Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hollis v. Rymarkiewiez

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

April 4, 2018

TOMMIE L. HOLLIS, Plaintiff,
v.
CAPTAIN RYMARKIEWIEZ et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          LYNN ADELMAN DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Tommie L. Hollis, a Wisconsin state prisoner who is representing himself, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that defendants violated his civil rights. This matter comes before me on plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee and for screening of the complaint. Docket Nos. 1-2.

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) applies to this action because plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed this complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. The law allows an incarcerated plaintiff to proceed with his lawsuit without prepaying the civil case filing fee, as long as he meets certain conditions. One of those conditions is that plaintiff pay an initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). Once plaintiff pays the initial partial filing fee, I can allow plaintiff to pay the balance of the $350 filing fee over time, through deductions from his prisoner account. Id.

         On October 26, 2017, Magistrate Judge William E. Duffin ordered plaintiff to pay an initial partial filing fee of $15.53. Docket. No. 7. Plaintiff paid the fee on November 14, 2017. Therefore, I will grant plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee. He must pay the remainder of the filing fee over time in the manner explained at the end of this order.

         The PLRA also requires federal courts 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). I can dismiss an action or portion thereof if the claims alleged are “frivolous or malicious, ” fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         To 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). I must 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, 106 (1976)).

         FACTS

         Plaintiff is an inmate at Waupun Correctional Institution (“WCI”). Docket No. 1. Defendants are Department of Corrections (“DOC”) employees who work at WCI: Captain Rymarkiewiez is the gang coordinator; Tony Meli and Jeremy Westra are involved in reviewing inmate conduct reports.

         On March 16, 2017, plaintiff had a personal telephone conversation with Felicia Thurman. Id. ¶¶ 1-2. Based on the content of the conversation, Rymarkiewiez gave plaintiff a conduct report sometime in late March. Id. ¶ 4. Meli reviewed the conduct report without proper notice and hearing, and he gave Westra approval to discipline plaintiff. Id. ¶¶ 5-6. Plaintiff served 60 days in the Restrictive Housing Unit (“RHU”) in conditions that amounted to “mental [and] physical torture.” Id. ¶ 10.

         Plaintiff appealed the decision to Warden Foster (not a defendant), and Foster reversed the guilty finding. Id. ¶ 11. Following plaintiff's successful appeal, Rymarkiewiez, Meli, and Westra took the following actions: (a) banned plaintiff from all prison jobs, programs, and movement; (b) denied plaintiff “back-pay” for lost job and refused to reinstate job position; (c) removed plaintiff from his “single-cell”; (d) and reinstated other inmates for their jobs. Id. ¶¶ 13, 15. Meli and Westra also forced plaintiff to complete a urine test on April 4, 2017. Id. ¶ 8.

         For relief, plaintiff seeks monetary damages and several injunctions. Id. at 5-6.

         DISCUSSION

         To state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that defendants (1) deprived him of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) acted under color of state law. Buchanan-Moore v. Cnty. of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824, 827 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Kramer v. Vill. of North Fond du Lac, 384 F.3d 856, 861 (7th Cir. 2004)); see also Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980).

         To state a First Amendment retaliation claim, plaintiff must allege that he: (1) engaged in activity protected by the First Amendment; (2) suffered a deprivation that would likely deter First Amendment activity in the future; and (3) the First Amendment activity was “at least a motivating factor” in the defendants' decision to take the retaliatory action. See Bridges v. Gilbert, 557 F.3d 541, 546 (7th Cir. 2009). In the prison context, the First Amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances includes the right to pursue “administrative remedies that must be exhausted before a prisoner can seek relief in court.” DeWalt v. Carter, 224 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.