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Grant v. Young

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

July 26, 2018

JASON GRANT, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT DE YOUNG, CARA A. SCHMIDT, JOHN DOE and JANE DOE, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2), DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE HIS MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL (DKT. NO. 8), SCREENING THE COMPLAINT (DKT. NO. 1) AND DISMISSING THE CASE

          HON. PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The plaintiff is a state prisoner who is representing himself. He filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that the defendants violated his civil rights by failing to deal adequately with his mental health conditions. Dkt. No. 1. This decision resolves the plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, dkt. no. 2, and his motion to appoint counsel, dkt. no. 8, and screens his complaint, dkt. no. 1.

         I. Motion for Leave to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing Fee (Dkt. No. 2)

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act applies to this case because the plaintiff was in custody when he filed his complaint. 28 U.S.C. §1915. The law allows a court to give an incarcerated plaintiff the ability to proceed with his case 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 court ordered the plaintiff to pay an initial partial filing fee of $6.19. Dkt. No. 6. The court received that fee on March 29, 2018. The court will grant the plaintiff's motion to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, and will allow the plaintiff to pay the remainder of the filing fee over time in the manner explained at the end of this decision.

         II. Screening the Plaintiff's 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 the 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) someone deprived him of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and 2) that person 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-and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) Inmate Locator Service (https://appsdoc.wi.gov) confirms-that he entered the Wisconsin prison system in 2011. Dkt. No. 1 at 3. The plaintiff says that he has an extensive history of mental illness and disorder, and claims that the DOC knew this. Id. Before going to prison, a court had ordered the plaintiff to undergo mental health treatment. Id. On November 3, 2011 (while the plaintiff was at Dodge Correctional Institution, https://appsdoc.wi.gov), defendant Cara A. Schmidt conducted a mental health screening for the plaintiff. Id. The plaintiff alleges that Schmidt did not adequately screen him during the intake process. Id.

         The DOC released the plaintiff (from Oakhill Correctional Institution, https://appsdoc.wi.gov) three years later, in November 2014. Id. The plaintiff says that the DOC failed to treat “a serious need and disease . . . .” Id. He alleges that this failure led to his arrest seven days after his release, followed by criminal charges. Id. at 3-4. The plaintiff says that defendant Jane Doe social worker at Oakhill failed to detect that the DOC was releasing “an inmate with a known mental disease in the community to shift [sic] for himself, without medication, treatment, [or] the mean[s] to acquire medication.” Id. at 4. The plaintiff alleges that this same Jane Doe defendant failed to notify Supervision Authority about his extensive mental health history. Id.

         The plaintiff says that on April 19, 2017, he “was deemed not guilty by reason of mental disease.” Id. The Wisconsin Circuit Court Access Program shows that on November 19, 2014-about a week after the DOC released him from Oakhill-the State filed a complaint against the defendant in Walworth County Circuit Court, alleging first-degree intentional homicide, strangulation and suffocation and false imprisonment. State v. Jason L. Grant, No. 2014CF000471, Walworth County Circuit Court, available at https://wcca.wicourts.gov. That docket shows that on November 18, 2017, the plaintiff entered a plea of ...


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