United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
STADTMUELLER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
a prisoner proceeding pro se, filed a complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that his rights were
violated. (Docket #1). At the Court's direction,
see (Docket #8), he has filed an amended complaint,
(Docket #9). The Court now turns to screening that complaint.
All of the legal standards announced in the Court's
original screening order apply here. (Docket #8 at 1-3).
alleges that on April 23, 2017, he was in a car accident in
which he suffered severe head, neck, back, and leg injuries.
(Docket #9 at 2). Plaintiff lost consciousness for a time
after the accident. Id. When he awoke, he was being
arrested by officers of the Shorewood Police Department
(“SPD”). Id. at 3. Bloodied and in pain,
he asked to go to the hospital for treatment, but the request
was denied. Id. He asked again upon arriving at the
Whitefish Bay district jail several hours later, but again
his request was denied. Id. When, several more hours
later, he was transported from the Whitefish Bay facility to
the Milwaukee County Jail, he was again denied medical help.
Id. Over the course of the three to four hours he
spent in the custody of the SPD, he received no medical
attention at all. Id. (His pleas for care were also
ignored at the Milwaukee County Jail, but he does not join
any employees of that facility as defendants in this action.)
Plaintiff claims that despite ongoing therapy at his penal
institution, he continues to suffer pain in his back from the
lack of immediate medical attention. Id. at 4.
sues for the deprivation of his constitutional rights
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Id. at 1. He
joins the SPD as a defendant, as well as a set of Doe
defendants who are SPD officers who interacted with or had
custody of Plaintiff over the course of the events of April
23, 2017. Id. at 2. Based on the allegations in the
amended complaint, coupled with the lenient review applied at
screening, the Court finds that Plaintiff may proceed against
the individual officers on a claim of deliberate indifference
to his serious medical needs, in violation of the Fourteenth
Amendment. To state such a claim, the plaintiff must
allege that (1) he had an objectively serious medical
condition, (2) the defendants knew of the condition and were
deliberately indifferent to treating it, and (3) this
indifference caused him some injury. See Cavalieri v.
Shepard, 321 F.3d 616, 620 (7th Cir. 2003); Gayton
v. McCoy, 593 F.3d 610, 620 (7th Cir. 2010). All three
elements are met here, as Plaintiff suffered serious injuries
from the car accident but necessary treatment was denied or
delayed despite his repeated requests for care.
Plaintiff did not heed the Court's instructions in its
original screening order concerning his claim against the SPD
itself. The Court earlier explained that state agencies like
the SPD are not directly responsible for constitutional
violations perpetrated by their employees. Monell v.
Dep't of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978).
Instead, the SPD can only be liable under Section 1983 if one
of its policies or widespread customs or practices was the
moving force behind the constitutional violation. Darchak
v. City of Chi. Bd. of Educ., 580 F.3d 622, 629 (7th
Cir. 2009). Nothing in Plaintiff's complaint plausibly
suggests that any policy, practice, or custom of the SPD
caused his injury. At best, he asserts that the SPD is liable
as the officers' employer, but this is not true.
See (Docket #9 at 2). As a result, the SPD must be
dismissed as a defendant.
may proceed on claims against the individual officer
defendants, but there remains one glaring problem: Plaintiff
does not identify any of them by name. See (Docket
#9 at 1-2). Instead, he identifies each of them only as John
or Jane Doe. Id. The Court cannot exercise personal
jurisdiction over unidentified individuals. As a result,
Plaintiff must identify by name the officers presently named
in the complaint as Does.
facilitate service of the complaint and identification of the
Doe defendants, the Court will join the chief of the SPD,
Peter A. Nimmer (“Nimmer”), as a defendant in
this action. See Duncan v. Duckworth, 644. F.2d 653,
655 (7th Cir. 1981). Plaintiff is advised that in the
Court's scheduling order, which will be issued after
Nimmer is served, Plaintiff will be afforded a period of time
in which to conduct discovery into the identities of the Doe
defendants. He should seek this information from Nimmer.
Failure to amend the complaint to identify the Doe defendants
by the deadline set forth in the scheduling order may result
in dismissal of this action.
reasons stated above, Plaintiff shall be permitted to proceed
on a claim of deliberate indifference to his serious medical
needs, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, against the
John and Jane Doe Defendants. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b).
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's Amended
Complaint (Docket #9) shall be the operative complaint in
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant Shorewood Police
Department be and the same is hereby
DISMISSED from this action;
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Peter A. Nimmer, Chief of
the Shorewood Police Department, be and the same is hereby
JOINED as a party defendant in this action;
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the United States Marshal
shall serve a copy of the amended complaint and this Order
upon Defendant Nimmer pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 4. Plaintiff is advised that Congress requires the
U.S. Marshals Service to charge for making or attempting such
service. 28 U.S.C. § 1921(a). Although Congress requires
the court to order service by the U.S. Marshals Service, it
has not made any provision for these fees to be waived either
by the court or by the U.S. Marshals Service. The current fee
for waiver-of-service packages is $8.00 per item mailed. The
full fee schedule is provided at 28 C.F.R. §§
0.114(a)(2), (a)(3). The U.S. Marshals will give Plaintiff
information on how to remit payment. The Court is not
involved in collection of the fee; and
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant Nimmer shall file