United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM M. CONLEY District Judge
se plaintiff Jackie Carter, an inmate housed at the
Wisconsin Secure Program Facility (“WSPF”), was
granted leave to proceed on a First Amendment retaliation
claim against defendants Donald Morgan and Chad Keller, and
an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claim against
defendant Fern Springs. This case actually is also the latest
in a remarkably long-standing dispute between plaintiff
Carter and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections arising
out of his medical need for specialized shoes. See Carter
v. Radtke, No. 09-cv-437-wmc (W.D. Wis. July 13, 2009);
Carter v. Radtke, No. 10-cv-181-wmc (W.D. Wis. Apr.
2, 2010); Carter v. Radtke, No. 10-cv-280-wmc (W.D.
Wis. May 25, 2010); Carter v. Ziegler, et al.,
14-cv-512-wmc (W.D. Wis. July 18, 2014). Before the court is
defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. #19.) For
the reasons that follow, the court will grant defendants'
motion in full, enter judgment in defendants' favor and
close this case.
times relevant to plaintiff's claims, Jackie Carter was
an inmate housed at Columbia Correctional Institution
(“CCI”). Dr. Fern Springs was a physician
employed by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, who
worked at CCI on an as-needed basis. Donald Morgan was
CCI's Administrative Captain, and Chad Keller was a
Captain at CCI.
December 2013 Medical Orders
December 17, 2013, another doctor working at CCI, Dr. Heinzl,
wrote an order in Carter's medical chart authorizing
shoes from an outside vendor that exceeded a $75.00 property
limit, and also directing that Carter be allowed to shower in
the unit on recreation days, rather than at showers
apparently closer to the recreation area. The next day,
December 18, Dr. Springs modified Heinzl's original
purchase order in two respects: (1) Carter could order high
top tennis shoes from an outside vendor; and (2) they could
exceed $75.00 provided no shoes were available in the
approved vendor catalog. Dr. Springs also added in her
medical order that “Purchase must be cleared with
Security.” (Springs Decl., Ex. 1 (dkt. #24-1) 13.)
Finally, in addition to modifying the order concerning shoes,
Dr. Springs removed Dr. Heinzl's order allowing Carter to
shower on the unit. (Id.)
declaration in support of summary judgment, Dr. Springs
purports to explain the reasons for her changes.
Specifically, she “was contacted by someone for
clarification of the medical prescription of Dr. Heinzl,
after Carter tried to purchase shoes that did not meet
security standards, but rather were of a type considered to
be a status symbol within the inmate population.”
(Springs Decl. (dkt. #24) ¶ 8.) Springs further declares
“It is my belief that I was contacted by  someone
from the nursing staff for this clarification. However, I do
not recall with whom I spoke.” (Id.) For their
part, the other defendants, CCI Administrative Captain Morgan
and Captain Keller, both declare that they did not
contact Springs to tell her to discontinue or change a
medical prescription or order. (Keller Decl. (dkt. #22)
¶ 5; Morgan Decl. (dkt. #23) ¶ 5.) Despite a lack
of any supporting evidence in the record, Carter maintains in
his response that Morgan and Keller directed Dr. Springs to
alter the prescription.
Springs does acknowledge modifying Dr. Heinzl's original
medical order without an intervening appointment with Carter.
Instead, she based her modified order on review of his
medical record. Specifically, Springs relied on Carter's
September 17, 2012, treatment note with a podiatrist, who
recommended high top tennis shoes for support for
Carter's ankles to help treat his tendonitis. Dr. Springs
also noted that Carter had received an order for ankle
supports. Although Dr. Springs did not believe it was
necessary for him to have both ankle supports and high top
tennis shoes, she still authorized the purchase in
an amount that could exceed $75.00, if necessary.
Dr. Heinzl's original order allowing Carter to shower on
the unit, Dr. Springs maintains that she modified this order
because he “had no medical issues that required him to
have a restriction for showers on the unit.” (Springs
Decl. (dkt. #24) ¶ 21.) According to Dr. Springs, there
are showers near the recreation building that inmates were
allowed to use after recreation period. Moreover, inmates are
allowed to shower on the unit two days a week. Otherwise, Dr.
Springs concluded that Dr. Heinzl's order would have
allowed Carter to shower on the unit on recreation days, even
though other inmates on the unit could not do so on
non-shower days. Dr. Springs also concluded that “there
was nothing about the showers on the unit that was medically
more significant than the showers at recreation to meet any
treatment needs Carter had.” (Id. at ¶
23.) In his submission, Carter disputes that there are
showers near the recreation building, contradicting himself,
since Carter also asserts the unit showers have handicap
stalls, in contrast to those near the recreation area.
August 2014 Placement in the Restrictive Housing
addition claiming that Morgan and Keller instructed Dr.
Springs to modify Carter's medical orders for shoes and
shower privileges, plaintiff asserts a retaliation claim
based on his transfer to restrictive housing in August 2014.
At summary judgment, defendants propose extensive facts and
attach conduct reports, which document an investigation into
increased racial tension on the housing unit where Carter was
being housed following an attack on an inmate and comments by
inmates following the attack. As a result of that
investigation, Carter was issued a conduct report for group
resistance and petitions in violation of Wis. Admin. Code DOC
§ 303.20. He was then adjudicated guilty of that charge
and given 360 days in disciplinary separation in the
Restrictive Housing Unit. (Defs.' PFOFs (dkt. #21)
¶¶ 19-44.) Carter does not respond to any of these
proposed findings of fact, nor does he otherwise support his
retaliation claim, other than to observe, among other general
statements about prison operations, that Captains Keller and
Morgan have “full control” over CCI.
Deliberate Indifference Claim ...