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McCoy v. Hannah

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

July 18, 2018

JAMES CORTEZ MCCOY, Plaintiff,
v.
CAPTAIN HANNAH, LT. MANTANO, and NURSE PRACTITIONER BRANDON, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2) AND SCREENING COMPLAINT UNDER 28 U.S.C. §1915A

          HON. PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The plaintiff, who is representing himself, filed this case under 42 U.S.C. §1983, dkt. no. 1, along with a motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, dkt. no. 2. This order resolves his motion and screens the complaint.

         I. Motion for Leave to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing Fee

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) applies to this case because the plaintiff was in custody when he filed the complaint. 28 U.S.C. §1915. The PLRA allows a court to give an incarcerated plaintiff the ability to proceed with his lawsuit without prepaying the case filing fee, if he meets certain conditions. One of those conditions is that the plaintiff pay an initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. §1915(b).

         The plaintiff has paid an initial partial filing fee of $23.00, as directed. Accordingly, the court will grant the plaintiff's motion to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee. The court will require the plaintiff to pay the remainder of the filing fee ($327.00) over time as set forth at the end of this decision.

         II. Screening the Plaintiff's Complaint

         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 pleaded, ” a liberal construction. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).

         B. The Plaintiff's Allegations

         The plaintiff alleges that on August 3, 2016, he was housed in the “special needs pod” in the Milwaukee County Jail. Dkt. No. 1 at 2. His cell was covered in feces and he “could barely inhale.” Id. An officer told him that she would have the cell cleaned once her partner returned from break, but she didn't, so the plaintiff flooded his cell to get out of it. Id. Defendant Lt. Mantano responded by putting the plaintiff in the “hole.” Id. This was in spite of the fact that another inmate flooded his cell, but instead of being sent to segregation, was just moved to another cell in special needs. Id. at 2-3. The plaintiff spent nine months in segregation without a hearing and “never receiving the conduct report when I asked of this from [defendant] Capt. Hannah.” Id. at 3.

         The plaintiff also alleges that the jail's grievance office never responds. Id. He states that he “lost canteen” and that “they never responded back to a grievance or reimbursed [him] for it.” Id.

         Next, the plaintiff alleges that almost daily jail staff let inmates' food sit out for over an hour, resulting in cold food. Id. at 3-4.

         He also alleges that in segregation, staff will not allow inmates to clean their toilets and, therefore, the cells smell horrible. Id. at 4. He says that officers take hour-long breaks, when the breaks should be only thirty minutes, and that they lock inmates in their cells. Id. He argues that it is cruel and unusual punishment ...


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