United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION & ORDER
D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff Carlos Lindsey, a state prisoner confined at the
Wisconsin Secure Program Facility (WSPF), contends that he
was subjected to unconstitutional strip searches in violation
of the Eighth Amendment. He contends he could not have hidden
any contraband, so defendants had no valid penological reason
to strip search him. He also contends that defendants strip
searched him in a manner intended to humiliate him because
they searched his genital area by requiring him to manipulate
his genitals and defendant Andrew Jones used his fingers to
spread his buttocks.
sides move for summary judgment. Lindsey's threats of
self-harm prompted each of the strip searches, so each search
had a legitimate penological reason: to ensure Lindsey's
safety. Whether Lindsey could have hidden any contraband is a
question of prison security on which I will defer to the
judgment of prison officials. Lindsey's allegations that
he was required to manipulate his genitals contradict the
video recordings, so they do not raise a genuine dispute of
any material fact. Jones's use of his fingers to spread
Lindsey's buttocks does not show any intent to humiliate.
I will grant defendants' motion for summary judgment and
deny Lindsey's motion for summary judgment. I will direct
the clerk of court to enter judgment in favor of defendants
and close the case.
with preliminary issues that define the scope of
Lindsey's claims. On summary judgment, Lindsey contends
that he was subjected to strip searches on May 17, 2015, May
19, 2015, and July 12, 2015, and twice on July 13, 2016.
Lindsey did not challenge the May 17 and July 12 strip
searches in his complaint. Nor does he explain how those two
searches were unconstitutional in his summary judgment
submissions. He has forfeited any complaint about those two
searches. That leaves three strip searches: the May 19, 2015
search and the two July 13, 2016 searches.
allowed Lindsey to proceed against the Doe defendants who
participated in conducting the strip searches on him.
Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker explained to Lindsey how to
identify the Doe defendants and set April 7, 2017, as the
deadline for filing an amended complaint identifying the Doe
defendants. Dkt. 14, at 3. But Lindsey did not identify the
Doe defendants, and he does not raise any substantive
argument against them now. Court staff automatically
terminated the Doe defendants on July 10, 2017, for
Lindsey's failure to meet the deadline to identify them.
I will formally dismiss Lindsey's claims against the Doe
defendants in the order below.
following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted.
relevant events took place while Lindsey was incarcerated at
WSPF. All defendants were security staff at WSPF. Craig Tom,
a lieutenant, ordered the May 19, 2015 search and the first
July 13, 2016 search. Andrew Jones, a correctional officer,
conducted the May 19, 2015 search. Larry Primmer, a captain,
ordered the second July 13, 2016 search.
Strip searches at WSPF
like Wisconsin prisons generally, conducts two types of strip
searches: “visual” strip searches and
“staff-assisted” strip searches. In a visual
strip search, an inmate removes his own clothing and moves
his own body parts at the direction of a staff member. The
staff member examines the inmate's body visually without
staff-assisted strip search involves some touching. A staff
member uses a knife or scissors to remove an inmate's
clothing. The staff member then checks the inmate's
mouth, hair, ears, fingers, armpits, feet, and toes. The
staff member may touch sensitive areas using “bladed
hands, ” meaning that the hands are kept flat with the
fingers together as the staff member checks underneath the
inmate's penis, scrotum, and between the buttocks.
inmate who has been informed that he must be strip searched
ordinarily has an opportunity to choose a visual strip
search, but if an inmate resists or is violent, then a staff
member performs a staff-assisted strip search. In both types
of strip searches, a staff member may visually inspect an
inmate's body cavities, but only medical staff are
allowed to search by means of penetration. Wis. Admin. Code
DOC § 306.17(2)(b) and (3). A strip search is required
when an inmate is placed on clinical observation status for
being suicidal or posing a danger to himself or others.
Likewise, a strip search is required when an inmate is placed
on control status for being disruptive or violent. A
supervisor may also order a strip search to ensure the safety
of an inmate or prison staff.
May 19, 2015 strip search
19, 2015, Lindsey threatened to harm himself and reported
that he did not feel safe in his cell. Stacey Hoem, a
psychologist at WSPF, decided to place Lindsey on clinical
observation status, and Tom asked Lindsey whether he would
comply with a strip search. Lindsey at first said he would,
but when correctional officers were escorting him to a
holding cell for a strip search, he said, “Ya'll
might as well do a staff-assisted strip search too, ”
and said that the officers needed to get scissors because he
would not comply with the strip search. Dkt. 34, ¶ 25.
Tom ordered a staff-assisted strip search, and the officers
escorted Lindsey to a holding cell, where Jones conducted a
staff-assisted strip search on Lindsey. See Dkt.
26-1 (video recording of the staff-assisted strip search on
May 19, 2015).
July 13, ...