United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge United States District
Ladarius Boyce, who is representing himself, filed a civil
rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He filed an
amended complaint on December 29, 2017. This case was
originally assigned to U.S. Magistrate Judge William Duffin;
however, because not all parties have had the opportunity to
consent to magistrate judge jurisdiction, the case was
randomly reassigned to the undersigned U.S. District Court
judge for screening of the amended complaint.
to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing Fee
Prison Litigation Reform Act gives courts discretion to allow
prisoners 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 prisoner pay an initial partial filing fee. On
January 5, 2018, Judge Duffin ordered plaintiff to pay an
initial partial filing fee of $32.60. He paid that fee on
February 23, 2018. The court will grant plaintiff's
motions to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee (ECF
Nos. 3, 9). He must pay the remainder of the filing fee over
time in the manner explained at the end of this decision.
of the Complaint
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(a).
The court must dismiss a complaint 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. §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). The
court gives 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,
in the Complaint
explains that, on July 17, 2017, at 1 a.m., he was driving a
purple Monte Carlo with four of his children. Plaintiff
alleges that defendant Zachary Bell pulled him over.
Bell's report states that he observed plaintiff driving
60 m.p.h in a 50 m.p.h zone and that plaintiff's
registration lamp (i.e., the light that illuminates the
license plate) was out.
Bell pulled over plaintiff, he learned that plaintiff had
neither a license nor insurance papers for the vehicle. Bell
allegedly told plaintiff to call someone to come pick him and
the children up. Plaintiff states that he called the
children's mother, Ms. Ebone. Bell then informed
plaintiff that he learned from the dispatcher that plaintiff
was on probation; Bell arrested plaintiff and placed him in
the back of his squad car. When Ms. Ebone and another person
arrived to pick up the children, Bell ran a check on her
license plate. He then took all three adults into custody.
The following day, plaintiff's probation agent placed a
hold on him and he remains in custody to this day.
argues that Bell violated the Fourth Amendment when he
stopped him because he cannot prove plaintiff was speeding.
He notes that Bell did not issue him a citation for speeding.
“When a police officer reasonably believes that a
driver has committed even a minor traffic offense, probable
cause supports the stop.” United States v.
Garcia-Garcia,633 F.3d 608, 613 (7th Cir. 2011).
Plaintiff argues that Bell cannot prove that he was
speeding; he points to the fact that Bell did not issue
plaintiff a citation for speeding. But the fact that the
officer did not issue a citation does not mean that the
officer did ...