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Mohamud v. Department of Employee Trust Fund of State of Wisconsin

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

March 5, 2019

OMAR A. MOHAMUD, Plaintiff,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYEE TRUST FUNDS OF THE STATE OF WISCONSIN, Defendant.

          ORDER

          JAMES D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pro se plaintiff Omar Mohamud filed this suit against the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds (ETF), claiming that ETF owes him disability insurance benefits in the amount of $671, 200.

         I previously screened Mohamud's complaint, Dkt. 1, and I dismissed it because Mohamud did not allege any basis for federal jurisdiction, and because he failed to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8. Dkt. 2. I gave Mohamud a short period of time to file an amended complaint that complied with Rule 8 and that alleged a basis for federal jurisdiction.

         Mohamud has now filed an amended complaint. Dkt. 3. After reviewing his amended complaint, I conclude that although Mohamud may state a claim under Wisconsin law, I must dismiss his case because this court does not have jurisdiction to hear it.

         ALLEGATIONS OF FACT

         I draw the following facts from Mohamud's complaint, and I accept them as true at this stage. Because Mohamud is a pro se litigant, I read the allegations of the complaint generously. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972).

         Mohamud worked for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation from 1997 to 2009. As a Wisconsin state employee, Mohamud received benefits through ETF.

         Mohamud suffers from glaucoma, which caused his vision to deteriorate. In 2008, Mohamud started to suffer from “dark spots” and blindness. He applied for short-term disability through his income-continuation insurance, but ETF did not send a response. Mohamud's vision continued to worsen.

         In the summer of 2009, Mohamud filed a claim under his long-term disability insurance. When Mohamud met with ETF's long-term disability specialist, the specialist warned Mohamud that the application process was slow and asked him if he had any savings or other sources of income. When Mohamud said no, the specialist convinced him to sign an “accelerated retirement application.” The specialist promised Mohamud that he could “unretire” once his long-term disability benefits were approved.

         While going through the application process, Mohamud met with 11 different long-term disability specialists, and he spoke with more than six others on the phone. One of the specialists told Mohamud to stop coming to the ETF office and threatened to call the police if Mohamud returned.

         ETF employees “blocked” and ultimately denied Mohamud's applications for short-term and long-term disability benefits.[1] As a result, Mohamud cannot afford treatment for his glaucoma.

         Mohamud told ETF that he wanted to file a lawsuit and asked for a copy of his documents. But ETF employees said that state regulations prohibited them from giving Mohamud his ETF file. So Mohamud wrote the ETF secretary and asked him to either address Mohamud's complaints or provide a denial letter so that Mohamud could start a court case. The secretary sent a lawyer to meet with Mohamud.

         The lawyer gave Mohamud a copy of his ETF file, but it was missing most of the documents. The lawyer also took Mohamud to a room with a video camera, accused Mohamud of threatening her, and sent police officers to interview him. The officers seemed “trigger happy, ” and one of them threatened ...


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