United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR STATUS OF
LETTER AND DENYING REQUST FOR RELIEF SOUGHT IN LETTER,
DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR COURT ORDER FOR LEGAL
LOAN, AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR ACCOMMODATIONS
(DKT. NO. 31)
PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, Shawn Murphy, is a Wisconsin state prisoner
representing himself. The plaintiff filed an amended
complaint, alleging that the defendants violated his rights
under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the
Rehabilitation Act, and that they denied him access to the
courts. Dkt No. 21. On June 11, 2018, the court issued an
order screening the amended complaint and directing the
defendants to answer. Dkt. No. 30. In that order, the court
also denied as moot the plaintiff's motion for extension
of time, denied as moot his motion for leave to proceed
without prepayment of the filing fee, denied without
prejudice his motion to appoint counsel, denied his motion to
use his release account for copies and granted his motion for
status of case. Id. A week after the court issued
that order, the court received from the plaintiff a motion
asking about the status of a letter that the court received
from him on April 30, 2018. Dkt. No. 31 at 1-2. The
plaintiff's motion also asked the court to order Waupun
Correctional Institution (Waupun) to give him a legal loan,
and to order Waupun to accommodate his disabilities.
Id. at 2-9.
the plaintiff asked about the status of a letter the court
received from him on April 30, 2018 (entered on the docket on
May 1, 2018) regarding his treatment at Waupun. Id.
at 1-2. In that letter, dkt. no. 28, the plaintiff describes
how staff at Waupun strip searched him, handcuffed him, and
placed him in a restraint chair for six hours on March 13-14,
2018. Dkt. No. 28 at 1-2. The plaintiff states that he did
not do anything to deserve this treatment and that he
believes he was being punished for litigating this case.
Id. at 2. The plaintiff states that he requested the
“video feed” from the six hours he spent in the
restraint chair, but that staff denied him access to it.
Id. at 3. He wants to appeal the denial but does not
have postage to make copies and mail an appeal. Id.
The letter asks the court to help him preserve the video
documentation of his six-hour ordeal in restraints.
Id. at 4. He states that he has only thirty days or
the video will be destroyed. Id.
extent that the plaintiff has asked the court about the
status of his letter, the court will grant his motion for a
status report. But the court will deny the relief he
requested in the letter. The plaintiff alleges that he was
held in the restraint chair on March 13-14, 2018. Those
allegations occurred after the facts that the plaintiff
raised in his complaint; they occurred while this case has
been pending. The plaintiff does not allege that any of the
defendants in this case had anything to do with those events.
The court will not order Waupun staff to preserve any video
feed from the incident (and, based on the plaintiff's
letter, it appears that the video feed may have been
destroyed by now).
the plaintiff asks the court to order Waupun to give him a
legal loan under DAI Policy and Procedure 309.51.01, so that
he can pay for copies of his health record from the Health
Services Unit and Psychological Services Unit; he plans to
use those copies in this case. Dkt. No. 31 at 2. The
plaintiff states that he needs a court order, presumably to
get the legal loan. Id. The court will not issue
such an order at this time. As the court told the parties in
its order screening the amended complaint, the parties are
not allowed to begin discovery-collecting documents and
information from each other-until after the court enters a
scheduling order setting deadlines for completing discovery
and filing dispositive motions. Dkt. No. 30 at 14. Once the
defendants have answered the amended complaint, the court
will issue a scheduling order. At that time, the parties may
start discovery (where one party asks for information or
documents from the other party), and the plaintiff may ask
the defendants for documents if he cannot get them on his
own. If he cannot get them from the defendants, he may file a
motion to compel discovery and/or he may file a motion asking
the court to order that he be provided with the documents.
the plaintiff requests accommodations because he is a
“qualified individual with a disability.” Dkt.
No. 31 at 3. The plaintiff goes on to describe his
disabilities (bipolar, learning disorder, post-traumatic
stress disorder, and borderline personality disorder), and
states that he would like accommodations for his
disabilities. Id. at 3-9. Specifically, he states
that he would like to file documents “by way of
video-voice link to insure that best communication I can get
with the courts.” Id. at 9. The plaintiff
states that “these long written motions beat [him] down
bad” and cause flashbacks. Id. The court
notes, however, that the very question of whether he has a
disability is an issue in this case. The plaintiff has not
yet proven that he has a disability; it is not appropriate
for the court to order accommodations now. If and when the
plaintiff proves that he has a disability, the court will
consider whether to provide accommodations, and what those
accommodations should be.
court GRANTS the plaintiffs motion for
status of letter and denies request for relief sought in
letter, DENIES the plaintiffs request for
court order for legal loan, and DENIES ...