United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
BARBARA B. CRABB District Judge.
plaintiff Michael Scott is incarcerated at the Green Bay
Correctional Institution. He filed this proposed civil action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, contending that prison staff
have violated his constitutional rights in a number of ways.
He has requested leave to proceed without prepayment of the
filing fee, but as he acknowledges in his complaint, he has
“struck out” under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
Under § 1915(g), a prisoner is not allowed to bring a
civil action in federal court without first paying the fee,
if three or more of his civil actions or appeals have been
dismissed as frivolous, malicious or for failure to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted. The sole exception to
the three-strikes rule is if the plaintiff's pleadings
show that he is in imminent danger of serious physical
injury. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
records confirm that plaintiff has filed at least three
previous civil actions while imprisoned that were dismissed
as frivolous or for failure to state a claim. Scott v.
Aurora Sinai, 09-C-745 (E.D. Wis. Sept. 23, 2009);
Scott v. McCabe, 10-cv-138- bbc (W.D. Wis. Apr. 26,
2010); Scott v. Columbia Correctional Institution,
11-cv-384-bbc (W.D. Wis. July 7, 2011). Consequently,
plaintiff may not proceed with this action without prepaying
the fees unless he shows that he is in imminent danger of
serious physical injury. After reviewing plaintiff's
complaint, I conclude that he may not proceed at this time
because his complaint does not allege that he is in imminent
danger. In fact, his complaint is too vague to satisfy the
pleading requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8.
Therefore, I am dismissing his complaint and giving him an
opportunity to file an amended complaint that explains his
claims more clearly.
acknowledges in his complaint that he must plead facts
supporting a finding of imminent danger of serious physical
injury. Nonetheless, he has failed to do so. Plaintiff's
complaint is rambling and difficult to follow. He alleges
that he has been held at the Green Bay Correctional
Institution in the segregation unit for several years. He
says that he wants to be transferred to a mental health
facility because he has significant mental health needs, but
that the Program Review Committee has declined to assess him.
He also complains that his mental health status was changed
last year, some female correctional staff refuse to interact
with him and he often has to wait for dental care. Finally,
he submitted more than 80 pages of documents with his
complaint, including conduct reports and grievances dating
back to 2015.
vague allegations do not support an inference that plaintiff
faces imminent danger of serious physical injury sufficient
to invoke the exception provided in § 1915(g). Although
plaintiff mentions that he has mental health problems, he has
not explained clearly what those problems are, what treatment
he is receiving and why he believes that he is facing
imminent danger. His allegations concerning incidents
occurring several years ago and past delays in receiving
dental care also do not support a finding of imminent danger,
as none of his allegations suggests that plaintiff is facing
a “genuine emergency” or a “real and
proximate” threat of serious harm. Heimermann v.
Litscher, 337 F.3d 781, 782 (7th Cir. 2003). Therefore,
plaintiff's complaint does not meet the exception under
plaintiff has not met the imminent danger standard, at this
stage I normally would instruct plaintiff to submit the $400
filing fee so his complaint could be screened under §
1915A. However, because plaintiff's allegations are so
confusing and vague, I would dismiss his complaint
immediately under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 even if
he submitted the $400 filing fee.
Rule 8, plaintiff is required to provide fair notice of his
claims to each defendant and set out claims that are
plausible on their face. Appert v. Morgan Stanley Dean
Witter, Inc., 673 F.3d 609, 622 (7th Cir. 2012);
Bausch v. Stryker Corp., 630 F.3d 546, 559 (7th Cir.
2010). Here, plaintiff's allegations are too confusing
and vague to provide fair notice of his claims against each
defendant. Plaintiff does not explain specifically what
action each individual defendant took that resulted in a
violation of his constitutional rights.
plaintiff's complaint violates Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 20, because plaintiff's allegations about
dental care and conduct reports appear unrelated to his
concerns about his mental health care. Under Rule 20, a
plaintiff cannot bring unrelated claims against different
defendants in the same lawsuit. Plaintiff's current
complaint violates this rule, because it contains numerous
unrelated claims involving several different defendants.
than give plaintiff the opportunity to pay the full filing
fee, then, I will give him an opportunity to file an amended
complaint that provides fair notice to defendants of the
claims he is asserting against them. Plaintiff should draft
the amended complaint as if he were telling a story to people
who know nothing about his situation. This means that someone
reading the complaint should be able to answer the following
(1) What is the nature of plaintiff's mental health
(2) What treatment has he received for his mental health
needs, who ...