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Wells v. Miller

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

May 8, 2018

DIZZY D. WELLS, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
WEND MILLER and RICHARD R. SCHMIDT, Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER SCREENING PLAINTIFF'S AMENDED COMPLAINT (DKT. NO. 9) AND DISMISSING CASE

          PAMELA PEPPER, United States District Judge.

         The plaintiff, who is representing himself, is an inmate at Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution. More than a year ago, he filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that his constitutional rights had been violated. Dkt. No. 1. After identifying problems in his original complaint, the court gave him the opportunity to file an amended complaint. Dkt. No. 8. The plaintiff did not file an amended complaint by the deadline, so the court dismissed the case without prejudice. Dkt. No. 11. The plaintiff then asked the court to re-open his case so he could file an amended complaint, dkt. no. 13; the court granted the plaintiff's motion, dkt. no. 14. The plaintiff filed an amended complaint on February 17, 2018. Dkt. No. 15. The court will screen the plaintiff's amended complaint as required by 28 U.S.C. §1915A(a).

         I. Screening the Plaintiff's Complaint

         A. Federal Screening Standard

         The court must dismiss a complaint if the plaintiff raises 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 state a claim 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). The court gives 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)).

         B. The Plaintiff's Allegations

         The plaintiff explains that before he was “turned over” to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department, he was in the custody of the Milwaukee City Police Department (MPD). Dkt. No. 15 at 1. According to the plaintiff, the MPD “failed to comply with the rules and procedures outlining the proper way to book inmates into the CIB, NCIC, and Information data base, in order to place a footprint of the plaintiff's whereabouts while in the MPD's custody.” Id. The plaintiff alleges that, because he never was properly booked into the MPD's custody, the Sheriff's Department lacked jurisdiction to process him and keep him at the Milwaukee County Jail. Id. at 2. The plaintiff alleges that, as a result, his stay at the jail violated the Fourth Amendment. Id.

         The plaintiff explains that the MPD's booking policy requires its officers to get a prisoner's fingerprints and take a current booking photograph, neither of which occurred. Id. The plaintiff also alleges that he was not told of the charges pending against him until he was turned over to the Sheriff's Department for county booking. Id. The plaintiff explains that the MPD's procedure for arrests required the MPD to tell him why he was being arrested. Id.

         The plaintiff states that, subsequently, he was charged with violating Wis.Stat. §940.23(1) (reckless injury), §940.30 (false imprisonment) and §940.07(1) (homicide resulting from negligent control of vicious animal). Id. at 2-3.

         Finally, the plaintiff alleges that, while he was in the custody of the MPD and the Sheriff's Department, he was denied access to “Notary Services” in order to authenticate legal documents. Id. at 3. The plaintiff asserts that this denial violated Wis.Stat. §782.04(4). Id.

         C. The Court's Analysis

         The court will dismiss the plaintiff's complaint because “it is clear that no relief could be granted under any set of facts that could be proved consistent with the allegations.” Hishon v. King, 467 U.S. 69, ...


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