United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
JEFFREY D. LEISER, Plaintiff,
MARIO CANZIANI, et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
STEPHEN L. CROCKER MAGISTRATE JUDGE
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, pro se plaintiff Jeffrey Leiser has
brought First Amendment free speech and retaliation claims
against employees of Stanley Correctional Institution
(Stanley). Leiser challenges a 2016 conduct report in which
he was found guilty of receiving money in exchange for
providing legal services to other prisoners. Defendants have
filed a motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. 29.) For the
reasons set forth below, I am granting defendants'
motion, and closing this case.
initial matter, Leiser seeks an order striking
defendants' response to his proposed findings of fact, in
which they label most of Leiser's proposed facts
“immaterial.” (Dkt. 44.) Leiser asks that the
court deem these proposed facts to be undisputed. It's
six of one, half-dozen of the other: many of Leiser's
proposed facts are immaterial to his remaining
claims in this lawsuit; therefore, it doesn't matter
whether I deem them undisputed because it doesn't change
anything. For example, several of Leiser's proposed facts
relate to his belief that the challenged conduct report
violated his due process rights; these facts are immaterial
because I did not allow Leiser to proceed on a due process
claim. (See Jan. 30, 2018, Order (dkt. 13) at
12-14.) Therefore, I have not included these facts in the
court's findings of fact. On the flip side, I have deemed
undisputed and have included some of Leiser's proposed
facts related to his other claims; for the most part, these
are facts that the defendants did not dispute.
currently is incarcerated at the Redgranite Correctional
Institution, but the events underlying his claims took place
when he was incarcerated at Stanley Correctional Institution
(Stanley). Defendants, all Stanley employees, are Mario
Canziani, the deputy warden; Patrick J. Lynch, a unit
supervisor; and Bradley Lundmark, a supervising officer.
Investigation into Leiser's Activities and his TLU
March 16, 2016, Stanley mailroom staff member Michelle Moore,
who is not a defendant in this lawsuit, completed an incident
report concerning an outgoing letter found from a former
Stanley prisoner, Robby Lillyblad, and addressed to
non-prisoner Denise Gray. (Def. Ex. 1000 (dkt. 32-2).) Moore
reported that, in the letter, Lillyblad asked Gray to send
money to Leiser, whom Lillyblad had hired to do legal work.
Listen the reason why I'm writing you is to ask for your
help. When I got here at Stanley I was looking into trying to
get my case looked at by a lawyer but I could not really
afford one being as I'm locked up with no source of
income. So I asked around and found out that one of the guys
on my housing unit use[d] to be a lawyer before he got locked
His name is Jeff and I was introduced to him by my buddy John
Kuslits. John told me that Jeff is a real good lawyer. He
told me that he's had Jeff doing legal work for him for a
couple of years now and John told me the best way to pay Jeff
for his legal work is to have a relative or someone I know on
the outside either send Jeff a[n] order from a vendor
we're allowed to order clothes and shoes from or I can
have someone send Jeff a money order.
John said that he has his sister Ursula order Jeff clothes
and shoes from vendors sometimes and other time[s] he has her
send Jeff money orders using someone else's name. So that
way the prison staff won't know what there [sic]
* * *
I told Jeff I can't pay him by getting him stuff from
vendors, so I've been giving him canteen a little at a
time to pay off the amount of money we agreed on as payment
for his legal services. Which we agreed on $500 for his fee.
So far I've gave [sic] him $100 in canteen. For
that price he said he can get those past OWI's
overturned. Which means I won't have them on my record
and can have a fresh start.
What I need you to do for me is send Jeff $20 until I can get
a job and get on my feet then I will send him the rest of
what I owe him after I get my 1st check. That will
leave me owing him $380.
Given my past track record of being irresponsible, I know you
may be a little hesitant about helping me out with what
I'm asking you, but please believe me when I tell you
that I've checked everything out with this guy Jeff by
asking around about him and everyone says he's on the up
and up. Do you remember a guy named Dan Worzella who use to
go to school with Brad? Well anyway he's in here and
he's even got Jeff doing all his legal work for him. Dan
told me he's paid Jeff a couple grand so far and he's
happy with the work Jeff's done for him.
So I'd really appreciate it if you'd send out a $20
dollar money order to Jeff as soon as possible ok. . . . Till
then take care and thanks for helping me out.
* * *
Send the money order to Jeffrey Leiser #330229 Stanley
Correctional Institution 100 Corrections Dr. Stanley, WI
P.S. - you might get this letter a little later after
I've been released. I asked my buddy on the unit to drop
it in the mail on the day I was releases so I hope he
didn't forget to do it. He's an old guy.
(Def. Ex. 1000 (dkt. 32-1.)
was directed to investigate Lillyblad's statements about
Leiser's for-pay legal assistance.
March 25, 2016, Lynch ordered an officer to search
Leiser's cell and remove all legal materials. When Leiser
confronted Lynch and asked him why Lynch was taking away his
legal materials, Lynch responded “because I can.”
When Leiser pressed him on the issue, Lynch refused to answer
and sent Leiser to segregation in the temporary lockup unit
investigation of Leiser included these steps: reviewing
Leiser's mail; interviewing Leiser; reviewing
Leiser's inmate account; reviewing visitor logs; and
making notes of his findings. Among Leiser's personal
legal documents, Lynch discovered other prisoners' legal
documents related to pending litigation. In particular,
Leiser had legal documents belonging to inmates Daniel
Worzalla and Coleon Gallion, as well as a letter from Maurice
Corbine asking for additional assistance with his legal
matter, and a packet of letters about Gallion's legal
defense sent to Leiser by a nonprisoner named Talisha Paige.
Lynch reviewed Leiser's inmate account record, he found
several payments from the families and friends of
Leiser's fellow inmates: Leiser received a $100 payment
from Worzalla's father on February 8, 2016, and payments
of $175 and $150 from Talisha Paige, who visits Coleon
Gallion. Lynch interviewed Leiser, who acknowledged that he
helped other inmates with their cases but insisted that he
did not charge money. Later, when Leiser was in TLU, he
admitted to Lynch that he was working for Corbine and had
received $20 from Denise Gray. According to Leiser, he told
Lynch that he received money from Paige and Gallion as gifts.
Conduct Report #2802798, ...