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Murphy v. Kamphuis

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

June 11, 2018

SHAWN MURPHY, Plaintiff,
v.
NIKKI KAMPHUIS, JAMES MUENCHOW, MS. HARTMAN, B. FISHER, S. SCHMIDT, DR. DEBLANC, WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, and JOHN DOE, Defendants.

         DECISION AND ORDER DENYING AS MOOT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE AMENDED COMPLAINT (DKT. NO. 20), DENYING AS MOOT PLAINTIFF'S SECOND MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 22), SCREENING AMENDED COMPLAINT UNDER 28 U.S.C. §1915A, DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE SECOND MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL (DKT. NO. 25), DENYING MOTION TO USE RELEASE ACCOUNT FOR COPIES (DKT. NO. 25), AND GRANTING MOTION FOR STATUS OF CASE (DKT. NO. 27)

          HON. PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Shawn Murphy, who is representing himself, is a prisoner at Waupun Correctional Institution. He filed this lawsuit against defendants Kamphuis and Muenchow, alleging that they violated his rights under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §12132. Dkt. No. 1. On June 20, 2017, the court screened the complaint and allowed the plaintiff to proceed on claims under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act (RA), as well as a claim that he had been denied access to the courts. Dkt. No. 18 at 8-11. The court also allowed the plaintiff to file an amended complaint, based on his assertion that he wanted to sue five additional defendants. Id. at 10. On September 5, 2017, the plaintiff filed his amended complaint. Dkt. No. 21.

         I. Motion for an Extension of Time to File Amended Complaint (Dkt. No. 20)

         In its August 7, 2017 order, the court required the plaintiff to file his amended complaint in time for the court to receive it by September 8, 2017. Dkt. No. 18. On August 31, 2017, the court received a motion from the plaintiff. Dkt. No. 20. He explained that he had a number of mental health conditions, and that he was not receiving care for those conditions, which resulted in a manic episode. Id. at 1. He asked that, if the court did not receive his amended complaint by the September 8, 2017 deadline, it understand that it was because of the lack of proper medical care, and it allow the plaintiff to proceed on his original complaint. Id. at 2. On September 5, 2017, however- three days before the deadline the court had set-the court received the plaintiff's amended complaint. The court will deny as moot the plaintiff's motion to extend the time for him to file the amended complaint. Dkt. No. 20.

         II. Second Prisoner Request to Proceed in District Court Without Prepaying the Full Filing Fee (Dkt. No. 22)

         The court received the plaintiff's first request to proceed without prepaying the filing fee on November 1, 2016. Dkt. No. 2. The court responded by requiring the plaintiff to pay an initial partial filing fee of $1.83. Dkt. No. 6. The plaintiff then filed a supplement to his motion, dkt. no. 8; a supplemental copy of his inmate trust account, dkt. no. 9; and a motion asking the court to reconsider its order requiring him to pay an initial partial filing fee, dkt. no. 10. The court issued an order allowing the plaintiff to pay the initial partial filing fee out of his release account. Dkt. No. 11. A little over two weeks later, the court received the $1.83 initial partial filing fee. Accordingly, the court granted the plaintiff's motion to proceed without prepaying the filing fee. Dkt. No. 15.

         It is not clear to the court why the plaintiff has filed another request to proceed without prepaying the filing fee. Dkt. No. 22. Perhaps what the plaintiff is really asking is for the court to issue an order telling him that he does not have to pay the remaining balance of the filing fee, as the court required in its June 20, 2017 order. Dkt. No. 15 at 15. If that is what the plaintiff is asking, the court cannot grant his request. The law requires that a prisoner who is proceeding without prepaying the filing fee “shall be required to pay the full amount of the filing fee.” 28 U.S.C. §1915(b)(1). The court cannot excuse the plaintiff from paying the full filing fee, because the law does not allow it. The court will deny as moot his request that the court allow him to proceed without prepaying the filing fee, because the court already has granted that request.

         III. Screening of the Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (Dkt. No. 21)

         The law requires the court 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 part of it, if the plaintiff raises 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).

         To state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading system, the plaintiff must provide a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is entitled to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). A plaintiff does not need to plead specific facts, and his statement need only “give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). A complaint that offers “labels and conclusions, ” however, or “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 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). The complaint allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citation omitted).

         In considering whether a complaint states a claim, courts follow the two-step process in Twombly. First, they must “identify[] pleadings that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. A plaintiff must support legal conclusions with factual allegations. Id. Second, if there are well-pleaded factual allegations, courts must “assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief.” Id.

         To state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. §1983, a plaintiff must allege that the defendants: 1) deprived him of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and 2) acted under color of state law. Buchanan-Moore v. Cty. of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824, 827 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Kramer v. Vill. of N. 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 the plaintiff's pro se allegations, “however inartfully pleaded, ” a liberal construction. Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).

         A. The Plaintiff's Allegations

         In the amended complaint, the plaintiff repeats his original allegations against defendants Kamphuis and Muenchow. He alleges that he is disabled: he has bipolar type 1, a learning disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and borderline personality. Dkt. No. 21 at 5. Kamphuis allegedly repeatedly denied the plaintiff's requests for accommodations under the ADA. Dkt. No. 21 at 3-5. Kamphuis told the plaintiff that he needed to provide documentation of his disability, but the plaintiff could not get copies of the health records that would have proven his disability. Id. at 4. The plaintiff also ...


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