United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
MICHAEL R. COOPER, Plaintiff,
LT. HULL, RUMPEL, AND JOHN AND JANE DOES, Defendants.
WILLIAM E. DUFFIN U.S. Magistrate Judge
Michael R. Cooper, who is confined at the Milwaukee County
Jail, is representing himself. He filed a complaint alleging
that jail staff members failed to follow administrative
procedures and provide due process of law. This matter comes
before the court on Cooper's petition to proceed without
prepayment of the filing fee (in forma pauperis) and
to screen the complaint.
has paid an initial partial filing fee of $20.00.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). The court will
grant his petition to proceed without prepayment of the
filing fee and direct collection of the remainder of the
filing fee as explained at the end of this order.
of Review for Screening Complaint
court shall 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 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. 28 U.S.C. §
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 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355
U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). However, a complaint that offers mere
“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). 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).
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. 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 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, 106 (1976)).
alleges that on April 25, 2017, he was placed on disciplinary
status pending investigation of an altercation with another
inmate. Lieutenant Murano (not a defendant) allegedly
informed Cooper that if he did not receive a violation report
or hearing within 72 hours, he would be released from
alleges that on April 29, 2017, he filed a grievance on
defendant Lieutenant Hull for holding a violation hearing
without cause and for failing to provide paperwork regarding
the hearing or violation. Cooper states that on May 2, 2017,
he sent a request to Lieutenant Hull regarding the failure to
follow the rules of hearing and appeals but did not receive a
response from Hull. Cooper alleges that on May 5, 2017, he
sent another request to Hull for his failure to provide the
required paperwork for a disciplinary hearing and appeal, but
again did not receive a response from Hull.
Cooper alleges that on April 26, 2017, he sent a request to a
lieutenant asking that two phone numbers be placed on the
phone call list. He states that on May 2, 2017, he filed a
grievance regarding the jail's policy not allowing
inmates to have stamps or make phone calls and
“violating my constitutional rights by refusing me to
correspond with family and my attorney.” Cooper alleges
that on May 21, 2017, he appealed the grievance.
Cooper alleges that on May 6, 2017, he filed a grievance
about staff using food as discipline while he was being
disciplined for an infraction he never committed. Cooper
alleges that he did not receive a response to his grievance.
Cooper alleges that on September 6, 2017, he sent a letter of
complaint/appeal to the jail commander with regard to the
grievances that were not responded to after appeal, “as
it clearly states in the ...