United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge.
Darnell Ingram, who is confined at Fond du Lac County Jail,
filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that
his civil rights were violated. The court screened
Ingram's complaint and allowed him to proceed on a Fourth
Amendment claim against Eric Gross and Aleesha Gillingham and
a Fourteen Amendment claim against all defendants. Ingram has
since filed six motions, several of which are duplicative,
all before the defendants have filed a responsive pleading,
which is due April 22, 2019. For the reasons that follow,
Ingram's motions will be denied.
first moves for leave to amend his complaint. In this motion,
Ingram clarifies that the document that was docketed as an
attachment to the complaint in his other case pending before
this court, No. 19-C-74, was intended to be part of his
complaint in this case. See No. 19-C-74, ECF No.
1-1. That document concerns the actions of Sue Schwartz, whom
Ingram seeks to add as a defendant in this case. In his
proposed amendment to his complaint, see ECF No.
15-1, Ingram alleges that he received a written statement
from Schwartz that “consist [sic] of lots of
intentional, malicious non-truth, created a disposition of
fabricated, altered and falsified evidence to assure injury
and punishment.” Id. at 1. According to
Ingram, Schwartz wrote that Ingram said “there was
[sic] drugs in car, ” “I have not used drugs
recently, ” and “I was not charge [sic] with a
crime.” Id. Ingram alleges that he never said
these words to Ingram.
Schwartz's statement, which is attached to Ingram's
motion, contains Ingram's initials on the bottom of two
pages and his signature on the bottom of a third page below
the statement: “I have read/had read to me this
statement consisting of 3 page(s). This statement is a true
and accurate account of my whereabouts and activities.”
Id. at 2-4. These indications of Ingram's assent
to the veracity of the contents of Schwartz's statement
contradict his allegation of falsity. Without an allegation
that he did not initial or sign the statement, Ingram's
proposed amendment, aside from being incomplete in itself,
see Butts v. Kenosha Cty. Detention Ctr., No.
13-CV-1391, 2014 WL 1511891, at *2 (E.D. Wis. Apr. 16, 2014)
(citing Duda v. Bd. of Educ. of Franklin Park Pub. Sch.
Dist. No. 84, 133 F.3d 1054, 1056-57 (7th Cir. 1998)),
is futile because it would not survive a motion to dismiss.
See Atkins v. City of Chicago, 631 F.3d 823, 831-32
(7th Cir. 2011) (noting that district courts must consider
whether factual allegations in a complaint are contradicted
by the complaint or by attachments to the complaint in
assessing whether a complaint survives dismissal); Gandhi
v. Sitara Capital Mgmt., LLC, 721 F.3d 865, 869 (7th
Cir. 2013) (“District courts may refuse to entertain a
proposed amendment on futility grounds when the new pleading
would not survive a motion to dismiss.”). Ingram's
motion for leave to amend his complaint will therefore be
Ingram has filed a motion for arrest warrant and return of
property. This motion alleges that Ingram emptied the
contents of his pockets, including a cell phone that he
claims his mother owns, as part of a routine probation visit.
ECF No. 17 at 1. Ingram alleges that Aleesha Gillingham had
the phone searched, that he was arrested, and that the
arresting officer told him that Gillingham said she would
take the phone. Id. Ingram claims he later saw
Gillingham at the jail and that she told him he could not
have the phone. Id. Ingram moves the court to arrest
and file criminal charges against Gillingham for theft and to
order her to return the phone. Id. Even were this
court to agree that Gillingham committed a crime,
Ingram's motion will be denied because the court lacks
authority to initiate a criminal prosecution and because a
claim sounding in tort for the conversion of personal
property, or any other viable cause of action to obtain a
remedy for Gillingham's alleged wrong, is not properly
before the court. See Benedict v. Eau Claire Area Sch.
Dist., No. 08-cv-667-slc, 2009 WL 440911, at *1 (W.D.
Wis. Feb. 23, 2009); see also Almond v. Pollard, No.
14-cv-901-pp, 2015 WL 1966711, at *6 (E.D. Wis. Apr. 29,
2015) (“[A] preliminary injunction is appropriate only
if it seeks relief of the same character sought in the
underlying law suit and deals with a matter presented in that
Ingram has filed two motions for injunctive relief. In the
first motion, Ingram again asks the court for the release of
the allegedly stolen cell phone to its owner and that the
court “file criminal charges on defendant.” ECF
No. 16 at 2. These requests are denied for the reasons
previously stated. Ingram also requests that the court grant
him time served on probation, release him from custody, and
remove all defendants and Schwartz from involvement in his
probation case. The motion also notes that Gillingham put him
on “another P.O. hold” on March 7, 2019.
Ingram's second motion requests that Gillingham be
removed from involvement in his probation case.
motions will be denied because they relate to Ingram's
most recent confinement rather than to the underlying claims
in this suit. See Devose v. Herrington, 42 F.3d 470,
471 (8th Cir. 1994) (“[A] party moving for a
preliminary injunction must necessarily establish a
relationship between the injury claimed in the party's
motion and the conduct asserted in the complaint.”
(citing Penn v. San Juan Hosp., Inc., 528 F.2d 1181,
1185 (10th Cir. 1975)). Ingram's underlying claims relate
to the defendants' conduct in November of 2018, and
although his new assertions may support separate claims
against the same individuals, they cannot provide the basis
for injunctive relief in this action. See id.
last two motions request that the court stay the case pending
Ingram's release from Fond du Lac County Jail. The
decision to grant a motion to stay proceedings is within the
district court's discretion, and such a power is
incidental to the inherent power in every court to control
its docket given considerations of judicial economy and of
the burden on the court and parties. See Landis v. N. Am.
Co., 299 U.S. 248, 254 (1936); Veltze v.
Bucyrus-Erie Co., 791 F.Supp. 1363, 1365 (E.D. Wis.
1992). Ingram claims that he “has no legal documents in
[Fond du Lac County] Jail to send discovery, motion [sic]
summary judgment or any other legal proceedings documents to
support claim.” ECF No. 23. Ingram does not allege that
he lacks basic scribe materials for the preparation of legal
papers, see Gentry v. Duckworth, 65 F.3d 555, 558
(7th Cir. 1995), but rather that he does not have access to
certain documents that he believes are necessary for him to
meaningfully participate in this case. But Ingram does not
specify what documents he is missing and why they are
necessary for prosecuting his claims. Without this
information, the court cannot determine whether granting a
stay is appropriate. Ingram's motions to stay will
therefore be denied.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Ingram's motions to
amend pleadings (ECF No. 15), for arrest warrant and return
of property (ECF No. 17), for injunctive relief (ECF Nos. ...