United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
MICHAEL L. GILLUM, Plaintiff,
ARMOR HEALTH CARE, ALYSSA SEKADIO, HOUSE OF CORRECTION, C.O. NASH, LT. MILLICCA, and CAPTAIN SULLIVAN, Defendants.
STADTMUELLER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Michael L. Gillum, who is incarcerated at the Milwaukee House
of Correction (“HOC”), proceeds in this matter
pro se. He filed a complaint alleging that
Defendants violated his constitutional rights. (Docket #1).
This matter comes before the court on Plaintiff's
petition to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee
(in forma pauperis). (Docket #2). Due to
Plaintiff's indigence, the Court waived payment of an
initial partial filing fee. See 28 U.S.C. §
court shall screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking
relief against a governmental entity or an officer or
employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
The court 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. Id. §
is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either
in law or in fact. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25,
31 (1992); Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325
(1989); Hutchinson ex rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d
895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997). The court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327.
“Malicious, ” although sometimes treated as a
synonym for “frivolous, ” “is more usefully
construed as intended to harass.” Lindell v.
McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 1109- 10 (7th Cir. 2003)
state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading
system, the plaintiff is required to provide a “short
and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is
entitled to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). It is not
necessary for the plaintiff to plead specific facts and his
statement need only “give the defendant fair notice of
what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S.
41, 47 (1957)). However, a complaint that offers mere
“labels and conclusions” or a “formulaic
recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not
do.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). To state
a claim, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, “that is plausible on its
face.” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 570). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). The complaint's
allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555 (citation omitted).
considering whether a complaint states a claim, courts should
follow the principles set forth in Twombly by first,
“identifying pleadings that, because they are no more
than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Legal
conclusions must be supported by factual allegations.
Id. If there are well-pleaded factual allegations,
the court must, second, “assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.” Id.
state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. Section 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 deprivation was visited upon him by a person or
persons acting under color of state law. Buchanan-Moore
v. Cnty. of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824, 827 (7th Cir. 2009)
(citing Kramer v. Vill. of N. Fond du Lac, 384 F.3d
856, 861 (7th Cir. 2004)); see also Gomez v. Toledo,
446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980). The court is obliged to give the
plaintiff's pro se 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)).
times relevant, Plaintiff was incarcerated at the HOC.
(Docket #1 at 2). Plaintiff alleges that in the early morning
hours of January 5, 2018, he awoke shaking “after
trying to b[ear] the extremely cold climate.”
Id. He eventually began vomiting and having
diarrhea. Id. Plaintiff was sent to the health
center, which determined that he had a fever of 109 degrees
and a low heart rate. Id. Defendant Alyssa Sekadio
(“Sekadio”), identified as his healthcare
provider, ordered Plaintiff quarantined and placed on medical
than being sent to a medical unit or a hospital, Plaintiff
was placed in the disciplinary housing unit. Id.
Plaintiff says that those cells are usually fouled by other
inmates' urine and feces, but does not state whether his
cell was in such a condition. Id. at 2-3. Plaintiff
asked the guard on duty, Defendant C.O. Nash
(“Nash”), to take a shower, as Plaintiff had
“bio matter and feces on [his] person.”
Id. at 3. Nash denied Plaintiff's repeated
requests for a shower throughout her shift, though other
inmates in the unit were permitted to shower. Id.
Plaintiff also complained that his cell was cold, but that
issue was not remedied either. Id. Finally,
Plaintiff asked for a meeting with “psych services,
” but Nash told him that she could not get a response
from them. Id. When the next guard took over after
Nash, Plaintiff was allowed to take a shower and was provided
with extra blankets. Id. at 3-4. Shortly thereafter,
Plaintiff was moved to a different unit. Id. at 4.
filed grievances about his treatment. Id. The
remainder of Plaintiff's allegations are directed at the
grievance process. Id. at 4-5. In sum, Plaintiff
contends that his grievances were not appropriately handled,
first by Nash, and then by Defendants Lt. Millicca
(“Millicca”) and Captain Sullivan
(“Sullivan”). Id. at 4. As to Nash,
Plaintiff complains that she made misstatements in her
response to his grievances. Id. As to Millicca and
Sullivan, Plaintiff says that they deliberately hindered the
grievance process by delaying the processing of the
grievances and by altering dates on the forms. Id.
at 4-5. Plaintiff further alleges that he filed a grievance
against Defendant Armor Health Care (“Armor”) for
“sending me to . . . segregation cells for medical
observation[.]” Id. at 5.
seeks monetary damages of $1, 000, 000.00 “due [to] the
fact that my life was placed in danger, that I was forced to
sit in a segregation cell that was not built or equipped or
suitable for a person to be sent for medical
observation.” Id. at 6. Plaintiff also
complains that his requests for care were ignored by Nash.
Id. He claims that his life was in danger
“because of me being ill and placed in a[n] unhabitial
[sic] climate.” Id.
allegations fail to state a claim for relief against any of
the named defendants. Defendant HOC is not a suable entity.
See Smith v. Knox Cnty. Jail, 666 F.3d 1037, 1040
(7th Cir. 2012). Armor is not liable simply because it,
through its employees, generally provides medical services at
the HOC, and neither has Plaintiff alleged a policy claim
against Armor. Maniscalco v. Simon, 712 F.3d 1139,
1145 (7th Cir. 2013); McCauley v. City of Chicago,
671 F.3d 611, 616 (7th Cir. 2011).
claims against the individual defendants also fail. The
Eighth Amendment proscribes the use of cruel and unusual
punishment. Plaintiff's allegations invoke two recognized
variations of that rule. One is that prisoners are entitled
to a minimal level of healthcare while in custody.
Petties v. Carter, 836 F.3d 722, 727-28 (7th Cir.
2016). The Eighth Amendment is violated when the prisoner
shows that they “suffered from an objectively serious
medical condition, ” and that “the individual
defendant was deliberately indifferent to that
condition.” Id. at 728. The term
is a subjective standard. To demonstrate deliberate
indifference, a plaintiff must show that the defendant acted
with a sufficiently culpable state of mind, something akin to
recklessness. A prison official acts with a sufficiently
culpable state of mind when he knows of a substantial risk of
harm to an inmate and either acts or fails to act in
disregard of that risk. Deliberate indifference is more than
negligence and approaches intentional wrongdoing. In other