United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
William M. Conley, District Judge.
se plaintiff Marcelo Sandoval filed this lawsuit in the
Eastern District of Wisconsin on February 21, 2018, bringing
various claims against multiple defendants at the Federal
Correctional Institution in Oxford, Wisconsin
(“FCI-Oxford”). On April 9, 2018, Magistrate
Judge Nancy Joseph issued a screening order pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 1915A, explaining that Sandoval's
allegations were insufficient to state a claim for relief,
and that he would need to file an amended complaint that
corrected the deficiencies in the original complaint.
Sandoval filed his proposed amended complaint on September
24, 2018, and on October 18, 2018, this case was transferred
to this court. (Dkt. ##11, 12.) Sandoval's proposed
amended complaint is ready for screening as required by 28
U.S.C. § 1915A. After reviewing the complaint, the court
concludes that his amended complaint is subject to dismissal
as well, but will give him one more opportunity to file a
second amended complaint that corrects the deficiencies
plaintiff Marcelo Sandoval is currently incarcerated at the
Federal Correctional Institution in Hazelton, West Virginia,
the events comprising his claims took place when he was
incarcerated at FCI-Oxford in June of 2011. Sandoval is
seeking leave to proceed against two individuals that were
working at FCI-Oxford at that time, Lieutenant John Doe, and
a teacher, Mr. Taim.
of 2011, Sandoval apparently told Mr. Taim that he had
information about another inmate, and Mr. Taim told Sandoval
he would “help him.” Mr. Taim sent Sandoval to
Lieutenant Doe so that Sandoval could provide Doe with
information that would be helpful to the government. Sandoval
had a conversation with Doe, during which Doe assured
Sandoval that most of the inmates at FCI-Oxford had
cooperated with the government and that nothing would happen
to him. After this conversation, Doe sent Sandoval to the
yard without taking any steps to protect him.
that meeting, Sandoval was apparently harassed and threatened
by other inmates, and eventually he was attacked, but
Sandoval does not allege exactly when the attack occurred.
Sandoval suffered a broken nose from the attack that has left
him disfigured. He also alleges that he suffers arthritis as
a result of the attack.
court understands plaintiff to be pursuing this lawsuit under
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of
Narcotic, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), in which the Supreme
Court “recognized an implied cause of action for
damages against federal officers to redress a constitutional
violation . . . .” Engel v. Buchan, 710 F.3d
698, 703 (7th Cir. 2013). In particular, plaintiff is seeking
to proceed on an Eighth Amendment failure to protect claim.
The Eighth Amendment requires prison officials to ensure that
“reasonable measures” are taken to guarantee
inmate safety and prevent harm. Farmer v. Brennan,
511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994). A prisoner may prevail on such a
claim by alleging that (1) he faced a “substantial risk
of serious harm” and (2) the identified prison
officials acted with “deliberate indifference”
toward that risk. Id. at 834.
may not proceed at this time because his allegations fail to
meet the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8.
Rule 8(a) requires a “‘short and plain statement
of the claim' sufficient to notify the defendants of the
allegations against them and enable them to file an
answer.” Marshall v. Knight, 445 F.3d 965, 968
(7th Cir. 2006). Dismissal is proper “if the complaint
fails to set forth ‘enough facts to state a claim to
relief that is plausible on its face.'” St.
John's United Church of Christ v. City of Chi., 502
F.3d 616, 625 (7th Cir. 2007) (quoting Bell Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
sparse and imprecise allegations in his proposed amended
complaint do not support a failure to protect claim against
either defendant. In particular, wholly absent from his
amended complaint is any allegation that plaintiff informed
either Lieutenant John Doe or Mr. Taim that other inmates had
been threatening him after plaintiff met with Doe.
Accordingly, it would be unreasonable to infer that either
defendant even knew that plaintiff was facing a risk of harm
prior to his assault, much less that either of them acted
with deliberate indifference to such a risk.
out of deference to plaintiff's pro se status, before
dismissing plaintiff's amended complaint, the court will
give plaintiff the opportunity to amend his complaint again
to include more specific information about his conversation
with Doe and/or his belief that the defendants failed to
protect him from harm. If plaintiff submits a proposed
amended complaint no later than May 15, 2019, the court will
take it under advisement for screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e)(2). In preparing his amended complaint,
plaintiff should take care to provide specific information
about what he told Doe during their June 2011 meeting, when
he informed both Doe and Taim that he was being threatened by
other inmates, and when exactly he was attacked. Plaintiff
should use the legal standards set forth above as guidelines.
Further, plaintiff should draft it as if he is telling a
story to someone who knows nothing about his situation. This
means that he should explain: (1) what happened to make him
believe he has a legal claim; (2) when it happened; (3) who
did it; (4) why; and (5) how the court can assist him in
relation to those events. Plaintiff should set forth his
allegations in separate, numbered paragraphs using short and
plain statements. After he finishes drafting his second
amended complaint, he should review it and consider whether
it could be understood by someone who is not familiar with
the facts of his case. If not, he should make necessary
1. Plaintiff Marcelo Sandoval may have until May 15,
2019, to amend his complaint to address the