United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
ANTONIO J. SMITH, Plaintiff,
JOSHUA KOLBO, BROCK LISNEY-STELDT, MATTHEW PECKHAM, RICKY STILWELL, DANIEL SUTHERS, JOSHUA BROWN, TODD BRESEE, STEPHEN SCHNEIDER, STEVE ECK, WAYNE PRIMMER, JARED HUNT, NICOLE LOOMIS, REBECCA EAGLEBURGER, MICHAEL SNYDER, BRIAN LANGE, PATRICK GOVIER, DOE ATWOOD, and MICHAEL HANFELD, Defendants.
D. PETERSON, DISTRICT JUDGE.
Antonio J. Smith, appearing pro se, is a prisoner at the
Wisconsin Secure Program Facility. Smith alleges that prison
staff kept him restrained in a bed for more than 20 hours
without bathroom breaks. I granted Smith leave to proceed
against defendant Joshua Kolbo and an unspecified number of
“John Doe” defendants who either placed him in
restraints approved the restraints, or stood by without
helping him. See Dkt. 11.
filed an amended complaint identifying the Does, and they
appear in the caption above. The Wisconsin Department of
Justice filed a document stating that it accepts service on
behalf of all defendants, except for “Doe Atwood”
because it was unable to identify Atwood, and Michael Hanfeld
because he is deceased. This order concerns defendant Atwood
and a second amended complaint filed by Smith.
court suggested that it might be relatively easy to nail down
the identity of defendant Atwood because Smith presumably got
that name from discovery responses by state officials. Dkt.
30, at 2-3. The court gave Smith a short time to state
whether he still wished to bring a claim against Atwood, and
if so, explain what information he used to arrive at that
name. Id. Smith has now responded that Atwood's
first name is Leslie, and he attaches a prison information
request form showing that a prison official gave him that
information. Dkt. 32 and Dkt. 32-3. I will direct the clerk
of court to amend the caption to reflect the full name of
I would ask the state to respond whether it will be
representing Atwood. But I will hold off on that, because
Smith has filed a second amendment complaint that raises
significant questions about whether he has adequately pleaded
his claims. His proposed second amended complaint, Dkt. 31,
is really a supplement to his original and first amended
complaints. In it, he names 11 new supervisory officials as
defendants, stating that each of them “did nothing to
protect nor prevent plaintiff from the other defendants'
deliberate indifference.” Id.
cases under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff cannot
“rely on the doctrine of respondeat superior
to hold supervisory officials liable for the misconduct of
their subordinates. . . . Rather, the supervisory officials
also must have had some personal involvement in the
constitutional deprivation, essentially directing or
consenting to the challenged conduct.” Doyle v.
Camelot Care Ctrs., Inc., 305 F.3d 603, 615 (7th Cir.
2002). In short, these new defendants' status as
supervisors by itself is not enough to support an Eighth
Amendment claim. The question is whether each defendant was
directly part of the events that occurred, or otherwise knew
of a risk that Smith's rights would be violated, and they
approved of or ignored the risk.
vague new supplement against such a large number of
defendants gives me reason to question whether his first
amendment naming an even larger number of Doe defendants is
improper as well. It is possible that all 18 officials named
in the first amendment were directly involved in either
restraining him or failing to intervene to help him, but the
more defendants he adds to his complaint, the less likely it
is that he truly knows how each was involved in violating his
rights. Right now, his pleadings do not connect each of the
29 proposed defendants to actions that he believes violated
Smith's pleadings so far do not adequately explain why he
is trying to bring claims against this many different prison
officials, I will direct him to file an amended complaint in
which he explains how each defendant was involved in
violating his rights. He should draft his amended complaint
as if he were telling a story to people who know nothing
about his situation. He cannot bring claims against a prison
official merely for being on duty in a particular unit on a
particular day. He needs to explain how each defendant was
either involved in directly restraining him or knew about the
problem yet failed to intervene. If Smith does not know which
of the officials on duty were responsible for violating his
rights, then the likely solution will be for Smith to conduct
further discovery to truly identify the Doe defendants.
1. The clerk of court is directed to amend the caption to
include Leslie Atwood as a defendant.
2. Plaintiff Antonio J. Smith may have until February 22,
2019, to submit an amended complaint that explains how each
proposed defendant violated his rights.