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Dotson v. Milwaukee Police Department District 2

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

May 16, 2018

ANDRAE L. DOTSON, Plaintiff,
v.
MILWAUKEE POLICE DEPARTMENT DISTRICT 2, SGT. KALTENBRUN, AARON FRANTAL, P.O. VARGAS-RAMOS, P.O. KLARKOWSKI, and JOHN DOES, Defendants.

          ORDER

          J. P. Stadtmueller U.S. District Judge

         1.Introduction

         Plaintiff Andrae L. Dotson ("Dotson"), proceeding pro se, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the defendants violated his constitutional rights. (Docket #1). On February 14, 2018, Dotson filed two motions to amend/correct his complaint. (Docket #4 and #5). On April 11, 2018, Dotson filed another motion to amend/correct his complaint. (Docket #14). On April 20, 2018, he filed a motion to supplement his complaint. (Docket #15). Dotson has also filed a motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, (Docket #2), a motion for discovery, (Docket #7), and a motion for counsel, (Docket #13). This decision resolves Dotson's motions and screens his complaint.

         This case is currently assigned to Magistrate Judge David E. Jones. However, because not all parties have had the opportunity to consent to magistrate judge jurisdiction, the case was randomly referred to District Judge J. P. Stadtmueller for the limited purpose of screening the complaint. The case will be returned to Magistrate Jones for further proceedings after entry of this Order.

         2. Motion to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing Fee

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act applies to this case because Dotson 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 case 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 the plaintiff 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.

         On March 1, 2018, the Court ordered Dotson to pay an initial partial filing fee of $57.10. (Docket #11). Dotson paid that fee on March 12, 2018. Therefore, the Court will grant Dotson'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.

         3. Motions to Amend Complaint and Motion to Supplement Complaint

         Dotson has filed three different motions seeking to amend his complaint and a motion to supplement his complaint. With regard to his motions to amend, Dotson did not comply with the procedural rules in connection with amending a complaint. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 and Civil Local Rule 15 (E.D. Wis.) require that the plaintiff file a motion seeking leave to amend his complaint and attach to the motion the proposed amended complaint. An amended complaint replaces previously filed complaints, so a plaintiff cannot simply tack on claims or defendants with separate filings. All of the parties and claims need to be included in one document. Because Dotson did not comply with the applicable rules in any of his motions to amend his complaint, the Court will deny all of those motions.

         Dotson also failed to comply with the applicable rules for supplementing his complaint. Under Federal Rule Civil Procedure 15(d), "on motion and reasonable notice, the Court may, on just terms, permit a party to serve a supplemental pleading setting out any transaction, occurrence, or event that happened after the date of the pleading to be supplemented." That is, a Court will "permit a supplemental pleading when a party wishes to bring up events occurring subsequent to the original pleading that relate to a claim or defense presented in the original pleading." Habitat Educ. Ctr., Inc. v. Kimbell, 250 F.R.D. 397, 402 (E.D. Wis. 2008). Dotson, however, asks to be allowed to supplement his original complaint with a claim based on an event that occurred prior to when he filed his original complaint. Therefore, he failed to comply with applicable rules. The Court will deny his motion and will move forward with screening his original complaint.

         4.Screening of the Complaint

         4.1 Federal Screening Standard

         The law requires the Court to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). 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 Atl. 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 ...


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