United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
RONALD W. GROVOGEL, Plaintiff,
JOHN DOE, et al., Defendants.
ORDER SCREENING AMENDED COMPLAINT (DKT. NOS. 17,
17-1) AND DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO FILE A SECOND AMENDED
COMPLAINT ON ENCLOSED FORM BY APRIL 6, 2018, IF HE WANTS TO
PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Robert D. Grovogel is representing himself, and was a
prisoner when he filed the complaint. He filed this case
under 42 U.S.C. §1983, challenging various aspects of
his confinement at the Racine County Jail. Dkt. No. 1. On
December 23, 2016, the court screened the complaint under 28
U.S.C. §1915A, and directed the plaintiff to file an
amended complaint with more information if he wanted to
proceed. Dkt. No. 14 at 10. On February 6, 2017, the court
received the plaintiff's amended complaint, dkt. no. 17,
which the court has reviewed under 28 U.S.C. §1915A.
requires the court 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. The
court must dismiss a complaint, or part of it, if the
plaintiff raises 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.
plaintiff's amended complaint consists of a letter
stating that he has included “the proper correspondence
procedures and directives” which provide the necessary
information as to his claims, dkt. no. 17 at 2, and a
forty-page attachment, dkt. No. 17-1. As far as the court can
tell, the documents in the forty-page attachment are
“the proper correspondence procedures and
directives” referenced in his letter, and the plaintiff
intends them to be part of his amended complaint.
See Dkt. No. 17-1.
attached documents include two inmate requests for medical
attention, id. at 1-2; an inmate grievance form,
id. at 3; the plaintiff's handwritten version of
what appears to be guidance to pro se litigants who
file §1983 actions, id. at 4; and his
handwritten version of several Wisconsin Department of
Corrections administrative regulations, id. at 5-7.
He also filed a document titled “Menu” which
describes breakfast and lunch meals served at the Racine
County Jail. Id. at 8. The plaintiff also submitted
a “witness list.” Id. at 9.
next group of documents consists of several pages of
allegations related to medical care; environmental and food
safety issues; insufficient bathroom tissue and bedding;
miscellaneous “unhealthy or dangerous conditions”
such as a wet floor in the bathroom and inmates using
electrical outlets to light smoking materials; and
“harassment” by Officers Krier and Dyess, such as
annoying and irritating inmates when the officers make
inmates get up and sit in the dayroom to do their work.
Id. at 10-15. In this section, the plaintiff also
describes the placement of a “heroin sick” inmate
in his cell on the bunk bed above the plaintiff, without any
safeguards to prevent the sick inmate from rolling out of the
bed. Id. at 14-15. The sick inmate vomited badly and
when the plaintiff complained about it, Officer Krier said,
“I don't care. You are not entitled to any
expectations-you're in jail.” Id. at 14.
The plaintiff believes there is “widespread negligence
on the part of the jail personnel, up to and including the
health care facility.” Id. at 15.
the plaintiff filed a copy a letter to the Jail Administrator
dated March 17, 2016. Id. at 16-17. The letter
contains several complaints the plaintiff has about the
Racine County Jail, including officers not doing their jobs,
officers using “group punishment” when it's
not hard to discern which inmates need to be disciplined, and
a “meal menu that the Salvation Army would be ashamed
plaintiff also submitted copies of a number of jail
grievances. Id. at 18-20. These relate to the
“heroin sick” inmate referenced above, a urinal
that doesn't work, dusty intake vents which make it
“extremely warm and humid” and hard to breathe,
and not having received responses to grievances he filed.
majority of the rest of the plaintiff's documents relate
to a shoulder injury he sustained after slipping and falling
at the jail. Id. at 1-2, 23-38. Based on multiple
Health Service Requests the plaintiff submitted, he appears
to allege that Racine County Jail staff members failed to
treat his injury. See Id. The plaintiff also
submitted documents that appear to show that since his
December 2016 release from the jail he has had rehabilitative
therapy, and that a doctor diagnosed him with a shoulder
injury, shoulder impingement, rotator cuff tendonitis and
labral tear of shoulder. Id. at 39-40.
documents related to the jail's alleged failure to treat
the plaintiff's shoulder injury implicate his
constitutional rights. The plaintiff, however, has not
offered any allegations specific to this claim, only Health
Service Requests that hint at a claim.
other documents that the plaintiff submitted do not implicate
his constitutional rights because, as far as the court can
tell, they are general complaints about jail conditions. The
plaintiff does not allege that he suffered any harm from
these conditions. And as the plaintiff says, at least some of
the allegations appear to be “annoyances” and
“irritations;” annoyances and irritations do not
constitute constitutional violations. While at the Racine
Count Jail, the plaintiff didn't like how the jail was
run, and he thinks it doesn't make sense and is unfair to
inmates like him, who wanted to follow the rules. These
concerns do not, without more, implicate the United States
plaintiff wants to proceed on a deliberate indifference to
serious medical need claim related to the failure to treat
his shoulder injury, he should file a second amended
complaint limited to that claim. The court
has enclosed a pro se guide and complaint form that
the plaintiff must use to file his
second amended complaint. He should read the guide and
closely follow the directions when filling out the complaint,
specifically as to what he needs to include in his complaint.