United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
BARBARA B. CRABB DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff James Alfred Smith, Jr. is an inmate incarcerated
by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections at the Milwaukee
Secure Detention Facility. He filed this “petition for
extraordinary writ” under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
contending that defendants Ronald K. Malone and Jon E.
Litscher have violated his constitutional rights. Plaintiff
has not yet paid the filing fee, but I assume this is because
he cannot afford to do so, as he has been found indigent in
two previous cases, Smith v. Pollard, 16-cv-9-slc,
dkt. #6 (filed Jan. 6, 2016), and Smith v. Pollard,
16-cv-10-slc, dkt. #6 (filed Jan. 6, 2016).
plaintiff is well aware from his previous § 1983 actions
(he has filed at least ten previous cases in this court), he
is a restricted filer under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) because
three or more of his civil actions have been dismissed as
frivolous, malicious, or for failure to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted. Therefore, plaintiff is not
allowed to bring a civil action in federal court without
first paying the full filing fee unless his pleadings show
that he is in imminent danger of serious physical injury. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(g).
allegations do not clearly suggest that he is in imminent
danger. As in his most recently dismissed case, Smith v.
Malone, 17-cv-963-bbc (dismissed on March 28, 2018),
plaintiff's allegations are rambling and difficult to
follow, but it appears that his primary complaints are based
on decisions made in prior lawsuits he filed in state and
federal court. He also includes allegations about
retaliation, health care, physical and sexual assaults,
conspiracies and violations of his right to equal protection
and due process. However, his allegations are vague and
confusing and it remains unclear whether and to what extent
he is saying that he is still subject to retaliation, denied
medical care or otherwise being harmed. Moreover, plaintiff
does not clearly connect a claim of imminent danger to the
plaintiff has not shown that he is in imminent danger, he
cannot proceed without paying a filing fee. Ordinarily at
this stage I would instruct him to submit the $400 filing fee
so his complaint could be screened under § 1915A.
However, because plaintiff's allegations are so confusing
and vague, I would have to dismiss his complaint immediately
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8 even if he submitted
the $400 filing fee. As plaintiff has been advised on
numerous occasions, Rule 8 requires that he provide fair
notice of his claims to each defendant and set out claims
that are plausible on their face. Nonetheless, plaintiff
continues to file lengthy complaints with rambling and
unrelated allegations, most of which do not appear to involve
defendants Malone or Litscher at all. Plaintiff's
repeated failure to comply with the court's direction
results in a waste of judicial resources, as the court is
required to sort through plaintiff's filings to determine
whether he has any valid bases of relief. Further, plaintiff
continues to raise arguments that have been rejected multiple
times in previous cases.
give plaintiff one opportunity to file an amended complaint
in this case that clarifies the nature of his claims against
defendants, explains clearly why he believes he is in
imminent danger of serious physical harm and eliminates
claims that have been rejected in previous cases. Plaintiff
should draft the amended complaint as if he were telling a
story to people who know nothing about his situation. This
means that someone reading the complaint should be able to
answer the following questions:
(1) What is the specific harm about which plaintiff is
(2) When did the harm occur and who caused it?
(3) Why does plaintiff believe defendants Malone and Litscher
are responsible for plaintiff's harm? In other words,
what did defendants Malone and Litscher in particular do that
makes them liable for violating plaintiff's
(4) Why does plaintiff believe he is in imminent danger of
serious physical injury?
(5) How does he think the court can help him?
should set forth his allegations in separate, numbered
paragraphs using short, plain and double-spaced sentences. He
should eliminate any information that is not related to his
specific claims against defendants Malone and Litscher. In
particular, plaintiff should avoid including allegations
about harm he suffered at previous institutions or while on
extended supervision, unfairness at his revocation proceeding
or at other state or federal court proceedings or complaints
about how this court has handled his prior lawsuits. I cannot
perceive of any reason why such allegations would be relevant
to a claim against defendants Malone or Litscher.
plaintiff finishes drafting his complaint, he should review
the complaint and consider whether it could be understood by
someone who is not familiar with the facts of his case. If
not, he should make necessary changes.
plaintiff submits an amended complaint by the deadline set
forth below, I will review it. If he does not submit an
amended complaint or show good cause why he is unable to do
so, I will dismiss the case because plaintiff has failed to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted. Finally, if
plaintiff continues to submit filings raising claims that
have been dismissed previously, I will ...