United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
RYAN P. O'BOYLE, Plaintiff,
GILBERT CARRASCO, BARBARA O'LEARY, KRISTOPHER M. MADUSCHA, MICHAEL A. ANTONIAK, MARY SCHMITZ, JAMES C. GRIFFIN, DENNIS R. CIMPL, DERRICK L. HARRIS, EDWIN L. JOHNSON, and GLENN YAMAHIRO, Defendants.
AND ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
PROCEED WITHOUT PAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2),
TERMINATING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO SCREEN COMPLAINT (DKT.
NO. 8), GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST TO STAY CASE (DKT.
NO. 9) AND ADMINISTRATIVELY CLOSING CASE
PAMELA PEPPER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, a state prisoner who is representing himself,
filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that
the defendants violated his civil rights during his arrest
and criminal prosecution in Milwaukee County. Dkt. No. 1. He
also has filed a motion for leave to proceed without
prepayment of the filing fee, dkt. no. 2, although he has
paid $350.00 toward that filing fee. The plaintiff filed a
motion asking the court to screen the complaint, dkt. no. 8,
but then asked the court to wait to screen the complaint
until he learns the outcome of a post-conviction motion he
filed in state court last month regarding his criminal case,
dkt. no. 9. This order resolves all of those motions, and
dismisses the case.
Motion for Leave to Proceed without Prepayment of the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) applies to this case
because the plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed his
complaint. 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.
26, 2016, the court ordered the plaintiff to pay an initial
partial filing fee of $24.37. Dkt. No. 5. Lee than a month
later, the court received a $350.00 payment-the full amount
of the filing fee. The fact that the plaintiff has paid the
filing fee, however, does not moot the plaintiff's
motion. Prisoners who do not receive leave to proceed without
prepaying the filing fee also must pay a $50 administrative
fee, and must serve their complaints themselves. The
plaintiff has disclosed that he has an account containing
$950; if the court does not grant his request to proceed
without prepaying the filing fee, he would have to use some
of that small amount of money to pay the $50 administrative
fee and to hire someone to serve his complaint. The court
does not expect the plaintiff to spend all of his money to
file a lawsuit, especially when the court finds that he has
met the qualifications for proceeding without prepaying the
filing fee under 28 U.S.C. §1915. The court will grant
the plaintiff's motion, and note that he has paid the
entire applicable filing fee.
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).
plaintiff filed his complaint on July 20, 2016; the court
should have screened his complaint within a reasonable time
after that. The court neglected to timely and promptly screen
the complaint, so on August 4, 2017, the plaintiff filed a
motion asking the court to screen the complaint. Dkt. No. 8.
Almost three months later, though, the plaintiff filed a
letter asking the court to wait to screen his complaint until
he receives a determination regarding a post-conviction
motion he filed in state court, collaterally attacking his
criminal conviction. Dkt. No. 9. According to the plaintiff,
he filed that motion around October 13, 2017. Id.
request effectively withdrew the plaintiff's motion
asking the court to screen the complaint, so the court will
terminate that motion. The court will grant the
plaintiff's request to stay this case pending the state
court's decision on his post-conviction motion. The court
will administratively close this case to give the plaintiff
time to finish up in state court, and will give the plaintiff
directions directions for asking to lift the stay once the
state proceedings are finished.
outcome is consistent with Younger v. Harris, 401
U.S. 37 (1971), which “holds that federal courts must
abstain from taking jurisdiction over federal constitutional
claims that may interfere with ongoing state
proceedings.” Gakuba v. O'Brien, 711 F.3d
751, 753 (7th Cir. 2013) (citing SKS & Assocs., Inc.
v. Dart, 619 F.3d 674, 677 (7th Cir. 2010)). Deciding
the plaintiffs claims in federal court could undermine his
state court proceeding, and the Seventh Circuit recommends
that the court stay the federal case, rather than dismissing
the case altogether, because monetary relief is not available
in defense of criminal charges and federal civil claims could
become time-barred while the criminal case is pending.
Gakuba, 711 F.3d at 753.
court GRANTS the plaintiffs motion for leave
to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee. Dkt. No. 2.
court TERMINATES the plaintiffs motion to
screen complaint. Dkt. No. 8.
court GRANTS the plaintiffs request to stay
this case, dkt. no. 9, and ADMINISTRATIVELY
CLOSES the case. Within thirty (30) days of the date
the highest state court issues a final decision on his
post-conviction motion, the plaintiff should file a motion in
this court-bearing the case ...