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Daul v. Wickman

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

May 7, 2018

JESSE A. DAUL, Plaintiff,


          LYNN ADELMAN United States District Judge.

         Pro se plaintiff Jesse Daul filed a complaint alleging that defendants violated his civil rights while he was incarcerated. This order resolves plaintiff's motion to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee and screens his complaint.

         Plaintiff's Motion to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing Fee

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) applies to this case because plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed his complaint. The PLRA gives courts discretion to allow plaintiffs 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 the plaintiff pay an initial partial filing fee. Plaintiff established that he has neither the means nor assets to pay an initial partial filing fee, so Magistrate Judge William Duffin (the judge assigned to the case at that time) waived that requirement. I will grant plaintiff's motion to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, but he must pay the $350 filing fee as he is able.

         Screening Standard

         Federal 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 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 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).

         To proceed 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 defendant was 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 will 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)).

         Plaintiff's Allegations

         Plaintiff alleges that he was housed in the restricted housing unit (RHU) at Green Bay Correctional Institution for twelve consecutive months while suffering from an undiagnosed stress disorder. He alleges that, in order to punish him, security staff repeatedly limited his access to water in his cell. According to plaintiff, defendants would cut off his water while he was using it. He asserts that this misconduct continued through twelve cell assignments and was used as a form of behavior modification in response to plaintiff's aggressive demeanor.

         Plaintiff further alleges that staff members repeatedly used “soiled and excessively damaged mattresses as well as hardened rubber floor mats, saturated with body fungus, as a further method of behavioral modification.” Docket No. 1 at 3. He states that, while in RHU, he drank toilet water, slept on painted concrete, was denied access to administrative remedies, and was rarely allowed to leave his cell.

         Plaintiff also alleges that the prison's medical staff ignored his complaints of joint pain and refused to provide him treatment or “provide medical-disciplinary considerations.” Id. Plaintiff also asserts that the medical staff charged him excessive copays.

         According to plaintiff, defendant Sgt. Wickman placed him on a paper restriction for thirty days, which prevented him from filing inmate grievances, health service requests, psychological service requests, or legal correspondence. Plaintiff asserts that defendant Cpt. Schultz confiscated and destroyed his notes about how he was being treated. Plaintiff also alleges that defendants John Doe, Delfosse, and Afolabi “lawfully” confiscated his legal notes, documents, and writing supplies/envelopes, but then held them for more than a month and a half beyond the authorized confiscation period. He alleges that they did this to prevent plaintiff from documenting misconduct.

         Plaintiff also alleges that, “instead of holding his staff responsible, ” Schultz moved plaintiff to an administrative-confinement cell. According to plaintiff, the cell did not have a working exhaust system or intercom, so he was not able to “tell on them.” Id. at 4. Plaintiff also states that he stopped showering. According to plaintiff, his shower was turned off after five minutes, which was an insufficient amount of time for him to soap up and rinse off. Plaintiff asserts that he would then have to pound on his cell door in an effort to ...

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