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More v. Lafayette County

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

July 2, 2018

CAROLINE PAULA MORE, Plaintiff,
v.
LAFAYETTE COUNTY, MEMORIAL HOSPITAL OF LAFAYETTE COUNTY, JACK SAUER, DEPUTY LOEFFELHOLZ, DEPUTY GILL, SHERIFF PEDLEY, SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT OF LAYFAYETTE COUNTY, TELLURIAN, UCAN INC., KEVIN FLOREK, DOCTOR WOODRUFF, DOCTOR SARINO, WINNEBAGO MENTAL HEALTH INSTITUTE IN WISCONSIN, BRAD SHIMEL, STATE OF WISCONSIN JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, SCOTT WALKER, and THE STATE OF WISCONSIN, Defendants.

          OPINION & ORDER

          JAMES D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE

         This case arises out of events that occurred in April 2014 after pro se plaintiff Caroline Paula More was arrested in Lafayette County, Wisconsin. More has filed three complaints in this case, each of which has a different scope.

         To understand the issues before the court now, some background is needed. After various defendants moved to dismiss her first complaint, More amended the complaint as a matter of right under Rule 15 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Dkt. 16. When the defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint, More moved to amend her complaint again, but without filing a proposed amended complaint. Dkt. 23. In response, I gave More a deadline for filing a proposed complaint and instructed her that I would screen the complaint before determining whether she could proceed. Dkt. 25.

         More filed a second amended complaint (which she labels incorrectly as her “third amended complaint”), adding several more defendants, including Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County, Jack Sauer, Deputy Loeffelhoz, Deputy Gill, Sheriff Pedly, Kevin Florek, Doctor Woodruff, Doctor Sarino, Brad Shimel, and Scott Walker, though she does not discuss most of the new defendants anywhere in the body of her new complaint. Dkt. 34.[1] After More filed her second amended complaint, the defendants who are named in both the original complaint and first amended complaint have renewed their motions to dismiss. Dkt. 35 and Dkt. 36. The new defendants listed above have not been served.)

         I will grant More's motion for leave to amend her complaint and I will allow her to proceed on a claim that defendants Loeffelholz and Gill violated the Fourth Amendment and state law by driving recklessly while transporting More and causing her to break her tooth. I will dismiss the remaining federal law claims for More's failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted and I will dismiss her remaining state law claims for lack of jurisdiction.

         ALLEGATIONS OF FACT

         More provides few factual allegations in her second amended complaint.[2] Most of the nine-page document consists of legal argument, which does not belong in a complaint. But my understanding of her allegations is as follows.

         In April 2014, unnamed “county deputies” in Lafayette County arrested More for an unspecified crime. While transporting More, defendants Loeffelholz and Gill (deputy sheriffs for Lafayette County) drove their vehicle “in such a manner that [More's] face and mouth str[uck] a barrier, ” causing More to lose one of her front teeth. In the following days and weeks, More was treated at Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County, Tellurian Detox, and the Winnebago Mental Health Institute, where she was under the care of Dr. Sarino and Dr. Woodruff. More believes that she did not receive adequate care at any of those facilities for her “Vulvar Pain, ” “low-level opioid addiction, ” or “alcohol dependence health problem(s).”

         ANALYSIS

         The first question is whether this court has subject matter jurisdiction over this case. Jakupovic v. Curran, 850 F.3d 898, 902 (7th Cir. 2017). Generally, a plaintiff suing in federal court must show either that she is raising a federal claim, 28 U.S.C. §. 1331, or that she and the defendants are citizens of different states and that more than $75, 000 is in controversy, 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

         As for § 1331, More does not identify any federal claims in her brief in response to the motions to dismiss, even though every defendant that filed a motion to dismiss is contending that the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the case. Instead, she devotes almost all of her brief to Wis.Stat. § 51.42, which imposes requirements on counties to provide services related to mental health, developmental disabilities, alcoholism, and drug abuse. Because § 51.42 is a state law, it cannot serve as the basis for jurisdiction under § 1331.

         More cites several federal laws in her second amended complaint. First, she cites 28 U.S.C. § 1346, but that law applies only when the United States is a defendant. More has not sued the United States and her allegations do not suggest that she would have any grounds for doing so.

         Second, she cites the Americans with Disabilities Act, stating that a “reasonable accommodation rightfully should have been provided by both this county, and the state of Wisconsin.” Dkt. 34, at 2. The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability and applies to certain employers, public accommodations, and public programs, services, and activities. Brumfield v. City of Chicago, 735 F.3d 619, 624-30 (7th Cir. 2013) (describing scope of ADA).

         Even if I assume that More qualifies as an individual with a disability, it is not clear how the ADA could apply in this case. More does not allege that any of the defendants were her employer and she does not alleges that she was denied access to a public program, service, or activity. Hospitals can qualify as a public accommodation, e.g., Reed v. Columbia St. Mary's Hosp., 782 F.3d 331, ...


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