United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
DECISION AND ORDER SCREENING PLAINTIFF'S
JOSEPH UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Sampson, who is representing himself, filed a civil rights
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the
defendants violated his constitutional rights by allowing his
psychological services unit request slip to be read by
another inmate and by failing to prevent harm to him. Before
me is Sampson's motion seeking leave to proceed without
prepayment of the filing fee and I will also screen his
parties have had the opportunity to fully consent to
magistrate judge jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
Nonetheless, the court has jurisdiction to screen the
complaint pursuant to the Wisconsin Department of
Justice's limited consent to the exercise of magistrate
judge jurisdiction as set forth in the Memorandum of
Understanding between the Wisconsin Department of Justice and
decision, therefore, resolves Sampson's motion for leave
to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee and screens
Motion for Leave to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing
Prison Litigation Reform Act applies to this case because
Sampson was incarcerated when he filed his complaint. 28
U.S.C. §1915. That law allows a court to give an
incarcerated plaintiff the ability 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 the plaintiff pay an initial partial filing fee. 28
U.S.C. §1915(b). Once he pays the initial partial filing
fee, the court may allow the plaintiff to pay the balance of
the $350 filing fee over time, through deductions from his
prisoner account. Id.
January 10, 2018, I ordered Sampson to pay an initial partial
filing fee of $2.94. (Docket # 6.) Sampson paid the fee on
January 29, 2018. Accordingly, I will grant Sampson'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.
Screening of the Complaint
law requires that I 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 a complaint 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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
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 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, I 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. § 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 caused by the defendant acting under
color of state law. Buchanan-Moore v. County of
Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824, 827 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing
Kramer v. Village of North Fond du Lac, 384 F.3d
856, 861 (7th Cir. 2004)); see also Gomez v. Toledo,
446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980). I am obliged to give the 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)).
The Plaintiff's Allegations
alleges that on September 17, 2017, he overheard an argument
between Officer Negran (not a defendant) and Juan Rodriguez
(not a defendant), an inmate who was housed in the cell next
to Sampson. He heard Negran stopped at inmate Rodriguez'
cell door. He then heard Negran make sexual comments to
Rodriguez and saw Negran grabbed Rodriguez' penis.
Sampson alleges that he then took it upon himself to submit a