United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
Adelman United States District Judge.
Stephanie Deyot is a Wisconsin state prisoner who is
representing herself. She filed a complaint alleging that the
defendant violated her civil rights, a motion seeking leave
to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, and a motion
to appoint counsel. This decision resolves plaintiff's
motions and screens her complaint.
Motion 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
February 23, 2018, I ordered plaintiff to pay an initial
partial filing fee of $12.10. Plaintiff paid that fee on
March 5, 2018. Accordingly, I will grant plaintiff's
motion to proceed without prepayment of the full filing fee;
she must pay the remainder of the filing fee over time as
explained at the end of this order.
of the Complaint
Federal 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. §
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,
complaint is deficient in a number of respects. I will allow
her to file an amended complaint to cure the deficiencies,
each of which I will explain below.
Taycheedah Correctional Institution is not a proper defendant
because it is part of the Wisconsin Department of
Corrections, which is, in turn, part of the State of
Wisconsin. None of those entities is a “person”
for purposes of § 1983. See Lapides v.
University of Georgia, 535 U.S. 613, 617-18 (2002);
Will v. Michigan Department of State Police, 491
U.S. 58, 66 (1989).
§ 1983 “creates a cause of action based on
personal liability and predicated upon fault; thus liability
does not attach unless the individual defendant caused or
participated in a constitutional violation.” Vance
v. Peters, 97 F.3d 987, 991 (7th Cir. 1996) (quoting
Sheik-Abdi v. McClellan, 37 F.3d 1240, 1248 (7th
Cir. 1994)). In other words, there is no vicarious liability
(meaning, no one will be liable for another person's
misconduct), and there is no supervisory liability (meaning,
a supervisor will not be liable for the misconduct of his or
her employees or subordinates).
allegations are often vague about who is responsible for the
misconduct she alleges. It is insufficient to allege harm by
correctional officers, employees, and inmates generally-she
must identify the particular correctional officer, employee,
or inmate who allegedly violated her rights. If she does not
know the name of a person, she may use a John or Jane Doe
placeholder in her caption and in her allegations, but I must
be able to discern from her allegations who did what.
based on my reading of the complaint, it appears that
plaintiff is attempting to improperly bring unrelated claims
in a single case. Under the controlling principle of Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 18(a), “[u]nrelated claims
against different defendants belong in different suits”
so as to prevent prisoners from dodging the fee payment or