United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
LONNIE L. JACKSON, Plaintiff,
CO II OFFICER KUEPPER, Defendant.
ADELMAN District Judge
Lonnie L. Jackson, a pro se transgender Wisconsin
state prisoner who identifies as female, filed a complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that several defendants
violated her constitutional rights. Docket No. 1. I screened
her complaint and allowed her to file an amended complaint
that complied with Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 18(a) and
20. Plaintiff has filed an amended complaint. Docket No.
12-1. She has also filed a motion asking me to reconsider my
denial of her motion to use $100 of her release account to
pay for her litigation. Docket No. 11. This order screens
plaintiff's amended complaint and resolves her motion.
SCREENING AMENDED COMPLAINT
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). I 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).
state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading
system, plaintiff is required to provide a “short and
plain statement of the claim showing that [she] is entitled
to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). It is not necessary
for plaintiff to plead specific facts and her statement need
only “give the defendant fair notice of what the . . .
claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)).
However, a complaint that offers mere “labels and
conclusions” or a “formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). To state a claim, a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, “that is plausible on its face.”
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570).
“A claim has facial plausibility when  plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that  defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). 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).
considering whether a complaint states a claim, I follow the
principles set forth in Twombly by, first,
“identifying pleadings that, because they are no more
than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Legal
conclusions must be supported by factual allegations.
Id. If there are well-pleaded factual allegations,
the court must, second, “assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.” Id.
state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege that: 1) she was deprived of a right
secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and
2) the deprivation was by defendants 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). I am obliged to give 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)).
times relevant to this complaint, plaintiff was an inmate at
Oshkosh Correctional Institution (OCI) and defendants were
employed by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (WDOC).
alleges the following facts. On the evening of April 25,
2015, while she was being housed in the segregation unit, she
asked defendant Kuepper to fill her medical ice bag-which was
dark blue at the time-with ice, in accordance with her
medical restriction. Defendant Kuepper took the bag and
returned it to plaintiff half full of ice. Plaintiff wrapped
the bag in a blue towel, placed it in her bed against her
back, and went to sleep.
point, the ice in the bag had melted, and plaintiff was
awakened by its leaking contents. She removed the bag from
her bed. She later poured some of its contents into her red
segregation cup, drank it, and then went back to sleep.
time between 3:05 a.m. and 3:20 a.m., plaintiff began feeling
pains in her stomach, lightheaded, dizzy, and
“quizzy.” Docket No. 12-1 ¶ 22. She vomited
twice. She then noticed “a great deal of
‘Bubbles' in the toilet water.” Id.
She reviewed the medical ice bag contents, tasted what she
had poured into her cup from the bag, and surmised that the
bag contained “industrial hand sanitizing hand soap,
” a product used throughout the institution for
spoke with a third-shift range officer about what had
happened and asked him if the use of soap in medical ice bags
was a practice. The range officer said that it was common
practice to use salt and pepper in medical ice bags to
prevent abuse but not soap or any other products. The range
officer also stated that the officer is supposed to inform
the inmate of any additives he may have put in the bag prior
to giving it to the inmate.
the range officer left plaintiff's cell, plaintiff
vomited once more and then informed the housing sergeant of
what had happened. Plaintiff asked the sergeant to inform the
health services unit (HSU) right away. He did, and he also
wrote an incident report.
about 6:30 a.m., Nurse Cory (not a defendant) took plaintiff
to the treatment exam room and evaluated her. Cory explained
to plaintiff that he had contacted poison control regarding
plaintiff's ingestion of the soap and was told that
plaintiff would simply have to let the soap pass through her
system. There was nothing else that could be done. Cory told
plaintiff that she would “feel nauseated for some time,
and [may] get a runny-stool while it pass[es] through”
but that she was to let the HSU know if her symptoms
worsened. Id. ¶ 24. At the time, plaintiff was
taking “female hormones, ” “psychotropic
medication, ” high blood pressure medication, diabetic
medication, and pain medication, and so she asked Cory about
the effects that the soap ingestion would have. Id.
¶ 25. Cory stated he would monitor plaintiff's
progress. Plaintiff states she suffered symptoms of an
“upset stomach, lightheadingness [sic], dizzy
and quizzy [sic]” that lasted a week. Id.
point after being examined by Cory, plaintiff spoke with
another correctional officer regarding the incident. She
learned that “there is no standard of practice for any
officer to use any kind of soap in ice bags, because of its
danger to the inmate.” Id. ¶ 27.
time later, defendant Kuepper came to plaintiff's cell
smiling and laughing. He asked plaintiff whether she drank
from the medical bag. When plaintiff responded yes, defendant
Kuepper admitted that he put the soap in plaintiff's
medical bag. Plaintiff asked defendant Kuepper why he did not
tell her about the soap. Defendant Kuepper responded that he
did not have to tell plaintiff anything and that he is
“allowed to put anything [he] want[s] into those ice
bags in order to prevent abuse of the privilege.”
Id. ¶ 28. Plaintiff asserted that she had a
right to know what was in the medical bag and that Kuepper
had “violated WDOC policies, and the Criminal Code of
Wisconsin Laws related to ‘intentionally poisoning
inmates.'” Id. Defendant Kuepper again
stated that he did not have to tell her anything and that
plaintiff would find out when she drank it. He also stated
that if he really wanted to poison plaintiff, “[he]
would have used ‘rat poison'” and that
“he does this to all of the inmates when he works
segregation, and as a correctional officer, he is authorized
to put [whatever] he chooses into medical ice bags, in order
to teach the inmates a lesson when they abuse the medical ice
bag privilege.” Id. Defendant Kuepper also
asserted that it was just soap and that plaintiff was making
a big deal out of it. He then walked away.
subsequently wrote a formal complaint to defendant Warden
Judy Smith asking for a full investigation regarding the
incident. The complaint was denied. She also filed an inmate
complaint and was interviewed by Teresa Murphy. Defendant
Murphy informed plaintiff that her complaint “will be
dismissed pursuant to DOC Executive Directive #16, for
‘Confidentiality Reasons.'” Id.
¶ 29. The blue medical ice bags were later changed to
clear, and defendant Kuepper left OCI for Waupun Correctional
2015, plaintiff filed a formal complaint with defendant
Edward Wall requesting a full investigation regarding her
soap-ingestion incident. Defendant Wall did not respond.
2015, plaintiff wrote a letter to defendant Cathy Jess
explaining the incident and requesting to press charges
against defendant Kuepper for assault. Plaintiff asserts that