United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
JASON M. PARKER, Plaintiff,
C.O. SAMANTHA TIETZ., Defendants.
ADELMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Jason M. Parker, who was formerly confined at the Kenosha
County Jail, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
alleging that defendants violated his civil rights. This
order resolves plaintiff's motion to proceed without
prepayment of the filing fee and screens his complaint.
Docket Nos. 2 & 1. It also addresseshis motion to appoint
counsel. Docket No. 7.
Motion to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing Fee
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) applies to this case
because plaintiff was incarcerated at the time he filed his
complaint. The PLRA gives courts discretion to allow
plaintiffs to proceed with their lawsuits without prepaying
the $350 filing fee, as long as they comply with certain
requirements. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. One of those
requirements is that the plaintiff pay an initial partial
filing fee. On July 13, 2017, U.S. Magistrate Judge William
E. Duffin (the judge assigned to the case at that time)
ordered plaintiff to pay an initial partial filing fee of
$36.45. Plaintiff paid that fee on July 26, 2017. As such, I
will grant his motion to proceed without prepayment of the
full filing fee. Plaintiff must pay the remainder of the
of Plaintiff's Complaint
law requires that I 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).
I 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).
state a claim, a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, “that is plausible on its
face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility
when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows a court
to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
proceed 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
defendant was 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). I will
give a pro se plaintiff's 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,
alleges that on May 28, 2017, defendant C.O. Samantha Tietz
was the dorm officer on plaintiff's cell block. He had
become frustrated because he was writing repeated request
slips and grievances and not getting any responses. He wrote
two more grievances and filled out a “My Question to
Supervision is” form, inquiring whether inamtes could
speak to supervision upon request. Plaintiff gave the forms
to Tietz and asked her to sign the back of them. Tietz
refused and set them on his door. She said she would sign
them when she got back to her desk. Plaintiff laid back down
and sometime later, Tietz returned and “snatched”
the papers out of the door. Plaintiff headed toward the door
and asked her to sign the back. Tietz hurried off without
returned later, saying, “No! You can't speak to the
supervisor! Not now not ever, ” and “Nobody gives
a fuck about your request or your grievances, I'm just
telling you now. Do you understand me?” Plaintiff
asked, “Did you turn in my grievances?” Tietz
responded, “Like I told you! Don't nobody give a
fuck about your grievances.” Plaintiff responded that
it did not really matter what Tietz said about his grievances
since she was not supervision, as long as she turned them. He
held up his copies and said, “I got my copies.”
Tietz then became angry and asked, “Are you threatening
me?” Plaintiff never received responses about those
grievances. Docket No. 1 at 2-3. He seeks monetary damages.
Id. at 4.
have a due process right of access to the courts and must be
given a reasonably adequate opportunity to present their
claims. Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 825 (1977).
An inmate's right to file a grievance is part of his
right of access to the courts. DeWalt v. Carter, 224
F.3d 607, 618 (7th Cir. 2000). To succeed on a claim of
denial of access to the courts, a plaintiff must show that
any alleged interference caused actual injury and hindered
efforts to pursue a legal claim respecting a basic
constitutional right. Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343,
351 (1996). The actual-injury requirement applies even in
cases “involving substantial systematic deprivation of
access to court.” Id. at 353 n.4. Failure to
identify some detriment that is linked to an adverse decision
in, or inability to litigate, a case “is fatal . . .
under any standard of sufficiency.” Martin v.
Davies, 917 F.2d 336, 340 (7th Cir. 1990). Plaintiff has
identified no injury related to Tietz's failure to
properly handle his grievances. Indeed, the fact of this
lawsuit (and the numerous others currently pending in this
District) belies any notion that plaintiff has been denied
access to the courts.
“[p]rison grievance procedures are not mandated by the
First Amendment and do not by their very existence create
interests protected by the Due Process Clause.”
Owens v. Hinsley, 635 F.3d 950, 953 (7th Cir. 2011)
(internal citation omitted). Therefore, to the extent
plaintiff is trying to raise a claim based only on
Tietz's actions (rather than their effects on his ability
to litigate a claim or claims), that claim is not viable. In
sum, plaintiff has not provided an arguable basis for relief,
having failed to make any rational argument in law or fact to
support his claims. See House v. Belford, ...