United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
DECISION AND ORDER
William C. Griesbach, United States District Court Chief
Carl Joseph McDaniel, who is currently serving a state prison
sentence at Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI), filed a
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his
civil rights were violated. This matter comes before the
court to screen Plaintiff's amended complaint and on his
motion for a preliminary injunction and motion to clarify.
Screening of the Complaint
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). A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an
arguable basis either in law or in fact. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Hutchinson ex
rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d 895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997).
state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading
system, the 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). The
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter “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)). The court accepts
the factual allegations as true and liberally construes them
in the plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729
F.3d 645, 651 (7th Cir. 2013). Nevertheless, 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).
amended complaint does not survive review because it suffers
from the same defects that plagued the original complaint.
Again, Plaintiff continues to attempt to improperly bring
unrelated claims in a single case, and he asserts a variety
of alleged injustices that occurred in two different
correctional institutions. As instructed by the Seventh
Circuit, under the controlling principle of Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 18(a), “[u]nrelated claims against
different defendants belong in different suits.”
George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007).
While a “party asserting a claim, counterclaim,
crossclaim, or third-party claim may join, as independent or
alternate claims, as many claims as it has against an
opposing party, ” Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
18(a), “Claim A against Defendant 1 should not be
joined with unrelated Claim B against Defendant 2.”
George, 507 F.3d at 607. Moreover, Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 20 provides that joinder of multiple
defendants into one action is proper only if “any right
to relief is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in
the alternative with respect to or arising out of the same
transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or
occurrences; and any question of law or fact common to all
defendants will arise in the action.” Here,
Plaintiff's amended complaint violates the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure insofar as it advances unrelated claims
against multiple defendants.
court also notes that Plaintiff's amended complaint
violates Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) which requires
a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that
the pleader is entitled to relief.” Plaintiff's
allegations are not set forth in a coherent, organized
manner, which makes it difficult to discern which claims he
intends to assert against each defendant. The Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure require “parties to make their
pleadings straightforward, so that judges and adverse parties
need not try to fish a gold coin from a bucket of mud.”
United States ex rel. Garst v. Lockheed-Martin
Corp., 328 F.3d 374, 378 (7th Cir. 2003). Because
Plaintiff's amended complaint does not comply with the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court will strike the
court nevertheless recognizes that Plaintiff's amended
complaint suggests that he has cognizable claims. Therefore,
the court will attempt to recruit counsel for the limited
purpose of assisting Plaintiff with drafting an amended
complaint that complies with the Federal Rules of Civil
Motion for Preliminary Injunction
that there is no longer an operative complaint in this
matter, the court recognizes that, legally, it may not have
jurisdiction over Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary
injunction, which would be reason enough to deny the motion
outright. Yet, Plaintiff's motion raises serious
allegations regarding his physical health and well-being that
the court believed warranted further investigation. In his
motion, Plaintiff asserts that Defendants have placed him in
a unit with stairs and bunks, despite the fact that he has
serious medical needs that prevent him from walking. He
claims that as a result of being placed in this unit, he has
not attended any chapel, recreation, and physical therapy;
will not be able to eat meals; and cannot sign up for
showers, phone, library, or recreation. Plaintiff also
asserts that Defendants intentionally ignore his severe
medical and mental disabilities. He seeks an order mandating
that he be placed in a handicap accessible cell so that he
can have access to programs, services, and benefits that
inmates in general population receive. ECF No. 25. After
considering these serious allegations and out of an abundance
of caution, the court held a hearing on the motion on April
13, 2018. After speaking with Plaintiff and Defendants'
counsel, the court directed Defendants to supplement the
record with Plaintiff's medical records.
subsequently filed motions to supplement his motion for
injunctive relief on April 25 and 26, 2018. He asserts that,
after the hearing, CCI housing manager Fink removed
Plaintiff's cell mate from their cell so that Plaintiff
would be the only inmate in the cell. Fink told Plaintiff
that he would determine whether Plaintiff required further
accommodations, but in the meantime, CCI would not place
another inmate in Plaintiff's cell unless it was
“absolutely necessary.” On April 20, 2018,
Plaintiff successfully received cervical injections at Waupun
Memorial Hospital. ECF No. 31. Plaintiff also asserts that,
on April 23, 2018, he urinated in his bunk because the severe
spasms in his back prevented him from getting to the toilet.
He subsequently saw Health Services Staff and attended an
appointment with Dr. Morsetter, a kidney specialist from UW
Health Hospital. Dr. Morsetter indicated she would request
that Plaintiff receive a single-cell restriction. ECF No. 33.
Defendants submitted declarations from Paul Bekx, M.D., the
medical director of the Department of Corrections' Bureau
of Health Services, and Marlena Larson, Psy.D., the
psychology director of the Wisconsin Department of
Corrections, as well as Plaintiff's medical records.
After considering the parties' submissions, the court
concludes that Plaintiff's motion will be denied.
preliminary injunction is “an extraordinary and drastic
remedy, one that should not be granted unless the movant, by
a clear showing, carries the burden of persuasion.”
Mazurek v. Armstrong, 520 U.S. 968, 972 (1997). To
obtain preliminary injunctive relief, the plaintiff must show
that (1) he has some likelihood of success on the merits, (2)
no adequate remedy at law exists, and (3) he will suffer
irreparable harm without the injunction. Wood v.
Buss, 496 F.3d 620, 622 (7th Cir. 2007). If those three
factors are shown, the court must then balance the harm to
each party and to the public interest from granting or
denying the injunction. Id.; Korte v.
Sebelius, 735 F.3d 654, 665 (7th Cir. 2013); Cooper
v. Salazar, 196 F.3d 809, 813 (7th Cir. 1999).
claim fails because he is not likely to succeed on the
merits. It is clear from the declaration of Dr. Paul Bekx
that Plaintiff is receiving extensive medical treatment for
his multiple conditions, including hypertension, chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, type 2
diabetes complicated by neuropathy, gout, fibromyalgia,
anxiety, and degenerative joint disease in his spine with
spinal stenosis. ECF No. 35 at ¶¶ 6, 25. Plaintiff
was last seen by his primary care provider on April 13, 2018.
Id. ¶ 22. The medical records indicate that, at
that appointment, Plaintiff's physician did not see any
reason to declare him disabled. ECF No. 35-2 at 7-8.
Plaintiff's current accommodations include a wheeled
walker in his cell, a cane for use with stairs, and a low
bunk restriction. ECF No. 35 at ¶ 23. Plaintiff suggests
in his supplemental filings that he has received medical
treatment since the hearing and that CCI has addressed his
concerns. In other words, Defendants are treating
Plaintiff's medical conditions and are accommodating his
needs as necessary. For these reasons, the court cannot
conclude that Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits,
and the motion for a preliminary injunction is denied.