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Arroyo v. Lindquist

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

July 31, 2018

ALEJANDRO ARROYO, Plaintiff,
v.
TIMOTHY LINDQUIST, WALLY BUMPS, WISCONSIN RESOURCE CENTER, and JOHN AND JANE DOES, Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2), DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO APPOINT COUNSEL (DKT. NO. 12) AND SCREENING THE COMPLAINT

          HON. PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The plaintiff, who is representing himself, is a Wisconsin State inmate. He filed this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983, dkt. no. 1; he also filed a motion for leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, dkt. no. 2, and a motion to appoint counsel, dkt. no. 12. This order resolves the plaintiff's motions and screens his 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 his complaint. 28 U.S.C. §1915. The PLRA allows an incarcerated plaintiff to proceed with his lawsuit without prepaying the case filing fee, if he meets certain conditions. One of those conditions is that he pay an initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. §1915(b). On December 7, 2017, the court ordered the plaintiff to pay an initial partial filing fee of $9.38. Dkt. No. 9. The court received a payment of $50 toward the filing fee on December 21, 2018. The court will grant the plaintiff's motion to proceed without prepayment of the full case filing fee, and will allow him to pay the remainder of the fee over time in the manner explained at the end of this order.

         II. Screening of 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 proceed 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)).

         A. The Plaintiff's Allegations

         The plaintiff has sued John and Jane Does, Timothy Lindquist and Captain Wally Bumps. Dkt. No. 1 at 1.

         The plaintiff alleges that in August 2016, he was placed in observation status at the Wisconsin Resource Center (he does not say who placed him there). Dkt. No. 1 at 2. He states that, about a week later, he started hallucinating and hitting his head against the concrete floor. Id. About an hour after he started banging his head, a captain (the plaintiff does not identify the captain by name) came to his door and asked if he was okay. Id. The plaintiff states that he did not acknowledge the captain, but kept hitting his head against the floor; the plaintiff explains that his forehead was bleeding. Id. The plaintiff asserts that the captain did not order anyone to secure the plaintiff or place him in restraints. Id. at 2-3.

         Later, the plaintiff began to commit self-harm by attempting to remove his left eye from its socket with his fingers. Id. The plaintiff states that John Doe staff members initially laughed and made jokes, telling the plaintiff that he couldn't remove his eye and he looked like a fool. Id. The plaintiff states, however, that he actually removed the eye; he says that that is when staff began to react. Id. The plaintiff says that it was not until hours later that the plaintiff received medical attention. Id. The plaintiff says is no longer able to see out of the left eye. Id.

         The plaintiff asserts that he was hallucinating and having a “psycho-affective episode, ” and that the defendants did not protect him from himself. Id. He seeks punitive and compensatory damages. Id. at 4.

         B. The ...


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