United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
THOMAS H.L. BARFELL, Plaintiff,
DEPUTY BAUER, et al., Defendants.
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge United States District
Thomas Barfell filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
alleging that his civil rights were violated. Due to
non-consent to magistrate judge jurisdiction, this case was
transferred to this court on May 22, 2018. This matter comes
before the court to screen Plaintiff's amended 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).
Not only is the court permitted to sua sponte
dismiss a complaint that fails to state a claim under §
1915A, it is required to do so. To 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
claims that from September 2017 to January 2018, he requested
grievance slips to complain about a number of alleged
injustices, including the denial of library use, inadequate
religious services, the denial of a haircut for trial,
complications with his legal and personal mail, food trays
sitting in the kitchen too long, the phone use policy, the
new dayroom policy, the temperature, and his sleeping
arrangements. He alleges that each named defendants denied
his request for a grievance form, indicating that his
complaints were not “grievable issues.” Plaintiff
claims the defendants denied him access to the courts by
preventing him from exhausting his administrative remedies.
amended complaint fails to state an access to the courts
claim based on the defendants' failure to provide him
with grievance forms. As an initial matter, an inmate
“has no Constitutional right to file grievances at the
institution in which he is confined.” Perales v.
Bowlin, 644 F.Supp.2d 1090, 1101 (N.D. Ind. 2009)
(citation omitted); see also Antonelli v. Sheahan,
81 F.3d 1422, 1430-31 (7th Cir. 1996) (“[A]ny right to
a grievance procedure is a procedural right, not a
substantive one.”). In addition, the unavailability of
administrative remedies does not prevent a potential litigant
from bringing a claim in federal court. While the Prison
Litigation Reform Act requires that prisoners exhaust all
available administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit in
federal court, 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), a plaintiff is
relieved from his obligation to exhaust if he can establish
that the administrative remedies were unavailable to him.
Lewis v. Washington, 300 F.3d 829, 833 (7th Cir.
2002); see also Hill v. Snyder, 817 F.3d 1037, 1041
(7th Cir. 2016) (noting that “exhaustion is not
required when the prison officials responsible for providing
grievance forms refuse to give a prisoner the forms necessary
to file an administrative grievance.”). Accordingly,
Plaintiff cannot proceed on this claim. As stated in the
previous screening order, Plaintiff may not proceed with any
other claims regarding the issues raised in his underlying
grievances because they do not share common issues of fact or
law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 20(a). See ECF No. 13 at 6.
plaintiff has provided no arguable basis for relief, having
failed to make any rational argument in law or fact to
support his claims. See House v. Belford, 956 F.2d
711, 720 (7th Cir. 1992) (quoting Williams v.
Faulkner, 837 F.2d 304, 308 (7th Cir. 1988),
aff'd sub nom. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that this action is
DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§
1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b)(1) for failure to state a
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court document
that this inmate has incurred a "strike" under 28
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk of Court enter
IS FURTHER ORDERED that copies of this order be sent
to the officer in charge of the agency where the inmate is
confined and to Corey F. Finkelmeyer, Assistant Attorney
General, Wisconsin ...