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Rodriguez v. Meisner

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

April 4, 2018

SANDRO RODRIGUEZ Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN MICHAEL MEISNER, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          LYNN ADELMAN DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Sandro Rodriguez, 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. See 28 U.S.C. §1915. The law allows an incarcerated plaintiff to proceed with a lawsuit without prepaying the civil case filing fee, as long as he meets certain conditions. One of those conditions is payment of an initial partial filing fee. See 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 September 26, 2017, Magistrate Judge David E. Jones ordered plaintiff to pay an initial partial filing fee of $ 3.23. Docket. No. 5. Plaintiff paid the fee on October 11, 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 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 must 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 Redgranite Correctional Institution (“RGCI”). Docket No. 1. Defendants are: Warden Michael Meisner, Correctional Officer Bembo, Doctor Jhon Silkey, Nurse Moerchen, Lieutenant Jaeger, and Nurse Bater. Id.

         On September 6, 2015, plaintiff was weight lifting on an incline bench at RGCI when one of the pins designed to hold the weights came loose. Id. at 2-3. Plaintiff fell forward and struck his face on the stack of weights. Id. at 3. Plaintiff was dizzy and confused and had blood all over his face. Id. Other inmates who were in exercise area came over to help plaintiff. Id. Someone told Correctional Officer Bembo what happened and Bembo did not help or see how serious plaintiff's injury was. Id. No nurse ever arrived to help plaintiff in the exercise area. Id. at 4.

         A little while later, a different correctional officer came by to see what happened. Id. This officer took plaintiff to the Health Services Unit (“HSU”), but he did so by foot instead of by wheelchair. Id. Plaintiff's walk to HSU was difficult-he was dizzy, confused, bleeding, and unable to properly follow directions. Id. Once plaintiff arrived at HSU, there was no nurse available. Id. Captain Wesner (not a defendant) instructed prison staff to take plaintiff to Berlin Memorial Hospital. Id.

         The drive to Berlin Memorial was 40 to 45 minutes long. Id. at 5. Plaintiff was dizzy, confused, bleeding, and unable to follow directions the entire time. Id. Despite this, prison staff required plaintiff to exchange his clothing due to prison policy, which added a 10- to 15-minute delay. Id. At this point, plaintiff still had not seen a nurse. Id.

         Once plaintiff arrived at Berlin Memorial Hospital, Doctor Silkey and a nurse “received” plaintiff. Id. Silkey examined plaintiff and concluded that plaintiff had a deep laceration in his forehead and right eyelid. Id. Silkey gave plaintiff a total of 11 stitches but he did so without proper cleaning. Id. Plaintiff asked Silkey why the wound was not properly cleaned but Silkey ignored the question. Id. Plaintiff also did not get any pain medication while at the hospital. Id. at 6. Plaintiff then went back to RGCI. Id.

         The next day, on September 7, 2015, plaintiff went to HSU to see Nurse Moerchen. Id. Plaintiff explained that he had pain in his neck, head, and lower back; trouble walking; and blurry vision. Id. Moerchen sent plaintiff back to his housing unit without addressing his concerns. Id. Moerchen did not provide plaintiff with pain medication. Id. at 7.

         Several days after that, on September 9, 2015, Lieutenant Jaeger called plaintiff to the officer's station to discuss what happened in the weight room. Id. Jaeger told plaintiff that he would be disciplined for misuse of the weight machine. Id. Plaintiff explained that the pin used to hold the weights in place slipped out-he did not misuse the weights. Id. Jaeger gave him the conduct report anyway. Id. Plaintiff asked if he could refuse to sign the conduct report and Jaeger explained that if plaintiff did that, he had the right to take “more drastic measures.” Id. at 8. Plaintiff signed the conduct report even though he felt intimidated by ...


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