012, at 2:05 a.m.,
defendant City of Milwaukee Police Officer Nicholas Johnson
knocked on the door of his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Dkt.
No. 1 at 2. When the plaintiff answered the door, Officer
Johnson entered the home and asked the plaintiff if he was
Ennis Brown. Id. The plaintiff admitted that he was
Ennis Brown. Id. Officer Johnson, who didn't
have a warrant, arrested the plaintiff and transported him to
the “city jail.” Id. at 2-3, 4. The
plaintiff was held at the jail for over six hours, during
which time he didn't know why he had been arrested.
Id. at 4.
at the jail, defendant Detective Kevin Armbruster questioned
the plaintiff for about an hour and forty-five minutes.
Id. The plaintiff still didn't know what he had
been charged with, and a warrant had not been issued for his
arrest. Id. After the questioning, the plaintiff was
returned to the jail cell. Id. About eight hours
later, defendant Detective Rodney Young questioned the
plaintiff for over an hour. Id. At that time, there
still was no warrant or probable cause. Id. During
the questioning from both Armbruster and Young, the plaintiff
demanded an attorney. Id.
morning of July 27, 2012, the plaintiff was moved to the
Milwaukee County Jail. Id. He did not get a probable
cause hearing until July 31, 2012 (five days after he was
taken to the jail). Id.
District Attorney John Chisholm signed the complaint
“by proxy of” defendant Assistant District
Attorney Sara B. Hill (formerly Lewis). Id. On July
31, 2012, after she became aware that the plaintiff had been
held in jail for more than forty-eight hours without a
probable cause hearing, Attorney Hill issued several
“five day not processes” with the jail.