United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
FREDERICK P. SCHNEIDER, Plaintiff,
TOWN OF CAMPBELL, Defendant.
OPINION & ORDER
D. PETERSON District Judge.
Frederick Schneider brought this lawsuit after he was
arrested for displaying signs and flags on a highway overpass
in Campbell, Wisconsin. Schneider asserted numerous claims
under federal and state law against the Town of Campbell, La
Crosse County, and several law enforcement officers, but the
court dismissed all but one claim at summary judgment. Dkt.
85. Schneider's remaining claim is that the ordinance
under which he was arrested violates his right to free speech
under the federal and state constitutions. The court stayed a
decision on that claim pending resolution of the appeal in
Luce v. Town of Campbell, 113 F.Supp.3d 1002 (W.D.
Wis. 2015), which involved a challenge to the same ordinance.
Now that the court of appeals has decided the appeal and
returned the mandate, Luce v. Town of Campbell, 872
F.3d 512 (7th Cir. 2017), the stay can be lifted.
this court issued multiple orders reminding the parties not
to file additional motions while the case was stayed, Dkt. 90
and Dkt. 97, Schneider filed five: (1) a “third motion
for summary judgment, ” Dkt. 92; (2) a “motion
for reinstatement of law license and direct clerk to send
certificate of good standing to 11th Circuit U.S. Court of
Appeals, ” Dkt. 96; (3) a “motion to withdraw
appearance, ” Dkt. 98; (4) a “motion to appear
and for other purposes, ” Dkt. 99; and (5) a
“motion for attorney fees and costs, ” Dkt. 101.
For the reasons explained below, the court will deny all of
these motions, with the exception of counsel's motion to
withdraw. And because Luce makes it clear that
Schneider cannot prevail on his remaining claim, the court
will grant summary judgment in favor of the town.
Reciprocal discipline rule
February 2017, the Indiana Supreme Court suspended
Schneider's counsel's law license and it remains
suspended at this time. Counsel has filed three motions
arising out of the Indiana Supreme Court's decision.
he filed a “motion to reinstate law license”
after the clerk of court in this district refused to send a
certificate of good standing to the Court of Appeals for
Eleventh Circuit in light of the Indiana Supreme Court's
decision. Under Rule 1 of this court's local rules,
“When another jurisdiction enters an order of
discipline against an attorney admitted to practice in this
court, the same discipline is automatically effective in this
court without further action by the court. . . . Within 45
days after the effective date of the order of discipline, the
attorney may apply to the chief judge for modification or
vacation of the discipline in this court.” Available at
asked the court to “reinstate [his] license so that
[he] may finish this case for Mr. Schneider.” Dkt. 96,
at 4. He also asked the court to “direct the Clerk to
send an active in good standing certificate to the 11th
Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.” Id. at 5.
without rescinding his previous motion, counsel moved to
withdraw from the case on the ground that he is “not
active in good standing before this court.” Dkt. 98.
Third, without rescinding his motion to withdraw, counsel
filed a “motion to appear and for other purposes,
” in which he argued that his “suspension”
in this court was “invalid” because he did not
receive notice and hearing. Dkt. 99.
these motions, the court's understanding is that counsel
is challenging the application of this court's Local Rule
1 to the discipline he received from the Indiana Supreme
Court. But this court already addressed that issue in a
separate lawsuit that counsel filed. Straw v. U.S.
District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin,
No. 17-cv-842 (W.D. Wis. Dec. 1, 2017), Dkt. 7. In that case,
the court concluded that counsel was not entitled to notice
and hearing in this district because he had an opportunity
for a full and fair hearing by the Indiana Supreme Court.
Id. That is a sufficient ground for denying
counsel's request to allow him to continue practicing in
the court were to consider the merits of counsel's new
filings, he has not shown that he is entitled to relief.
Although he says that the Indiana Supreme Court discriminated
and retaliated against him, he does not support that
allegation with any evidence and he does not challenge the
court's reasons for disciplining him. In particular, he
does not deny that he raised frivolous claims and arguments
in four lawsuits. He points to a decision in which the
Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Bar declined to suspend his
license, but that disagreement does not show that the Indiana
Supreme Court was wrong or failed to provide counsel due
process. In the absence of any argument from counsel as to
why the Indiana Supreme Court's decision was incorrect,
this court sees no reason to make an exception to its
reciprocal discipline rule. The court will deny counsel's
request to refrain from applying Local Rule 1 and grant
counsel's motion to withdraw from the case.
conclusion means that counsel was not authorized to file his
motion for summary judgment or his motion for fees. But even
if counsel had been authorized to file those
motions, the court would deny both of them, for the reasons
Summary judgment and fees
court considered the following claims in its March 15, 2017
opinion on the parties' cross motions for summary
judgment: (1) a Town of Campbell ordinance prohibiting signs
and other displays on certain highway overpasses violates the
First Amendment and the Wisconsin Constitution; (2)
defendants violated the First Amendment, the Fourth
Amendment, and the Wisconsin Constitution when they arrested
Schneider for violating the ordinance; (3) defendants
violated the Fifth Amendment and the Wisconsin Constitution
by “restricting [Schneider's] liberty”; (4)
defendants violated Schneider's right to due process; (5)
defendants violated his right to equal protection by
enforcing the ordinance against him but not a local inn; (5)
defendants conspired to violate Schneider's
constitutional rights; (6) the county had an unconstitutional
policy; (7) defendants violated the Americans with
Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act when they
arrested Schneider; and (8) defendants committed various
common law torts against Schneider. Dkt. 85.
court granted defendants' summary judgment motion as to
all of these claims, with one exception. As to
Schneider's claim that the ordinance was
unconstitutional, the court ...