United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
FONTAINE L. BAKER, SR. Plaintiff,
JON E. LITSCHER, WARDEN PAUL KEMPER, MS. VASQUEZ, MS. FRAZIER, DR. HAGEN, DR. NACKER, DR. BASS, DR. CASTILLO, NURSE PAM, MR. GROW, MR. TRAVIS, MS. BISHOP, MS. DICKES, and JOHN DOES 1 - 5, Defendants.
STADTMUELLER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Fontaine L. Baker, Sr., who is incarcerated at Waupun
Correctional Institution, proceeds in this matter pro
se. He filed a complaint alleging that the defendants
violated his constitutional rights. (Docket #1). Plaintiff
has paid the filing fee in this matter, and Plaintiff's
complaint thus comes before the Court for screening.
court shall 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); Hutchinson ex rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d
895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997). 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.
“Malicious, ” although sometimes treated as a
synonym for “frivolous, ” “is more usefully
construed as intended to harass.” Lindell v.
McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 1109-10 (7th Cir. 2003)
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)). 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. Section 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 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,
complaint arises from his time at Racine Correctional
Institution (“RCI”) from October 2016 to January
2017. (Docket #1 at 3-10). Plaintiff states that he suffers
from post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”),
depression, and insomnia, which together he characterizes as
a serious medical condition. Id. at 3. On October 5,
2016, he attempted to retrieve his daily medication from
Officer John Doe #1. Officer Doe #1 initially gave Plaintiff
the wrong medication, but upon a closer review of the
medications sheet, told Plaintiff that there were none for
him. Id. Plaintiff responded that he needed the
medication to treat his PTSD, but the officer informed him
that he must contact the Health Services Unit
(“HSU”) or the Psychological Services Unit
(“PSU”) to remedy the situation. Id.
Plaintiff wrote a note to both units that same day.
next day, Plaintiff alleges that he began exhibiting
withdrawal symptoms, including dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea,
and undefined psychological issues. Id. Plaintiff
was seen by Nurse Pam in HSU and he described his symptoms.
Id. Nurse Pam admitted that she did not know what
was wrong with Plaintiff. Id. Though Plaintiff asked
for his PTSD medication to be returned, Nurse Pam instead
told him to lie down and drink water. Id. at 3-4.
She did not inform any of her superiors about Plaintiff's
ailment. Id. at 4.
October 8, Plaintiff again wrote to HSU about his symptoms.
Id. An unidentified HSU employee responded that the
PTSD medication had been discontinued. Id. Plaintiff
learned that Dr. Castillo had ended Plaintiff's
prescription. Id. at 3. Plaintiff says this was done
without consulting him. Id.
October 10, Plaintiff wrote to PSU for assistance,
Id. at 4. Dr. Nacker responded the next day, stating
that Plaintiff had failed to request a refill for his
medication through HSU. Id. Plaintiff says this was
untrue. Id. Plaintiff wrote to HSU to be seen by a
doctor and inquire about the refill issue. Id. On
October 12, HSU responded that the matters would be discussed
in an already-scheduled appointment approximately one week
was placed in segregation on October 14, though he does not
explain why. Id. While there, he again wrote to PSU,
which gave him the same response the HSU had on October 12.
Id. He also sought help from a guard named Mr. Grow,
as well as Officer John Does #2, #3, and #4. Id. at
4-5. Plaintiff also made contact with Mr. Travis, a nurse,
and Dr. Bass. Id. at 5. Over the next few days,
Plaintiff told each of these people about his condition and
the need for medication, but none actually secured any help.
Id. at 4-5. On October 20, Plaintiff wrote directly
to Dr. Castillo, stating that he believed the discontinuation
of his medication was a mistake. Id. at 5. Plaintiff
apparently received no response. Id.
repeatedly wrote to both HSU and PSU from October 22 to
October 26. Id. at 5-6. HSU provided more
information about Dr. Castillo's order, indicating that
the medication had been stopped due to
“noncompliance.” Id. at 6. Later
communications from both PSU and HSU revealed that Plaintiff
had failed to show up for multiple appointments with his
psychologist, and had refused to take his medications, so the
prescriptions were ended by Dr. Castillo on October 5.
Id. HSU said Plaintiff would see Dr. Castillo again
in three weeks, and directed him to write to PSU to get help
in the meantime. Id. Plaintiff wrote to Dr. Bass in
PSU, describing his symptoms, but he was not seen by the
doctor or any PSU personnel that day. Id.
October 26, Plaintiff was placed on suicide watch.
Id. Dr. Wiliniski of PSU met with him there.
Id. Plaintiff explained what had happened over the
past few weeks, and Dr. Wiliniski told him that his PTSD
medication should not have been stopped so abruptly.
Id. at 6-7. Plaintiff was taken off of suicide watch
the next day. Id. at 7. He saw Dr. Bass at ...