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Brown v. Kamphuis

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

July 16, 2018

ENNIS LEE BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
NICOLE KAMPHUIS, M. HILLE, BRIAN FOSTER, TONIA MOON, S. STABB, CINDI O'DONNELL, BRAD HOMPE, MARC CLEMENTS, JON LITSCHER, WILLIAM J. POLLARD, M. MUENCHOW, CATHY JESS, and JIM SCHWOCHERT, Defendants.

         ORDER SCREENING SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT, DENYING AS MOOT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO TRANSFER CASE TO WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN (DKT. NO. 21), DENYING AS MOOT PETITION IN SUPPORT OF THE PLAINTIFF'S ORDER FOR CAUSE FOR TEMPORARY INJUNCTION (DKT. NO. 24) AND DISMISSING CASE FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM

          HON. PAMELA PEPPER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Ennis Lee Brown is a Wisconsin state prisoner representing himself. The plaintiff has filed a motion to transfer this case to the Western District of Wisconsin, dkt. no. 21, a proposed second amended complaint, dkt. no. 22, a proposed order for cause for temporary injunction, dkt no. 23 and a petition for the order for cause for temporary injunction, dkt. no. 24. This order screens the plaintiff's second amended complaint, dkt. no. 22, denies as moot the plaintiff's motion to transfer case, dkt. no. 21, denies as moot the petition for a temporary injunction, dkt. no. 24, and dismisses the case for failure to state a claim.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On March 30, 2018, the court denied the plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of the court's prior screening order, which had dismissed the complaint without prejudice for failure to state a due process claim and for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction. Dkt. No. 20 at 1, 13. In the same order, the court construed the plaintiff's motion for leave to file an amended complaint as a motion to reopen the case and amend. Id. The court determined that the plaintiff's proposed amended complaint, which added new allegations, supported denial-of-access-to-the-courts and retaliation claims. Id. at 11-12. But, because the plaintiff's proposed amended complaint did not identify individual defendants personally involved in the plaintiff's access-to-the-courts claims, the court directed the plaintiff to file a proposed second amended complaint if he wanted to proceed on the claims. Id. at 12. The court told the plaintiff that he “may bring only two claims in this second amended complaint-his access-to-courts claim and his retaliation claim; he may not raise any other claims in the second amended complaint.” Id. at 13.

         The court described the plaintiff's access-to-courts and retaliation claims as follows:

[T]he plaintiff alleges that in September 2015, he tried to file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in Dodge County Circuit Court. Dkt. No. 17 at 4. He says he did not have the money to get copies and mail to all the parties; he says that the “money taken from [him]” kept him from being able to pay these costs. Id. He says that this resulted in the dismissal of his petition. Id. The plaintiff also alleges that in October 2015, he tried to file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Id. That court dismissed the petition after the plaintiff couldn't pay the fees, supply the court with required copies or pay mailing costs. Id.
The proposed amended complaint also alleges that defendants Kamphuis, Hille, Pollard, and Foster retaliated against him after he filed grievances related to Kamphuis's denial of his request to access his release account. Dkt. No. 17 at 4, 7. The plaintiff further alleges that defendant Stabb retaliated against him with a thirty-day loss of phone privileges because the plaintiff tried to contact the warden about the money erroneously taken from his account. Id. at 7-8.

Dkt. No. 20 at 11-12.

         II. SCREENING THE SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

         A. Federal Screening Standard

         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 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 claim, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, “that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows a court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

         To state a claim 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 defendant was acting 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 gives a pro se plaintiff's allegations, “however inartfully ...


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