United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
STEPHEN L. CROCKER MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Terrance Prude, an inmate in the custody of the Wisconsin
Department of Corrections, filed the three above-captioned
lawsuits between May 5, 2017 and May 16, 2018.In the ‘079
case, summary judgment motions are due by October 18, 2019,
with trial set for May 4, 2020. In the ‘336 case,
summary judgment motions are due by December 6, 2019, with
trial set for June 22, 2020. In the ‘361 case, summary
judgment motions are due by January 31, 2020, with trial set
for August 10, 2020.
MO in civil litigation is to immediately file dispositive
motions. This is what he has done in each of these three
cases, with varying responses from the three different AAGs
representing the defendants. I will address each case in
turn, but I will start with a general observation: Prude must
comply with this court's procedures when engaging in
motions practice unless the court excuses
compliance. For instance, Prude relies heavily on F.R.
Civ. Pro. 10[c] to avoid filing separate proposed findings of
fact (PFFs) in support of his summary judgment motions. But
Rule 10[c] simply allows a statement in a pleading to be
adopted by reference. It does not supersede this court's
requirement in its summary judgment procedure that a party
said, the court does not intend to make things more difficult
for Prude by glorifying form over substance. If the AAG in a
particular case doesn't object to using Prude's
complaint as his PFFs, then the court will allow it. Worth
noting, however, is that Prude's sworn verification of
the allegations in each of his complaints does not mean that
all of these allegations automatically constitute admissible
evidence. There may be evidentiary challenges in the
State's responses that could knock some of Prude's
allegations out of the summary judgment analysis. This
remains to be seen. The bottom line is that although the
court will not hold Prude to the standards set for trained
attorneys, Prude does not have any right to cut procedural
corners just to make things easier for himself. Prude not
only chose to file three civil lawsuits in a row, he chose to
jump the gun on dispositive motions in all three cases. Prude
dealt himself this hand, now he has to play it.
review the status of Prude's three pending cases:
case arises out of defendants' confiscation of a $10, 000
check mailed to Prude that defendants contend was an improper
payment to Prude for having provided legal services to
another inmate. On March 3, 2019-prior to the March 8, 2019
telephonic preliminary pretrial conference-Prude filed a
summary judgment motion in which he adopted his sworn
complaint as his PFFs pursuant to F.R. Civ. Pro. 10[c]
See dkts. 57 & 58. Prude simultaneously filed a
motion for judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12[c],
again incorporating his complaint by reference. See
dkt. 56. In ‘336, Prude also has pending a second
motion (dkt. 55) for reconsideration of this court's
leave to proceed order and its order granting in part
Prude's first motion for reconsideration (dkt. 42).
March 20, 2019, defendants, by AAG Paulson, filed a motion
(dkt. 65) to extend their response deadline to May 31, 2019,
at which time the State will not only respond to Prude's
motion, it will file its own summary judgment motion. The
State did not object to the manner in which Prude filed his
PFFs. Prude did not object to this extension (dkt. 67), so
the court granted it (dkt. 68). Subsequently, Prude pointed
out a scanning error for some of his documents in the docket,
which the court corrected, see dkts. 69-72.
Prude's dispositive motions and accompanying submissions
are acceptable in No. 336. The court will take up all of the
dispositive motions at once when both sides have timely
submitted their documents.
case has six pro se prisoner plaintiffs who all allege
that they were subjected to an intentionally humiliating
public group strip search, which caused each of them to
suffer psychological harm. At the February 5, 2019 telephonic
preliminary pretrial conference, the court confirmed with
each plaintiff that he understood that he was responsible for
his own case: while the plaintiffs may work together and rely
on each other to do shared work, each plaintiff must
literally sign off on every document submitted in his name.
The court then set October 18, 2019 as the deadline to file
dispositive motions and set jury selection and trial for May
4, 2020. See dkt. 39.
six weeks later, on March 19, 2019, all six plaintiffs
submitted a summary judgment motion that Prude had written.
Prude alone signed the motion and the cover letter (dkt. 41
and 41-1). All five plaintiffs signed the brief in support
(dkt. 42 at 7). The PFFs (dkt. 43) are technically in the
proper format, although Prude did not go to the trouble of
re-writing into this document the actual statement from the
verified complaint that the plaintiffs were citing.
March 28, 2019, defendants, by AAG Spitz, filed a motion
(dkt.45) to depose all of the plaintiffs. The State also
filed a Rule 56(d) motion to postpone its deadline to respond
to plaintiffs' summary judgment motion until October 18,
2019, when defendants intend to file their own summary
judgment motion. Dkt. 46. As their fallback position,
defendants have asked for 60 extra response days beyond their
April 19, 2019 response deadline. Prude responded by opposing
the long extension but not opposing a 60-day extension. (dkt.
49). No. other plaintiff responded.
the number of plaintiffs and the nature of the allegations,
defendants have met their burden under Rule 56(d) to obtain
an extension, but they haven't shown that they genuinely
need six extra months to respond. The rule, by its terms,
does not allow a longer continuance for the purpose of
pairing a summary judgment response with a party's own
summary judgment motion. Taking into account the totality of
circumstances, the court finds that three additional months
of response time are necessary to ensure that defendants can
gather and present facts essential to their opposition.
Therefore, defendants' response deadline is extended to
July 19, 2019.
of the logistics attendant to a six-plaintiff pro se prisoner
lawsuit, plaintiffs may have 14 days to reply in support of
their summary judgment motion. If defendants end up filing a
proactive summary judgment motion with their response, then
plaintiffs' reply on their own motion may be filed with
their response to defendants' motion.
allegations underlying this lawsuit are confidential at this
time. On March 4, 2019, prior to the March 15, 2019
telephonic preliminary pretrial conference, Prude filed all
of the documents necessary for a summary judgment motion
except for an actual motion. See dkts. 18-22. At the
pretrial conference, the court set January 31, 2020 as the