United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
MARCELLOUS L. WALKER, Plaintiff,
SANDY MCARDLE, et al., Defendants.
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge.
April 15, 2019, defendants Sandy McArdle and Maxim Physician
Resources filed a motion for summary judgment. In support of
their motion, they submitted two pages of plaintiff
Marcellous Walker's medical records, which they move to
restrict the viewing of to the court and the case
participants. The defendants assert that individuals have a
general interest in keeping their personal health information
court will deny the motion to restrict the documents. A
person's general interest in keeping medical information
private does not necessarily override the public's
interest in having access to that information. Walker placed
his medical conditions at issue in this case, and the
defendants filed these limited records because the
information contained therein may “influence or
underpin the judicial decision” on those issues.
See Hale v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No.
14-cv-36, 2014 WL 7425761, at *2 (S.D. Ind. Dec. 30, 2014)
(relying on Baxter Int'l, Inc. v. Abbott Labs.,
297 F.3d 544, 545 (7th Cir. 2002)). It is important that the
public have access not only to the court's decision but
also to the evidence upon which the court's decision is
made. In short, while many litigants would prefer that their
private medical information be kept from the public, that
preference, without more, is insufficient to overcome the
long-standing tradition that litigation be open to the
public. Id. (citing Union Oil Co. of Cal. v.
Leavell, 220 F.3d 562, 567 (7th Cir. 2000)).
on April 18, 2019, McArdle and Maxim filed a motion to strike
or disregard Walker's supplemental response/disclosure to
his deposition. They explain that Walker did not comply with
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(e) and that his proposed
changes are substantive in nature and therefore are
impermissible under Seventh Circuit precedent. The court will
deny the motion as premature. Walker mailed his supplemental
response/disclosure directly to the defendants; he did not
file it with the court. Because Walker's supplemental
response/disclosure is not part of the record, there is
nothing for the court to strike or disregard.
on April 19, 2019, Walker filed his third motion to appoint
counsel and for an expert. The court will not appoint an
expert because the court has no need for an expert at this
time. See Turner v. Cox, 569 Fed.Appx. 463, 468 (7th
Cir. 2014) (“A court may appoint an expert to help sort
through conflicting evidence.”). The mere fact that
Walker wants an expert but is unable to afford one does not
require that the court appoint one for his benefit. See
Id. (citing Hannah v. United States, 523 F.3d
597, 601 (5th Cir. 2008), for the proposition that
“[t]he plain language of section 1915 does not provide
for the appointment of expert witnesses to aid an indigent
court also will not recruit a lawyer to represent Walker.
Walker's motion rehashes arguments that the court has
already addressed. It is clear that he wants a lawyer to
represent him and that he believes a lawyer will do a better
job than he will, but that is not the standard the court uses
to determine whether to recruit a lawyer to represent a pro
se plaintiff. As the court has already informed Walker, the
question the court must address is: “given the
difficulty of the case, does the plaintiff appear competent
to litigate it himself?” Pruitt v. Mote, 503
F.3d 647, 654-55 (7th Cir. 2007) (citing Farmer v.
Haas, 990 F.2d 319, 321-22 (7th Cir. 1993)). In essence,
a court must recruit counsel only if “the difficulty of
the case-both factually and legally-exceeds the particular
plaintiff's capacity as a layperson to coherently present
it to the judge or jury himself.” Id. at 655.
In light of this standard and the court's assessment of
Walker's skills and abilities, the court believes that
Walker is capable of responding to McArdle and Maxim's
summary judgment motion on his own.
responding to the motion, Walker must address each of McArdle
and Maxim's proposed findings of fact by agreeing with
the proposed fact or explaining why he disagrees with it. If
he does not indicate one way or the other, the court will
assume that he agrees with the proposed fact. Walker must
support any disagreement with a proposed fact with evidence.
He can do that by relying on documents or by telling the
court his version of what happened in an affidavit or an
unsworn declaration under 28 U.S.C. §
1746. An unsworn declaration is a way for a
party to tell his side of the story while declaring to the
court that everything in the declaration is true and correct.
Walker must also respond to the legal arguments in the
materials in response to the summary judgment motion are due
on May 15, 2019. In his motion to appoint counsel, Walker
mentions that he is being treated for anxiety, which often
impedes or interferes with his ability to function.
Accordingly, although Walker has not moved for additional
time to respond to summary judgment the motion, the court
will extend his response deadline to May 31, 2019. If Walker
needs additional time, he may file a motion explaining how
much additional time he needs and why he needs it.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that McArdle and Maxim's
motion to restrict documents (Dkt No. 97) is
IS FURTHER ORDERED that McArdle and Maxim's
motion to strike or disregard plaintiff's errata sheet
(Dkt No. 103) is DENIED.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Walker's third motion to
appoint counsel and an expert (Dkt No. 105) is
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Walker's deadline to
respond to McArdle and Maxim's summary judgment motion is
extended to May 31, 2019.