Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Houston v. Shawano County Police Dept.

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

March 25, 2019

KEVON E. HOUSTON, Plaintiff,
v.
SHAWANO COUNTY POLICE DEPARTMENT, Defendant.

          ORDER

          J. P. STADTMUELLER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         1. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Kevon E. Houston, a pro se inmate at Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that Defendant violated his constitutional rights by taking his DNA without his consent. This matter is before the court on Plaintiff's motion to proceed without prepaying the civil case filing fee, (Docket #2), and for screening of his complaint, (Docket #1). This case was assigned to U.S. Magistrate Judge William E. Duffin; however, because not all parties have had the opportunity to consent to magistrate judge jurisdiction, the case was randomly referred to a U.S. District Court judge to resolve Plaintiff's motion and screen his complaint.

         2. MOTION TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYMENT OF THE FILING FEE

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act gives courts discretion to allow prisoners to proceed with their lawsuits without prepaying the $350 filing fee, as long as they comply with certain requirements. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. One of those requirements is that the prisoner pay an initial partial filing fee. On February 13, 2019, Magistrate Duffin ordered Plaintiff to pay an initial partial filing fee of $13.49. (Docket #5). Plaintiff paid the fee on March 12, 2019. As such, the Court will grant his motion. Plaintiff will be required to pay the remainder of the filing fee over time in the manner described at the end of this Order.

         3. SCREENING OF THE COMPLAINT

         3.1 Applicable Standards

         The Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint or portion thereof if the prisoner 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).

         A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Hutchinson ex rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d 895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997). The court may, therefore, dismiss a claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327. “Malicious, ” although sometimes treated as a synonym for “frivolous, ” “is more usefully construed as intended to harass.” Lindell v. McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107, 1109- 10 (7th Cir. 2003) (citations omitted).

         To state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading system, a plaintiff is required to provide a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is entitled to relief[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). To state a claim, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, “that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).

         To state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that: 1) he was deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and 2) the deprivation was visited upon him by a person or persons acting under color of state law. Buchanan-Moore v. Cty. of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824, 827 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Kramer v. Vill. of N. Fond du Lac, 384 F.3d 856, 861 (7th Cir. 2004)); see also Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980). The court is obliged to give a plaintiff's pro se allegations, “however inartfully pleaded, ” a liberal construction. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)).

         3.2 Allegations in the Complaint

         Plaintiff alleges that, while he was being booked at the Shawano County Jail (the “Jail”), Officer Keith Sorlie (“Sorlie”) of the Defendant police department asked him to sign a permission slip allowing Sorlie to obtain DNA from Plaintiff's hands and mouth. (Docket #1 at 2). State Trooper Heinz (“Heinz”) had already signed the DNA permission slip as a witness. Id. Although he refused to sign the permission slip, Plaintiff states that his DNA was taken anyway. Id. at 2-3. He asserts that this was a violation of his rights and seeks injunctive relief and compensatory and punitive damages. Id. at 4.

         3.3 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.