United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
MICHAEL K. BROWN, Plaintiff,
KURT PICKNELL, et al., Defendants.
WILLIAM E. DUFFIN, U.S. Magistrate Judge
Michael K. Brown, who is confined at the Redgranite
Correctional Institution, filed this pro se civil
rights case under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the
defendants violated his rights when he was confined at the
Walworth County Jail. Brown has filed a motion to amend the
complaint along with a proposed amended complaint. (ECF Nos.
34, 34-1.) The court will deny Brown's motion to amend
because his proposed amended complaint attempts to bring
unrelated claims against a new defendant. If Brown wants to
pursue these new claims, he must file a new lawsuit.
Brown's Original Complaint and the Court's Screening
original complaint Brown alleged that the defendants
subjected him to hazardous and unsanitary conditions at the
Walworth County Jail. He alleged that there was mold, mildew,
and moss in his living area, sleeping area, and eating area,
and that overhead dirt, dead flies and bugs sometimes fell
onto food tables and trays. Brown also alleged that he
complained to the defendants, who did not fix the problems.
The court allowed Brown to proceed on a claim under the
Fourteenth Amendment based on alleged unconstitutional
conditions of confinement at the jail.
Brown's Motion to Amend the Complaint and Proposed
motion to amend Brown simply refers to the attached proposed
amended complaint. The proposed amended complaint appears to
be a photocopy of the original complaint with one page
inserted. The inserted page contains the heading
“Amendment complaint” and alleges that
Correctional Officer Charles Englert sexually assaulted Brown
more than once at the Walworth County Jail. (ECF No. 34-1 at
5.) Brown also alleges that his attempts to file a formal
PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) complaint were delayed
because he did not have the correct information about which
entity would be handling his complaint. Brown states that
Officer Englert has a long history of complaints and abnormal
predatory behavior toward inmates. He also states that
Walworth County knowingly employed Officer Englert despite
his predatory nature.
may amend his pleading once as a matter of course within
twenty-one days after service of a responsive pleading,
Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1)(B), unless it would amount to a
futility. See Johnson v. Dossey, 515 F.3d 778, 780
(7th Cir. 2008) (“district court need not allow the
filing of an amended complaint, even when no responsive
pleading has been filed, if it is clear that the proposed
amended complaint is deficient and would not survive a motion
to dismiss”). The defendants filed an answer to the
complaint on April 5, 2019. Since Brown was served with the
answer by U.S. Mail, the court adds three days to the
twenty-one-day period. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(d).
Brown timely filed his motion to amend on April 29, 2019, and
the court must accept it unless it would amount to a
because Brown is a prisoner, his proposed amended complaint
is subject to review under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. That 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).
may not proceed on his proposed amended complaint because it
attempts to improperly bring unrelated claims in a single
case. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 18(a),
“[u]nrelated claims against different defendants belong
in different suits[.]” George v. Smith, 507
F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007). “A party asserting a
claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, or third-party claim may
join, as independent or alternate claims, as many claims as
it has against an opposing party.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 18(a).
Under this rule, “multiple claims against a single
party are fine, but Claim A against Defendant 1 should not be
joined with unrelated Claim B against Defendant 2.”
George, 507 F.3d at 607. Moreover, joinder of
multiple defendants into one action is proper only if
“any right to relief is asserted against them jointly,
severally, or in the alternative with respect to or arising
out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences; and any question of law or fact
common to all defendants will arise in the action.”
proposed amended complaint violates Rules 18 and 20 insofar
as it advances new claims unrelated to the conditions of
confinement claim in the original complaint. Therefore, the
court will deny Brown's motion to amend the complaint.
Brown may file a new case if he wants to pursue his claim
against Officer Englert. The court will mail Brown a prisoner
complaint form along with this order.
IT IS ORDERED that Brown's motion to amend
complaint (ECF No. 34) is DENIED.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk's Office mail
Brown a prisoner ...