United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
William C. Griesbach, United States District Court Chief
James Warren, who is currently serving a state prison
sentence at Stanley Correctional Institution (SCI) and
representing himself, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging that his civil rights were violated.
This matter comes before the court on Plaintiff's motion
for leave to proceed without prepaying the full filing fee.
ECF No. 6.
to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing Fee
total cost of filing a civil action is $400.00, which
includes the $350.00 statutory filing fee and a $50.00
administrative fee. However, the $50.00 administrative fee
does not apply to persons granted in forma pauperis
status. Pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA),
the prisoner plaintiff proceeding in forma pauperis
is required to pay the full amount of the statutory filing
fee, $350.00, for any civil action. See 28 U.S.C.
the PLRA, which amended the in forma pauperis
statute, the court must assess an initial partial filing fee
of twenty percent of the average monthly deposits to the
plaintiff's account or average monthly balance in the
plaintiff's prison account for the six-month period
immediately preceding the filing of the complaint, whichever
is greater. Id. After the initial fee is paid, the
prisoner must make monthly payments of twenty percent of the
preceding month's income until the filing fee is paid in
full. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). “The agency having
custody of the prisoner shall forward payments from the
prisoner's account to the Clerk of the Court each time
the amount in the account exceeds $10 until the filing fees
are paid.” Id. The obligation to pay the full
filing fee continues, even if the case is immediately
dismissed as frivolous, malicious or for failure to state a
claim, or later on summary judgment or after trial. The
amount of the filing fee can be recovered as part of the
costs of the action in the event the plaintiff ultimately
filed a certified copy of his prisoner trust account
statement for the six-month period immediately preceding the
filing of the complaint as required under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(2). A review of this information reveals that, for
the 6-month period immediately preceding the filing of the
instant complaint, the average monthly deposit in
Warren's prison account was $79.56 and the average
monthly balance to the account was $241.75. Thus, in
accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b)(1), Warren is required to pay an initial partial
filing fee of $48.35. Warren has submitted an initial $50.00
payment that satisfies this initial partial filing fee.
Accordingly, Warren's motion for leave to proceed without
prepaying the filing fee will be granted.
of the Complaint
court is required 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 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. 28 U.S.C. §
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); Hutchinson ex
rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d 895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997).
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). The
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter “that
is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The court accepts
the factual allegations as true and liberally construes them
in the plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729
F.3d 645, 651 (7th Cir. 2013). Nevertheless, the
complaint's allegations “must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citation omitted).
of the Complaint
claims stem from an interaction with Defendant Officer
Rudolph on August 21, 2017. While walking between two housing
units as part of his job as a canteen worker, Warren alleges
that he encountered an unknown officer while passing an
officer's station. He says that he asked her, “How
are you doing, and what's your name?” ECF No. 1 at
1. She showed him her ID card, and he pronounced her name,
“Rudolph, ” under his breath as he walked away.
next day, Warren alleges that Defendant Captain Taylor came
to his cell with several other officers. They handcuffed him
behind his back and transferred him from the general
population to segregation. Warren alleges that, when Captain
Taylor asked if he knew why he was being transferred, he
responded, “I have no idea what this is about or when
this is supposed to have happened.” Id. at 2.
Captain Taylor then informed him that he was being placed in
segregation for soliciting an employee, pending a misconduct
investigation into the charges. Warren was given a maximum
release date of September 11, 2017. ECF No. 1-1 at
He states that, as a result of the placement in segregation,
he lost his cell assignment, bed assignment, and unit wing
advantage, and that he experienced daily physical and mental
discomfort while in segregation. ECF No. 1 at 2. Warren
alleges that Defendant Warden Reed Richardson drafted the
institution policy authorizing detention in segregation
pending investigation of a disciplinary matter. ECF No. 1 at
disciplinary hearing was held on September 12, 2017. ECF No.
1-1 at 8-9. The charge for soliciting an employee was
dismissed. Id. Although Rudolph's original
misconduct report stated that Warren said “let's
meet up on the other side” to her, at the hearing
Rudolph could not remember with 100% certainty exactly what
Warren had said to her. ECF No. 1-1 at 4, 7. Warren alleges
that Rudolph's supervisor, Defendant Lieutenant Walia,
told her to charge him with solicitation in the conduct
report. ECF No. 1 at 2.
alleges that, after the misconduct charge was dismissed, he
pursued administrative remedies on a claim that Rudolph
engaged in misconduct by making a false statement on his
conduct report. Id. at 3. Although Defendant
Security Director Achterberg is not named in the body of the
complaint, Warren attached to his complaint an October 18,
2017, letter to him requesting a transfer to a different
institution as a result of Rudolph's alleged misconduct
that resulted in his transfer to segregation. ECF No. 1-1 at
14-15. Achterberg responded in an October 24, 2017 memo
reminding Warren that he had the right to file a complaint
with the Institution Complaint Examiner (ICE). Id.
at 16. Warren eventually filed a formal inmate complaint.