United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
KEVIN M.S. OLLIE, Plaintiff,
C WISCONSIN COMMUNITY SERVICES “WCS”, STAFF, RECEPTIONIST, SECURITY and PATIENT, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2) AND
DISMISSING CASE FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM UPON WHICH
RELIEF CAN BE GRANTED
Pamela Pepper, United States District Judge.
plaintiff filed a complaint against “Wisconsin
Community Services: staff, receptionist, security, and
patients” for violating his rights. Dkt. No. 1. He also
filed a motion to proceed without prepaying the filing fee.
Dkt. No. 2. Although the court agrees that the plaintiff does
not have the money to prepay the filing fee, the court will
dismiss the case for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted.
Plaintiff's Ability to Pay the Filing Fee
allow the plaintiff to proceed without paying the filing fee,
the court first must decide whether the plaintiff can pay the
fee; if not, it must determine whether the lawsuit is
frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(a) and
1915(e)(2)(B)(i). The plaintiff's request to proceed
without prepaying the fee says that he does not have any
income of any kind. Dkt. No. 2 at 1-2. The form indicates
that the plaintiff has $600 a month in expenses-$300 a month
for rent and $300 a month for utilities. Id. at 2-3.
He doesn't own any property of value. Id. at 3.
Based on the information in the request, the court concludes
that the plaintiff does not have the ability to pay the
court next must decide whether the plaintiff has raised
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 under the federal notice pleading system, a plaintiff
must provide a “short and plain statement of the
claim” showing that he is entitled to relief.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). A plaintiff does not need to plead
every fact supporting his claims; he needs only to give the
defendant fair notice of the claim and the grounds upon which
it rests. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41,
47 (1957)). At the same time, the allegations “must be
enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Id., 550 U.S. at 555. Because the
plaintiff represents himself, the court must liberally
construe the allegations of his complaint. Erikson v.
Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).
Facts Alleged in the Complaint
plaintiff says that on January 15, 2019, he returned to
Wisconsin Community Services. Dkt. No. 1 at 3. He says that
he met the receptionist there, and that right away, the
receptionist “gave [the plaintiff] a hard time.”
Id. The plaintiff says that this continued to happen
“generally speaking throughout W.C.S., ” which
led him to file two grievances. Id. The plaintiff
expresses bewilderment that “they” would
“do it, ” knowing that he was “vulnerable,
susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.”
Id. The plaintiff also says that he hopes that this
will be “the last time I have to get in altercation, a
noisy argument or disagreement, especially in public, yet
again, about miscommunication, or reading my rights on the
wall to checking in.” Id. at 2.
plaintiff indicates that he is suing under state law and
seeking more than $75, 000. Id. at 4. He says that
he needs the money from this lawsuit to run his business,
repair his image and feed his family. Id. The
plaintiff concludes by stating that the defendants have
money, income and property. Id.
are limits on the kinds of cases that a federal court may
consider. They can consider and decide cases that involve
violations of federal laws or the federal
Constitution. 28 U.S.C. §1331. Federal courts also can
consider and decide lawsuits between citizens of different
states, if the amount they are fighting over is more than
$75, 000. 28 U.S.C. §§1332. Federal courts
cannot consider and decide lawsuits that involve
state law, unless the plaintiff and the defendant are from
two different states, or unless the state-law claims relate
to a federal claim.
complaint, the plaintiff says he is suing under
state law. The only way this court has the
jurisdiction to consider state law claims is if the plaintiff
lives in a different state from the people or entities he is
suing. The plaintiff lives at 5933, N. 37th Street in
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the defendant, Wisconsin Community
Services, also is in Milwaukee. The court does not know
(because the plaintiff did not say), but it suspects that the
staff, receptionist, security and patients at Wisconsin
Community Services also live in Wisconsin. That means that
court does not have the authority to hear and decide any
state law claims the plaintiff may be trying to raise. The
place to raise state law claims is in state court.
the plaintiff is representing himself, the court also has
considered whether the plaintiff might be trying to allege
that the defendants somehow violated a federal law or the
United States Constitution. Under 42 U.S.C. §1983, a
person may sue a “state actor” who violates his
constitutional rights. The plaintiff has sued Wisconsin
Community Services, a 501(c)(3) agency in southeastern
Wisconsin. WCS is not a “state actor, ” and none
of its employees-including the receptionist-are “state
actors.” So even if WCS or the receptionist or anyone
else at WCS violated one of the plaintiff's
constitutional rights, he could not sue them under 42 U.S.C.
sounds as if the plaintiff is alleging that he was treated
disrespectfully by the WCS receptionist and other staff
members. This is truly unfortunate- the plaintiff is right
that patients should be treated with dignity and respect, and
not be harassed. There is a law that lays out the
rights of patients who are receiving treatment for mental
illness, developmental disabilities, alcoholism or drug
dependency. It is Wis.Stat. §51.61, “Patients
Rights.” But that is a state statute, not ...