United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
BARBARA B. CRABB District Judge
plaintiff Samterious Gordon is proceeding on claims that
defendants Mr. Brown, CO Cross, CO Fondorf, CO Cebers, Ms.
Barker and John or Jane Does violated his rights under the
Eighth Amendment and state law by failing to provide him
adequate dental care. At the preliminary pretrial conference,
plaintiff was given a deadline of November 21, 2018 to file
an amended complaint identifying the Doe defendants. Dkt.
#23. Now before the court are several motions filed by
plaintiff relating to the John and Jane Doe defendants
against whom he was permitted to proceed.
November 19, 2018, plaintiff filed a motion for extension of
time to name the Doe defendants and a motion to compel
defendants to provide the names of all nurses who were
working on the January 19 and February 14, 2018, when
plaintiff filed his health service requests asking for urgent
dental care. Dkt. #25. Defendants opposed the motion, stating
that plaintiff never served discovery requests asking
defendants to identify the nurses working on those dates.
Subsequently, plaintiff filed two motions to amend his
complaint to identify the names of the Doe defendants. Dkt.
##29, 32. He identifies the Doe defendants as Gibson, a
dentist assistant, Dr. Mann Lee, the dental director, and
Lynn Dobbert, Koreen Frisk, Bridget Rink, Nicole Krahenbuhl
and Jamie Gohde, all of whom are registered nurses.
Plaintiff's allegations are sufficient to state Eighth
Amendment and state law negligence claims against these
defendants for the reasons explained in previous orders. In
particular, plaintiff alleges that these defendants were
responsible for reviewing the health service requests he
filed between January 19 and February 14, 2018, in which he
stated that he needed urgent dental care. He alleges that
instead of responding and scheduling an appointment for him,
these defendants failed to even assess his dental needs.
Therefore, his motions to amend, dkt. #20 and #32, will be
granted. His motion for an extension of time and to compel
discovery, dkt. #25, is no longer necessary and will be
denied as moot.
also filed a motion for discovery from defendants. Dkt. #28.
As defendants point out, this motion was filed improperly
with the court and should have been directed to
defendants' counsel. As explained in the preliminary
pretrial conference order, plaintiff should direct discovery
requests to defendants' counsel and should file
discovery-related motions with the court only if he and
counsel have attempted unsuccessfully to resolve a discovery
dispute on their own. Because it appears that plaintiff did
not request this specific discovery from defendants before
filing his motion, I will deny the motion.
plaintiff has renewed his motion for court assistance in
recruiting counsel. Dkt. #31. Plaintiff contends that he
needs counsel to help him amend his complaint to identify the
John and Jane Doe defendants and to find a medical expert.
Although plaintiff has shown that he has made reasonable
efforts to find counsel on his own, I am not persuaded that
the court should recruit counsel for plaintiff at this time.
determining whether to recruit counsel for a pro se litigant,
the relevant question is whether the complexity of the case
exceeds the plaintiff's ability to litigate it.
Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 653 (7th Cir. 2007).
Plaintiff's statement that he needs assistance in
identifying the Doe defendants appears to be moot in light of
plaintiff's motions to amend his complaint to add
defendants Gibson, Lee, Dobbert, Frisk, Rink, Krahenbuhl and
Gohde. To the extent plaintiff believes there are additional
Doe defendants that he has been unable to identify, he should
file a new motion stating specifically which Doe defendants
he has been unable to identify and all of the efforts he has
made to identify them on his own.
plaintiff's concern that this case will require testimony
from a medical expert, it is too early to make that
determination. Plaintiff alleges that defendants failed to
provide him any treatment at all for more than a month.
Depending on plaintiff's circumstances and
defendants' knowledge, a factfinder may be able to
determine whether defendants were negligent or deliberately
indifferent to plaintiff's pain without expert opinion.
Until the parties have presented their version of events to
the court, I cannot determine whether expert testimony is
necessary. Accordingly, I am denying plaintiff's motion
without prejudice. If the issues involved in this case turn
out to be more complicated than they appear to be right now,
or if plaintiff is unable to proceed on his own as this case
progresses, then plaintiff is free to renew his motion.
Plaintiff Samterious Gordon's motion for an extension of
time and to compel discovery, dkt. #25, is DENIED as moot.
Plaintiff's motion to amend his complaint to replace the
John and Jane Doe defendants with defendants Gibson, Dr. Mann
Lee, Lynn Dobbert, Koreen Frisk, Bridget Rink, Nicole
Krahenbuhl and Jamie Gohde, dkt. ##29, 32, are GRANTED.
Plaintiff's motion for discovery, dkt. #28, is DENIED.
Plaintiff's motion for assistance in recruiting ...