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Bogan v. Hafman

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

May 9, 2019

ANTWAN BOGAN, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL HAFMAN, HERNANDEZ, RUGABER, CAPTAIN KEYS, CAPTAIN SULLIVAN, CAPTAIN BACON, CAPTAIN SHARIFAN, CAPTAIN HUTCHSON, LT. MALLON, LT. JOHNSON WILLIAMS, LT. BRICKNER, LT. MILIACCA, LT. TARTDIFF, LT. SHOTSNYDER, LT. ADDISON, SGT. GREUEL, SGT. WILLIAMS, SGT. HILL, SGT. WILDER, SGT. SNOWDEN, SGT. OWTEN, SGT. GARIVEY, SGT. BUTLER, CO BURTON, CO TORREZ, CO ALEXANDER, CO SMITH, CO MURRY, CO BUCARI, CO GREHAM, CO CURD, CO THORPE, JOHN AND JANE DOES, AND LT. ZOLL, Defendants.

          SCREENING ORDER

          WILLIAM E. DUFFIN U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Antwan Bogan, who is confined at the Milwaukee County Jail and who is representing himself, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the defendants violated his civil rights. This decision resolves Bogan's motion for leave to proceed without prepaying the filing fee and screens his complaint.

         The court has jurisdiction to resolve Bogan's motion to proceed without prepaying the filing fee and to screen the complaint in light of his consent to the full jurisdiction of a magistrate judge and the Wisconsin Department of Justice's limited consent to the exercise of magistrate judge jurisdiction as set forth in the Memorandum of Understanding between the Wisconsin Department of Justice and this court.

         1. Motion for Leave to Proceed without Prepaying the Filing Fee

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act applies to this case because Bogan was incarcerated when he filed his complaint. 28 U.S.C. § 1915. That law allows a court to give an incarcerated plaintiff the ability to proceed with his case without prepaying the civil case filing fee if he meets certain conditions. One of those conditions is that the plaintiff pay an initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b). Once the plaintiff pays the initial partial filing fee, the court may allow him to pay the balance of the $350 filing fee over time through deductions from his prisoner account. Id.

         On March 19, 2019, the court ordered that Bogan would not be required to pay an initial partial filing fee, see 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4), and it gave him until April 9, 2019, to voluntarily dismiss the case. (ECF No. 7.) Bogan has not voluntarily dismissed this case. Therefore, the court will grant Bogan's motion for leave to proceed without prepaying the filing fee. He must pay the filing fee over time in the manner explained at the end of this order.

         2. Screening the Complaint

         2.1 Federal Screening Standard

         The law requires the court to screen complaints brought by prisoners seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint if the plaintiff raises 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).

         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 Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows a 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 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 defendant was acting under color of state law. Buchanan-Moore v. County of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824, 827 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Kramer v. Village of North Fond du Lac, 384 F.3d 856, 861 (7th Cir. 2004)); see also Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980). The court gives a pro se plaintiff's 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)).

         2.2 The Complaint's Allegations

         Bogan was confined at the Milwaukee County House of Corrections (HOC) at all times relevant. He sues thirty-three HOC staff members as well as an unspecified No. of John and Jane Doe correctional officers for “blindly following unjust orders and abuse of human, constitutional rights.” (ECF No. 1 at 3.)

         Bogan alleges that on November 17, 2018, he filed a grievance petitioning all HOC staff “to heed W.D.O.C. 350.24(3) Discipline as to what must be done to inmates whom break the rules and found guilty of doing so [sic].”[1] (ECF No. 1 at 4.) Bogan's grievance addressed

the unlawful policy of HOC staff … denying all inmates their constitutional basic rights of: the right to correspond with family, friends, loved ones, access to the court, media, and paper, pencils, stamps, stamp envelopes, send out mail: personal or legal and get incoming mail; the right to properly groom by denying me: A. Bogan, and other inmates the right to have face towels to wash with, sheets on our raw mattresses, the right [to] a clean cell or cleaning supplies and even our property like pictures of family, friends, loved ones, drawings, books or other basic necessities.

(Id. at 5.)

         On the HOC's disciplinary unit (cell blocks A-Z, B-Z, O-Z), HOC staff deny inmates' requests for things like indigent postage and hygiene, and “law library.” (ECF No. 1 at 5.) These requested items “are seen as privileges and intentionally, recklessly disregarded to confuse, disorient inmates, sometimes causing further mental damage like: stress, anxiety, depression, suicidal or homicidal thoughts toward staff and oneself, or other inmates.” (Id. at 5-6.) Sometimes when staff bring ...


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