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Daniels v. Klemors

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

May 2, 2018



          WILLIAM E. DUFFIN, U.S. Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff Shavontae Daniels, a state prisoner who is representing himself, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that his constitutional rights have been violated. Not all 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 this court. The court will also address Daniels's other motions, including for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, motions to dismiss, and a motion to amend/correct his complaint.

         Motion for Leave to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing Fee

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) gives courts discretion to allow prisoners to proceed with their lawsuits without prepaying the $350 filing fee as long as they comply with certain requirements. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. One of those requirements is that they pay an initial partial filing fee. On December 6, 2017, the court ordered Daniel to pay an initial partial filing fee of $1.92. Daniels paid that fee on January 29, 2018. Accordingly, the court will grant Daniels's motion 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. Additionally, Daniels's second motion to proceed without the prepayment of the filing fee (ECF No. 16) is denied as moot.

         Motion to Amend or Correct Complaint

         Daniels asks that the court allow him to amend his complaint to correct a date. Specifically, he asks to change October 16, 2017, listed on page two of his complaint, to October 2, 2017. (ECF No. 15.) The court grants his motion, and will read the complaint to reflect his requested change.

         Screening of the Complaint

         The court is required 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). 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. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).

         To state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading system, a 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). To 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 visited upon him by a person or persons 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).

         The court is obliged to give a 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)).

         The Complaint's Allegations

         Daniels is incarcerated at Waupun Correctional Institution. He alleges that on October 2, 2017, he was housed in the segregation housing unit. He pressed his emergency call button and notified staff that he “was suicidal and engaging in self- harm.” (ECF No. 1 at 2.) Defendant C.O. Pohl responded to Daniels's cell, looked in and then walked away. According to Daniels, C.O. Pohl knew that he was on a behavioral management plan put in place by Psychological Services (PSU), which states that Daniels must be placed into observation and PSU notified anytime Daniels expresses suicidal ideation or makes threats of self-harm. From 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. Daniels engaged in self-harm and staff did nothing despite being aware. He continued to cut himself, using a razor (staff were also aware of this).

         At 2:30 p.m. defendant C.O. Travason reported to Daniels's cell to “pull [him] out so [his] call button could be fixed.” (Id. at 3.) Daniels showed C.O. Travason the blood on his arm, and she got on her walkie talkie to call for help. Defendant Sergeant Klemors responded, pulled Daniels out of his cell after having him wash some of the blood off, and placed Daniels in a shower stall. Sergeant Klemors put Daniels back in his cell 20 minutes later and walked away. Daniels continued to engage in self-harm for the rest of the night while staff ignored him. Later, defendant Captain Tritt stated that he observed Daniels on camera picking at his arm after pressing the call button.

         Daniels seeks monetary damages and asks that Waupun be investigated for ignoring ...

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