United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
THOMAS H. L. BARFELL, Plaintiff,
CORRECTIONAL HEALTH CARE COMPANIES, WINNEBAGO COUNTY JAIL, NURSE KATRINA, SGT. MAKURAT, SGT. DURRANT, SGT. MANTHEY, JOHN MATZ, DR. ANULIGO, and CPI TUTTLE, Defendants.
STADTMUELLER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Thomas H. L. Barfell, a Wisconsin state prisoner who is
representing himself, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging that defendants violated his civil
rights. On December 18, 2017, Magistrate Judge William E.
Duffin screened the complaint and ordered plaintiff to file
an amended complaint if he wanted to proceed with this
lawsuit. (Docket #8). Among other things, Magistrate Duffin
noted that Plaintiff appeared to be attempting to join many
different unrelated claims against different unrelated
parties in the same lawsuit, in violation of Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 20(a). Id. at 8.
filed an amended complaint in this case on January 9, 2018.
(Docket #10). He also filed two additional lawsuits,
Barfell v. Aramark, Case No. 17-CV-1567-WED-JPS
(E.D. Wis.), and Barfell v. Prekop, Case No.
17-CV-1739-WED-JPS (E.D. Wis.). Plaintiff then filed a motion
to consolidate the cases, which Magistrate Duffin denied for
the reasons explained in his screening order-namely, that
doing so would violate Rule 20(a). (Docket #13, #15). The
magistrate told Plaintiff to notify the court by March 16,
2018 if he wanted to voluntarily dismiss any of his lawsuits.
did not voluntarily dismiss this lawsuit. Further, not all
parties have had the opportunity to fully consent to
magistrate judge jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
Therefore, this matter is before this branch of the Court for
the limited purpose of screening the amended complaint,
(Docket #10), and resolving pending motions, (Docket #7,
Screening the Amended Complaint
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or
employee of a governmental entity. Id. §
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. § 1915A(b). A claim 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);
Gladney v. Pendelton Corr. Facility, 302 F.3d 773,
774 (7th Cir. 2002). 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;
Gladney, 302 F.3d at 774. “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 (7th Cir. 2003); Paul v. Marberry, 658 F.3d
702, 705 (7th Cir. 2011).
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; 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)); Christopher v. Buss, 384 F.3d
879, 881 (7th Cir. 2004). However, a complaint that offers
“‘labels and conclusions'” or
“‘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. The complaint
allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555; Christopher, 384 F.3d at 881.
considering whether a complaint states a claim, courts should
first “identif[y] 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 “assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.” Id. The Court is obliged to give
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)).
is an inmate at the Winnebago County Jail
(“WCJ”). Defendants are: Correctional Health Care
Companies (“CHCC”), WCJ, Nurse Katrina, Sergeant
Makurat, Sergeant Durrant, Sergeant Manthey, John Matz, Dr.
Anuigo, and CPI Tuttle.
amended complaint is difficult to read and repetitive. He
explains that he has several medical issues, including:
Hepatitis C, cavities in his teeth, severe bodily pain in his
face, neck, and stomach, chronic bronchitis/congestion, and
vision problems. According to Plaintiff, WCJ has a prison
policy not to treat Hepatitis C or to “send out
inmates” for dental care. (Docket #10 at 2). Between
September 2017 and November 2017, Plaintiff asked
correctional officers Durrant, Tuttle, and Manthey for a
grievance form to address his medical issues, but they
continuously refused to provide one. Plaintiff explains that
WCJ has a policy to not provide grievance forms for
“issues [that are not] grievable.” Id.
this time, Plaintiff also explained his medical problems to
Nurse Katrina and Dr. Anuligo (the Court presumes that
Plaintiff's reference to “the doctor” in his
allegations is Dr. Anuligo) but they have not resolved the
issues. They continue to prescribe pain medication that
Plaintiff cannot take with his existing liver issues.
Further, Plaintiff's cavities have not been fixed, his
congestion issues remain, and he still does not have glasses
to fix his vision problem. Nurse Katrina and Dr. Anuligo also
have not approved a restriction for extra mattress/pillows
for his neck pain. For relief, Plaintiff seeks monetary
damages and a change in jail policy.