United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
AMENDED COMPLAINT SCREENING ORDER
William C. Griesbach, United States District Court Chief
Bobby Ryan, a Wisconsin state prisoner who is representing
himself, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The
case was assigned to U.S. Magistrate Judge David E. Jones. On
January 12, 2018, after finding that Mr. Ryan had not stated
a claim against the named defendants, Judge Jones gave him
the opportunity to file an amended complaint. ECF No. 10. Due
to his simultaneous filing of two amended complaints, Judge
Jones gave Mr. Ryan a second opportunity to file an amended
complaint. ECF No. 13. Mr. Ryan filed his amended complaint
on April 12, 2018. ECF No. 14.
not all parties have had the opportunity to consent to
magistrate judge jurisdiction, the case was randomly referred
to a U.S. District Court judge for the limited purpose of
screening the complaint. The case will be returned to Judge
Jones for further proceedings after entry of this order.
of the Complaint
court is required to screen complaints, including amended
complaints, brought by prisoners seeking relief against a
governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental
entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). 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, 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 the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
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 caused by the defendant 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)).
in the Complaint
Ryan alleges that in January 2016 he was incarcerated at the
Milwaukee House of Corrections. While there, he received
treatment for “post-traumatic stress disorder,
‘dissacioative' disorder, depression, seizures,
degenerative disorder, and ‘coranary' artery
‘desiese.'” ECF No. 14 at 2. His treatment
allegedly involved “the maximum doses” of
prescription medications. Id. Mr. Ryan explains that
it is the policy of Milwaukee County and Armor Health to
release inmates with “[three] days medical medications
and [five] days psychotropic medication.” Id.
at 2-3. He states upon his release on November 15, 2016, he
was not given any medications. He requested his release
medication from Officer John Doe, but the officer told Mr.
Ryan that he did not have any medications for him. Mr. Ryan
requested that the officer call health services for his
medications. The officer called and spoke with Nurse Jane Doe
who also stated that “she had no meds for [Mr.
Ryan].” Id. Mr. Ryan asserts that he then
explained to Officer John Doe and Nurse Jane Doe “the
policy and risks of not having [his medications].”
Id. He also explained to them that the policy was
insufficient because “three to five days of meds was
not enough to insure [his] safety as it takes more time to
see a doctor in Milwaukee.” Id. Mr. Ryan
states that Nurse Jane Doe said “that's the way it
is and she had no meds for [him].” Id.
Ryan asserts that as a result of not being provided with his
medication he suffered an “aphasia attack, ” was
hospitalized, and lost his job and home. Id.
Ryan seeks punitive and compensatory damages and for
Milwaukee County and Armor Health's release medication
policy to be changed.
Ryan asserts that all of the defendants violated his Eighth
Amendment rights to adequate medical care. For the following
reasons, the court finds that he has only sufficiently
asserted such a claim against Nurse Jane Doe.
regard to Milwaukee County, “a municipality may be
liable for harm to persons incarcerated under its authority
‘if it maintains a policy that sanctions the
maintenance of prison conditions that infringe upon the
constitutional rights of the prisoners.'”
Estate of Novack ex rel. Turbin v. Cty. of Wood, 226
F.3d 525, 530 (7th Cir. 2000) (citations omitted). Armor
Health is subject to the same liability constraints for any
policies it has implemented at a prison as well. See
Glisson v. Ind. Dep't of Corr., 849 F.3d 372, 378
(7th Cir.), cert. denied sub nom. Corr. Med. Servs., Inc.
v. Glisson, 138 S.Ct. 109, 199 L.Ed.2d 30 (2017).
However, for liability to be triggered, the policy at issue
“must be the ‘direct cause' or ‘moving
force' behind the [alleged] constitutional
violation.” Id. Mr. Ryan asserts that
Milwaukee County and Armor Health have a “shared”
policy to provide release medication to inmates that are
being released; however, he does not allege that it was this
policy that caused his harm. In fact, he specifically states
that it was Officer John Doe and Nurse Jane Doe's failure
to implement the policy that caused his harm. He, therefore,
may not proceed on a claim against Milwaukee County and Armor
Mr. Ryan may not proceed with a claim against Sheriff David
Clarke. Section 1983 requires personal involvement in the
violation of a plaintiff's rights for there to be
liability. See Morfin v. City of East Chi., 349 F.3d
989, 1001 (7th Cir. 2003). There is not supervisory
liability, collective liability or vicarious liability under
section 1983. See Pacelli v. DeVito, 972 F.2d 871,
877 (7th Cir. 1992). Although he names Clarke in the caption
of his complaint, Mr. Ryan does not assert what ...