United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER SCREENING PLAINTIFF'S SECOND AMENDED
COMPLAINT (DKT. NO. 11), DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
SANCTIONS (DKT. NO. 13), DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
JUDGMENT (DKT. NO. 15), AND GRANTING MOTION FOR STATUS (DKT.
PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
February 28, 2017, the court gave the plaintiff an
opportunity to file a second amended complaint. Dkt. No. 9.
The court received the amended complaint on March 21, 2017.
Dkt. No. 11. The law requires the court to screen complaints,
including amended 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).
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).
proceed 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). I will give a
pro se plaintiff's 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)).
The Plaintiff's Allegations
2016, Ramadan started on June 7 and ended on July 6,
see https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us (last
visited on July 14, 2018). On April 14, 2016, the plaintiff
learned from other inmates that a sign-up sheet to receive
bagged meals during Ramadan had been posted in the chapel for
a couple of weeks; the deadline to sign up was April 7,
nearly two months prior to Ramadan. Dkt. No. 11 at ¶12.
plaintiff sent defendant Chaplain Michael Donovan an
interview/information request, stating,
It is our understanding that this year's Ramadan deadline
was April 7? If this is the case, there are numerous Muslim
inmates who received no notice of Ramadan. If this is your
policy not to issue timely notice, then you have imposed a
‘substantial burden' and have put inmates who had
wish[ed] to participate cannot [sic], because they can't
afford the cost of providing their own meals. Can you please
explain why you didn't issue a[n] institution wide memo
stating the start of Ramadan and the deadline to sign up for
‘all' Muslim inmates? Thank you.”
responded the next day, telling the plaintiff, “I was
directed by management that I could post an announcement only
in the chapel and library.” Id. at ¶13.
The plaintiff and another inmate spoke to Donovan later that
day about not being added to the bagged meal list.
Id. at ¶14. Donovan explained that there had
been a change in policy about notification; all notifications
for religious celebrations would be posted only in the chapel
or library. Id. The plaintiff asked why religious
notifications were being handled differently from other
non-religious notifications. Id. Donovan stated that
he did not know and he could not put the inmates on the
bagged meal list. Id. Donovan instructed the inmates
to write to defendant Michelle Haese at social services.
same day, the plaintiff sent a letter to Haese, asking her to
add him to the bagged meal list for Ramadan. Id. at
¶15. The plaintiff explained that earlier in the year,
Native American services had been posted. Id. He
also observed that the policy seemed unfair because
non-religious notices were still posted institution-wide and
not all inmates attend the chapel or library regularly.
next day, on April 16, 2016, Haese responded to the plaintiff
and denied his request to receive bagged meals during
Ramadan. Id. at ¶16. She explained that in the
past, Green Bay Correctional Institution (GBCI) had put
“congregate” meal date notifications on
“institution Channel 8;” however, in 2016, the
institution changed its policy, posting notification of
multi-day religious meal accommodation and congregate meal
dates only in the chapel, library and on restricted housing
unit (RSHU) carts. Id. Haese explained that the new
policy was in line with Department of Adult Institutions
(DAI) policy and was comparable to the procedures of other
maximum security sites. Id.
April 19, 2016, the plaintiff sent a letter to defendant
warden Scott Eckstein, explaining his communications with
Donovan and Haese. Id. at ¶17. The plaintiff
asked Eckstein to allow him and the other inmates who did not
know about the sign-up deadline to participate. Id.
According to the plaintiff, Eckstein did not respond to the
letter, but he met with the plaintiff and two other inmates
on April 22, 2016. Id. at ¶18.
allegedly explained that he was new at GBCI, and he asked the
inmates how the notification system worked and why Donovan
and Haese had denied their requests to receive bagged meals
during Ramadan. Id. The plaintiff explained the
change in the notification policy as it related to religious
observances. Id. Eckstein asked why the plaintiff
did not attend chapel or go to the library. Id. The
plaintiff explained that there was a lot of gang activity and
fighting at the chapel services and his faith did not require
that he attend services there. Id. He also explained
that access to the library is very limited, with passes being
handed out only once per week. Id. He stated that he
has gone weeks without going to the library because of
misplaced passes. Id. The plaintiff asked Eckstein
why he had not responded to the plaintiff's letter;
Eckstein said he was busy and needed time. Id. The
plaintiff asserts that Eckstein never responded. Id.
April 24, 2016, the plaintiff sent an inmate complaint to
defendant Alan DeGroot, asking that he be allowed to receive
bagged meals during Ramadan. Id. at ¶19. The
plaintiff explained that he did not know about the sign-up
deadline because of the change in policy. Id.
DeGroot denied the plaintiff's request, and explained
that the new policy was consistent with the DAI policy
requiring that notice be placed in the chapel and library and
on the RSHU carts. Id. He said posting notifications
on channel 8 is only a courtesy. Id. DeGroot also
said that he could not make an exception to the sign-up
deadline because it would be discriminatory if one group got
an exception but others did not. Id. DeGroot told
the plaintiff that inmates are responsible for ...