United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
RYAN K. ROZAK, Plaintiff,
SCOTT RANDT and JEREMY BAILEY, Defendants.
D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE
Ryan K. Rozak, a prisoner at the Fox Lake Correctional
Institution, alleges that prison officials violated his First
Amendment rights by retaliating against him for filing
lawsuits and grievances. Trial is set for July 23, 2018, with
Rozak appearing pro se. The parties have filed several
submissions that I will address below.
Rozak has filed a motion for the court to issue a writ of
habeas corpus ad testificandum for proposed witness Michael
VanCaster, Rozak's cellmate at FLCI, who states that he
saw defendant Bailey harass Rozak in retaliation for a
previous lawsuit. Dkt. 59. Rozak states that VanCaster is
willing to testify voluntarily, and the proposed testimony is
relevant, so I will grant the motion and direct the clerk of
court to issue a writ for VanCaster.
also seeks to subpoena three potential witnesses: Gary
Wenzel, a prisoner at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution,
and Jerome Theus and Jodi Huebner, who are not incarcerated.
Dkt. 65-67. But Rozak did not comply with this court's
procedures for obtaining these witnesses, located in the
court's pretrial conference order, Dkt. 18, and also
attached to Rozak's copy of the court's trial
preparation order, Dkt. 57. Rozak does not explain whether
Theus refuses to testify voluntary or explain what Theus will
testify about. Nor does Rozak explain that the
non-incarcerated witnesses refuse to testify voluntarily or
state that he is prepared to pay the required witness fees.
So I will deny all three of these motions. If Rozak still
wants to obtain a subpoena for any of these three witnesses,
he will have to resubmit his request as soon as possible and
show that he has complied with the court's rules.
has filed a motion asking “to get all Defendants'
Discovery materials, ” Dkt. 61, but he does not explain
what he means by this. In particular, he does not explain
whether he has made his own discovery requests to which he
feels defendants have improperly responded. So I will deny
the motion. It is possible that Rozak considers it moot
anyway: he followed by submitting a set of documents to the
court concerning his high-calorie diet (one of the alleged
retaliatory incidents is that defendant Randt interfered with
his medically prescribed diet by depriving him of extra
fruit), which suggests that he has obtained the documents he
sought. If Rozak still thinks that defendants have deprived
him of certain discovery, he should quickly send a new motion
to the court. But he will need to explain what steps he took
to obtain the discovery before filing his motion.
have filed two motions in limine. Dkt. 73. First, they seek
to exclude testimony or evidence referring to the specifics
of Rozak's previous case, No. 15-cv-134-jdp, in which he
sued FLCI about the quality of the water at the facility, and
which the parties ultimately settled. Rozak alleges that
defendants retaliated against him at least in part because of
this lawsuit. Defendants are concerned about relitigating the
water-quality issue, confusing the jury, and raising an
inference that defendants were responsible for the water
provisionally deny this motion. I am not interested in
relitigating the '134 case, and Rozak will of course be
limited to providing relevant evidence; it is difficult to
see how nuanced details of the case could be relevant to the
retaliation claims. But at this point, I don't know
exactly what Rozak intends to say about the '134 lawsuit.
He is entitled to latitude in developing his explanation for
why defendants acted with retaliatory intent, which may
involve explaining prior events at FLCI, including the prior
lawsuit. If need be, I will consider curative instructions to
keep the jury focused on the issues central to the case at
hand. But for now I will not enter an order forbidding any
specific testimony. To be clear, Rozak should focus on
introducing evidence he needs to prove his retaliation
claims, not to prove that the water quality was bad. If he
attempts to present evidence that is irrelevant to the
question whether defendants retaliated against him, I will
sustain defendants' objection.
also move for a ruling allowing them to raise Rozak's
criminal convictions on cross examination under Federal Rule
of Evidence 609. They say that they intend to ask if he has
been convicted of a felony, and how many times. I will
provisionally grant that motion. Defendants say that they
wish to hash out the exact number of relevant convictions at
the pretrial conference. I see two felony convictions on the
Wisconsin CCAP website, one each in Portage County case nos.
2005CF114 and 2008CF318. To avoid surprises the day of trial,
if there are any other convictions defendants seek to use,
they should raise them with the court and Rozak no later than
July 16, 2018.
Plaintiff Ryan K. Rozak's motion for a writ of habeas
corpus ad testificandum for Michael VanCaster, Dkt. 59, is
GRANTED. The clerk of court is directed to issue a writ for
VanCaster's appearance at trial.
Plaintiff's motions for subpoenas, Dkt. 65-67, are
Plaintiff's motion asking “to get all
Defendants' Discovery ...