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Sierra-Lopez v. Blair

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

February 22, 2018

DAVID E. SIERRA-LOPEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICER BLAIR, DR. PERSIKE, DR. WHITE and LT. ANDERSON, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          BARBARA B. CRABB District Judge.

         On January 3, 2018, I granted pro se plaintiff David E. Sierra-Lopez leave to proceed on the following claims against staff at the Columbia Correctional Institution:

a) Defendant Officer Blair violated plaintiff's rights under the Eighth Amendment by failing to protect him from harming himself on December 14, 2016;
b) Defendant Dr. Persike violated plaintiff's rights under the Eighth Amendment by failing to check on plaintiff after he had harmed himself and was placed on property restrictions and by subjecting him to harsh conditions of confinement;
c) Defendant Lt. Anderson violated plaintiff's rights under the Eighth Amendment by failing to respond reasonably to plaintiff's statements that he needed help and by using excessive force, or failing to protect him from excessive force, on December 20, 2016;
d) Defendant Dr. White violated plaintiff's rights under the Eighth Amendment by subjecting plaintiff to harsh conditions of confinement.

         Now plaintiff has filed a motion for reconsideration of that order, arguing that he should have been permitted to proceed against several additional defendants and on several additional claims. Dkt. #18. He has also filed a motion for assistance in recruiting counsel. Dkt. #19. I will deny both motions for the reasons stated below.

         OPINION

         A. Motion for Reconsideration of the Screening Order

         Plaintiff argues that he should have been permitted to proceed on the following claims: (1) supervisory officials failed to prevent numerous constitutional violations; (2) his conduct report and due process hearing violated his Fourteenth Amendment rights; and (3) he was subjected to an unconstitutional strip search. I discuss each argument below.

         1. Claims against supervisory officials

         Plaintiff argues that he should have been permitted to proceed against several supervisory defendants, including defendants Warden Michael Dittmann, Security Director Weber and Unit Manager Walker because these defendants were responsible for supervising the other defendants and “allowed” the other defendants to violate plaintiff's rights. However, a supervisor may be liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 only if he or she is “personally responsible for the deprivation of the constitutional right.” Chavez v. Illinois State Police, 251 F.3d 612, 651 (7th Cir. 2001) (quoting Gentry v. Duckworth, 65 F.3d 555, 561 (7th Cir. 1995)). This means that the supervisor must “know about the conduct and facilitate it, approve it, condone it, or turn a blind eye for fear of what they might see[.]” Matthews v. City of East St. Louis, 675 F.3d 703, 708 (7th Cir. 2012).

         Here, plaintiff's allegations do not permit an inference that Dittmann, Weber or Walker approved, condoned, or turned a blind eye to any unconstitutional treatment of plaintiff, or that they would even have had an opportunity to learn about plaintiff's situation and intervene during the relevant time period. Therefore, plaintiff may not proceed with claims against these defendants.

         2. Claims relating ...


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