United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
TOMMIE E. EVANS, Plaintiff,
NATHAN WOLF, et al., Defendants.
AMENDED SCREENING ORDER 
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge.
plaintiff Tommie Evans, who is currently incarcerated at
Wisconsin Secure Program Facility but was incarcerated at
Waupun Correctional Institution at all times relevant to the
complaint, filed a pro se complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging that his civil rights were violated.
This matter comes before the court on the plaintiff's
motion for leave to proceed without prepaying the full filing
is required to pay the $350.00 statutory filing fee for this
action. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). If a
prisoner does not have the money to pay the filing fee, he
can request leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Plaintiff has filed a certified copy of his prison trust
account statement for the six-month period immediately
preceding the filing of his complaint, as required under 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2), and has been assessed and paid an
initial partial filing fee of $30.32. Plaintiff's motion
for leave to proceed without prepaying the filing fee will be
court is required 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 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. §
1915A(b). A claim 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).
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). The
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter “that
is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The court accepts
the factual allegations as true and liberally construes them
in the plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729
F.3d 645, 651 (7th Cir. 2013). Nevertheless, 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).
alleges that on December 2, 2016, he was escorted from the
Restricted Housing Unit to an interview booth for a scheduled
attorney visit. In the booth, Evans was secured to the table
with handcuffs. The visit lasted about ninety minutes and
concluded around 2:45 pm. Upon completion, Evans immediately
notified the control officer Sergeant Jane Doe that the visit
was over and that he would like to be returned to his cell.
Sergeant Jane Doe was assigned to the control post and was
responsible for monitoring movement in the Restricted Housing
Unit. Evans alleges that Sergeant Jane Doe ignored his
booth Evans was in did not contain a clock, but Evans
believes he was remained there for approximately two hours
before he began having a panic attack and feeling
light-headed. Evans alleges that he began to yell and kick
the door in an attempt to get the attention of the officers
but his attempts were unsuccessful. Evans alleges that the
heating system in the cell was faulty and in addition to his
panic attack, his body temperature began to drop from the
cold. Sometime around his third or fourth hour, Evans lost
was eventually awoken by Sergeant Nathan Wolf, Correctional
Officer Jacob Dorn, and Correctional Officer Patrick Mahoney.
During his unconsciousness, Evans had urinated on himself. He
also felt extreme pain when attempting to move his right
shoulder and his head. He noticed a lump on his head. Evans
estimates that he was locked in the interview booth for
approximately seven hours.
was transported to the Health Services Unit, where he was
seen by Nurse Jennifer Kacyon. Nurse Kacyon made the decision
to have Evans transported to Waupun Memorial Hospital, where
he was treated for injuries to his head and shoulder, as well
as hypothermia. When Evans was returned to Waupun
Correctional Institution, Sergeant John Doe refused Evans a
shower or a meal, despite Evans still being covered in his
own urine and having not eaten since earlier that morning.
filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and alleged
that these conditions of his confinement violated his Eighth
Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.
Evans alleges that Sergeant Nathan Wolf, who a supervisor in
the Restricted Housing Unit, displayed deliberate
indifference by failing to have Evans transferred back to his
cell at a reasonable time. Evans alleges that Correctional
Officer Patrick Mahoney displayed deliberate indifference by
failing to have Evans transferred back to his cell at a
reasonable time. Evans alleges that Matthew Burns, a
supervisor in the Restrictive Housing Unit, displayed
deliberate indifference when he failed to notify staff of the
faulty heating system in the attorney visit area. Evans
alleges that Correctional Officer Jacob Dorn displayed
deliberate indifference by failing to have Evans transferred
back to his cell at a reasonable time. Evans alleges that
Nurse Kacyon displayed deliberate indifference by failing to
respond to Evans when he yelled for help. Evans alleges that
Sergeant John Doe displayed deliberate indifference by
refusing Evans a shower and meal upon his return to Waupun
Correctional Institution. Lastly, Evans alleges that Sergeant
Jane Doe showed deliberate indifference by ignoring his
request to notify staff that Evans' attorney visit had
ended and that he was ready to return to his cell.
state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on
the conditions of confinement in violation of the Eight
Amendment, a plaintiff must allege (1) that there was an
objective showing that the conditions are sufficiently
serious and (2) that there was a subjective showing of a
defendant's culpable state of mind. Isby v.
Brown, 856 F.3d 508, 521 (7th Cir. 2017). In order for
conditions to be sufficiently serious, they must be the type
that deny an inmate “the minimal civilized measure of
life's necessities, ” which created an excessive
risk to the inmate's health and safety. Id.
(citing Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347
(1981)). The showing of a defendant's state-of-mind is a
subjective one: “the official must both be aware of
facts from which the inference could be drawn that a
substantial risk of serious harms exists, and he must also
draw the inference.” Chatham v. Davis, 839
F.3d 679, 684 (7th Cir. 2016) (citing Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 837 (1994)). However, it has long
been established that negligence, as evidenced by simple
inattention or inadvertence, may not form the basis for an
Eighth Amendment claim. Benson v. Cady, 761 F.2d
335, 339 (7th Cir. 1985).
stage in the proceedings, accepting Evans' factual
allegations as true and drawing all inferences in his favor
as I must, he has stated a claim for deliberate indifference
to his physical safety. It seems unlikely that leaving him in
the interview room after his visit was complete would amount
to deliberate indifference to serious medical needs unless
Sergeant Jane Doe had actual knowledge that the conditions in
the interview room put his health at risk. Indeed, because
the room is described as an interview room where attorneys
are allowed to meet with their clients it seems highly
unlikely it would also serve as the torture chamber Evans
describes. Yet, Evans alleges that Jane Doe left him in the
room and failed to respond to his repeated calls for help. As
a result, he claims he suffered a panic attack, became
physically ill and required off-site medical attention.
Though it is not clear that Jane Doe would have known of his
suffering, I cannot say at this early stage that the
complaint fails to state a claim against her. His allegation
that he repeatedly called for help, combined with the
allegation that she was assigned to the area and was in
charge of monitoring movement in that section are sufficient
to raise an inference that she knew. At this stage, that is
at this point in the proceedings, Evans has sufficiently
stated a claim against Sergeant John Doe for denying him a
shower and meal after he returned from the hospital unfed and
still covered in his own urine. See Rhodes, 452 U.S.
at 347 (explaining that conditions, either alone or in
combination, may deprive inmates of the minimal civilized
measure of life's necessities, like food and sanitation).
Accordingly, that claim will also proceed for now.
Evans has failed to allege an Eighth Amendment claim against
Officers Mahoney or Dorn for failing to return him to his
cell because Evans has failed to allege any facts that either
officer was aware that he was in the interview booth and
needed to return. Similarly, Evans' claim against Nurse
Kacyon also fails. Evans allegations that Nurse Kacyon ...