United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
TERRANCE J. SHAW, Plaintiff,
CAPTAIN ANDERSON, COII EDWARDS, and COII ABBOTT, Defendants.
STADTMUELLER. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
who is incarcerated at Racine Correctional Institution
(“RCI”), filed a pro se complaint under
42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his civil rights were
violated. (Docket #1). This matter comes before the Court on
Plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis.
(Docket #5). Plaintiff has been assessed and paid an initial
partial filing fee of $83.23. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4).
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or
employee of a governmental entity. Id. §
1915A(a). The Court 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.
Id. § 1915A(b). A claim is legally frivolous
when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.
Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992);
Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989);
Gladney v. Pendelton Corr. Facility, 302 F.3d 773,
774 (7th Cir. 2002). The Court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327;
Gladney, 302 F.3d at 774. “Malicious, ”
although sometimes treated as a synonym for “frivolous,
” “is more usefully construed as intended to
harass.” Lindell v. McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107,
1109 (7th Cir. 2003); Paul v. Marberry, 658 F.3d
702, 705 (7th Cir. 2011).
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). It is not
necessary for the plaintiff to plead specific facts; 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)); Christopher v. Buss, 384 F.3d
879, 881 (7th Cir. 2004). However, a complaint that offers
“‘labels and conclusions'” 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. The complaint
allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555; Christopher, 384 F.3d at 881.
considering whether a complaint states a claim, courts should
first “identif[y] 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 “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) he was deprived of a right
secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and
(2) the deprivation was visited upon him by a person or
persons acting under color of state law. Buchanan-Moore
v. County of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824, 827 (7th Cir.
2009); Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980).
The Court is 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)).
alleges that he has been diagnosed with hypertrophic
arthritis and, as a result, has received a special handling
order in his medical file for use of leather (as opposed to
metal) restraints during transport. (Docket #1 at 2). On
September 27, 2016, Plaintiff was scheduled to be transported
to an outside hospital and CO Abbott (“Abbott”)
placed Plaintiff in metal restraints for the transport.
Plaintiff informed Abbott of his medical condition and his
handling order, but Abbott said he did not see such an order
in the computer and transported Plaintiff in metal restraints
to and from the hospital. Id. Plaintiff filed an
inmate grievance concerning this incident, and it was
affirmed by the inmate complaint examiner
October 12, 2016, Plaintiff was again scheduled to be
transported to an outside hospital and Abbott again placed
Plaintiff in metal restraints. Id. Plaintiff
informed Abbott again that he had a special handling order
for use of leather restraints. Abbott told Plaintiff that he
checked the computer again and did not see an order for
leather restraints. Id. at 2-3. Abbott placed
Plaintiff in metal restraints and transported him to the
hospital, where he remained shackled to a hospital bed for
two days before being transported back to RCI in metal
restraints. Id. at 3. Plaintiff filed an inmate
grievance about this incident as well, and it was affirmed.
October 30, 2017, Plaintiff was again scheduled to be
transported to an outside hospital and CO Edwards
(“Edwards”) placed Plaintiff in metal restraints.
Id. Plaintiff informed Edwards of his medical
condition and encouraged Edwards to check the computer for
the handling order regarding leather restraints. Id.
Edwards told Plaintiff that “C-Link does not have
another set of leather restraints, ” and ordered that
Plaintiff be put in metal restraints. Id. Plaintiff
was transported to and from his medical appointment in metal
restraints. Id. Plaintiff filed an inmate grievance
about this incident as well, and it was affirmed.
Id. Plaintiff alleges that these incidents caused
him to suffer both physical and psychological injuries.
complaint crosses the low threshold set at screening to state
a claim for deliberate indifference to his serious medical
needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, against Abbott
and Edwards. To sustain such a claim, Plaintiff must show:
(1) an objectively serious medical condition; (2) that
Defendants knew of the condition and were deliberately
indifferent in treating it; and (3) this indifference caused
him some injury. Gayton v. McCoy, 593 F.3d 610, 620
(7th Cir. 2010). The deliberate indifference inquiry has two
components. “The official must have subjective
knowledge of the risk to the inmate's health, and the
official also must disregard that risk.” Id.
Negligence cannot support a claim of deliberate indifference,
nor is medical malpractice a constitutional violation.
Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 105-06 (1976);
Roe v. Elyea, 631 F.3d 843, 857 (7th Cir. 2011). At
the present stage, the Court, generously construing
Plaintiff's allegations, finds that he states a claim
against Defendants Abbott and Edwards for deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs.
Plaintiff will not be allowed to proceed against Captain
Anderson (“Anderson”). He is named as a defendant
but the complaint includes no allegations about him.
Individual liability under Section 1983 “requires
personal involvement in the alleged constitutional
deprivation.” Colbert v. City of Chicago, 851
F.3d 649, 657 (7th Cir. 2017) (quotation omitted). Anderson
will, therefore, be dismissed.
Plaintiff shall be permitted to proceed on a claim of
deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs, in
violation of the Eighth Amendment, against Defendants Abbott
and Edwards. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Docket #5)
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant Captain Anderson
be and the same is hereby D ...