United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION & ORDER
D. PETERSON District Judge
plaintiff Mafayette Fields is a prisoner in the custody of
the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC). I granted him
leave to proceed on due process claims against defendants Kim
Kannenberg, Joe Thyne, and Timothy Douma concerning a
disciplinary hearing at New Lisbon Correctional Institution
(NLCI) about Fields's alleged possession of a contraband
flash drive. I also allowed Fields to proceed on First
Amendment retaliation and access-to-the-courts claims against
defendant Jason Achterberg for Achterberg's role in
blocking Fields's attempt to file a certiorari action
challenging the outcome of the disciplinary hearing. The
parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment, Dkt.
42 and Dkt. 47, and several related motions. Because the
undisputed facts show that Fields received constitutionally
sufficient process at his disciplinary hearing and that
Achterberg did not intentionally or recklessly prevent Fields
from filing a certiorari action, I will grant summary
judgment in defendants' favor and close the case.
turning to the summary judgment motions, I will address the
several related motions.
asks the court to enter default judgment against defendants
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 55 or as a sanction
under Rule 16(f) or Rule 37(b)(2) because defendants moved
for leave to raise an exhaustion defense in their summary
judgment motion, long after the deadline for filing a summary
judgment motion on exhaustion had passed. Dkt. 37; Dkt. 39;
Dkt. 66. I will deny Fields's motions. Rule 55(a)
provides that default must be entered against a defendant who
fails “to plead or otherwise defend.” Defendants
have answered Fields's complaint and otherwise defended
themselves, so default is inappropriate under Rule 55. Rules
16(f) and 37(b)(2) allow the entry of default judgment as a
sanction against a party who fails to obey a court order.
Defendants have not failed to obey a court order. Rather,
they asked the court to modify the scheduling order, as
called for by Rule 16(b)(4). (Because defendants are entitled
to summary judgment on the merits, I will not reach the
exhaustion issue.) So I will deny Fields's motions for
Filing surveillance video under seal
ask the court for leave to file under seal surveillance
camera footage that they say shows Fields inserting a flash
drive into a computer. Dkt. 50. They argue that allowing
Fields to view the footage would pose a security risk, as
Fields would learn the scope of the surveillance camera's
view-the same rationale they put forth for not allowing
Fields to view the footage before or during his conduct
report disciplinary hearing. Fields does not oppose
defendants' motion to seal, and as discussed below, their
security concerns are rational, so I will grant the motion.
Finally, defendants ask the court to stay all deadlines in
the case pending a summary judgment decision. Dkt. 70.
Because I will grant summary judgment in defendants'
favor on all claims, I will deny their motion to stay the
deadlines as moot.
following facts are undispited except where noted.
was housed at the New Lisbon Correctional Institution (NLCI)
from October 2010 to December 2014. On April 1, 2014,
Sergeant Quigley issued conduct report number 2369865
accusing Fields of lying and possessing contraband in
violation of Administrative Code section DOC 303.27 and
303.47. See Dkt. 51-1, at 1-2. In the report,
Quigley alleges that Fields inserted a flash drive into a
computer in the Badger State Industries (BSI) workshop, where
Fields had a prison job, and later denied doing so.
Specifically, Quigley stated that he asked Fields about a
flash drive on March 25, and “Fields denied any
knowledge of it.” Id. at 1. Quigley then
checked security camera footage against the computer's
system log and found that a USB storage device had been
installed on the computer at a certain date and time, and
that Fields was “doing something with the back of the
computer” at that same date and time. Id.
Quigley explained that the system log “time is not
exact.” Id. at 2.
report notified Fields that a disciplinary hearing would be
held on April 9 and that if found guilty, Fields could be
sent to disciplinary segregation for 90 days. A staff
advocate was appointed to assist Fields at the hearing.
Fields says that he told his staff advocate that he wanted to
view the security camera footage and a still image taken from
the footage, but he was not allowed to do so; defendants
argue that Fields never asked to view the footage, but the
evidence they provide ...