United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER GRANTING THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE
TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE (DKT NO. 2)
AND SCREENING COMPLAINT (DKT. NO. 1)
PAMELA PEPPER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, a state prisoner who is representing himself,
filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that
the defendants violated his civil rights. Dkt. No. 1. This
decision resolves the plaintiff's motion for leave to
proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, dkt. no. 2, and
screens his complaint, dkt. no. 1.
Motion for Leave to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing
Fee (Dkt. No. 2)
Prison Litigation Reform Act applies to this case because the
plaintiff was in custody when he filed his complaint. 28
U.S.C. §1915. That law allows a court to give an
incarcerated plaintiff the ability to proceed with his case
without prepaying the civil 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). Once the plaintiff pays the initial partial
filing fee, the court may allow the plaintiff to pay the
balance of the $350 filing fee over time, through deductions
from his prisoner account. Id.
February 20, 2018, the court waived the initial partial
filing fee. Dkt. No. 5. The court will grant the
plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without
prepayment of the filing fee, and will allow him to pay the
$350 filing fee over time in the manner explained at the end
of this order.
Screening the Plaintiff's Complaint
Federal Screening Standard
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 the court
cannot grant relief, or that seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from that relief. 28 U.S.C.
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).
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) 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,
The Plaintiff's Allegations
plaintiff, who was confined at the Outagamie County Jail
during the events he describes in the complaint, has sued the
Outagamie County Sheriff's Department, Lieutenant Douglas
L. Verheyen, Sergeant Lance L. Wilson, Chad A. Beauvais and
the Wisconsin Municipal Mutual Insurance Company. Dkt. No. 1.
plaintiff alleges that on January 16, 2016, defendant Wilson
sexually harassed him. Id. at 6. Allegedly, Wilson
stated, “Welcome home sweetheart, ” to the
plaintiff while “exhibiting a physical gesture of a
kiss and a sound effect thereof followed with a wink of the
eye directed explicitly to Strong.” Id.
plaintiff alleges that about forty-five days later, in March
2016, he “returned” to the jail (the court
assumes that he was out of custody in the meantime).
Id. The plaintiff states that following his return,
he reported Wilson's conduct “to various parties to
include those from DOC [Department of Corrections] and OCSO
[Outagamie County Sheriff's Office].” Id.
at 7. According to the plaintiff, he subsequently met with
Wilson's supervisor, defendant Verheyen, and gave
Verheyen “explicit details of Wilson's sexual
harassment upon Strong on 1/16/2016 as well as occasions
prior.” Id. Verheyen allegedly had the
plaintiff moved “to the most luxurious [area] of the
jail for lock-up inmates as a condition Strong does not
pursue further issues into Wilson's sexual harassment
upon Strong[.]” Id. The plaintiff alleges that
jail security classification specialist Chad Beauvais opposed
the move, “given Strong's history of concerns and
current need for a high security housing setting at the
plaintiff allegedly returned to the jail on June 19, 2016,
with a release date of October 17, 2016. Id. On
October 7, 2016, the plaintiff learned that his daughter had
died suddenly on October 6, 2016. Id. Appleton
Police Department Detective Neil Rabas was investigating the
death; he informed the plaintiff that the funeral service was
scheduled for October 12, 2016 in the City of Appleton, at a
church about two miles from the jail. Id. at 8. The
plaintiff alleges that he asked Wilson (the supervisor on
duty at the jail at the time) to telephone family about the
death and for details of the funeral, to contact a family
attorney so that attorney could ask Judge Krueger for a
three- to four-hour court-ordered furlough to allow the
plaintiff to attend the funeral. Id. Wilson
allegedly denied the plaintiff's request to call his
family and to contact an attorney. Id. The plaintiff
says that Wilson told him that Wilson would contact Judge
Krueger on the plaintiff's behalf to ...