United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge United States District
Mark Anthony Adell, who is currently serving a state prison
sentence at Waupun Correctional Institution (WCI) and
representing himself, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging that his civil rights were violated.
This matter comes before the court on Adell's motion for
leave to proceed without prepaying the full filing fee and to
screen the complaint.
to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing Fee
has requested leave to proceed without prepayment of the full
filing fee (in forma pauperis). A prisoner plaintiff
proceeding in forma pauperis is required to pay the
full amount of the $350.00 filing fee over time. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Adell has filed a certified copy
of his prison trust account statement for the six-month
period immediately preceding the filing of his complaint, as
required under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2), and has been
assessed an initial partial filing fee of $1.59. In response
to the court's order directing payment of the initial
partial filing fee, Adell filed a copy of his trust account
statement and advised the court that he is unable to pay the
initial partial filing fee. Because it appears that Adell is
unable to pay the initial partial filing fee, the court
waives the partial fee and will grant Adell's motion to
proceed without prepayment of the filing fee.
of the Complaint
court is required 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 or portion thereof if the
prisoner has raised 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). A claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an
arguable basis either in law or in fact. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Hutchinson ex
rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d 895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997).
state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading
system, the plaintiff is required to provide a “short
and plain statement of the claim showing that [he] is
entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter “that
is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The court accepts
the factual allegations as true and liberally construes them
in the plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729
F.3d 645, 651 (7th Cir. 2013). Nevertheless, the
complaint's allegations “must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level.”
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (citation omitted).
of the Complaint
alleges that WCI maintains a seniority-based cell assignment
policy, although inmates may be placed in certain cell types
for medical, mental health, or security reasons. According to
Adell, a “special needs committee” or
“single cell committee” decides whether to grant
an inmate's request to be placed in a single cell based
on a medical need. Dkt. No. 1 at 2, 4. Adell alleges that he
suffers from a variety of medical problems, including
Crohn's disease, mixed ulcerative colitis, migraines, and
a sliding hernia in his neck. He claims these conditions
cause him “harsh side effects such as raging bouts of
round the clock diarrhea, bowel urgency, gerd, weight loss
fluxuations [sic], dehydration et al.” Id. at
placement, Adell alleges, would accommodate his medical needs
because he would have his own toilet, which would be
reasonably available to him at all times. Adell alleges that
sharing a cell with others requires that he compete for
toilet access. He also explains that his frequent toilet use
frustrates the sleep of his cell mates, which puts him at
risk of physical violence when arguments flare up. He further
explains that humiliation is an issue in the event that he
soils himself. Such an event also risks that his cell mates
could be exposed to waste. Adell communicated each of these
considerations to Dr. Jeffrey Manlove during a January 8,
2019 appointment, and requested that Manlove order him to be
placed in a single cell. Although Manlove declined to order
single-cell placement because it was beyond his purview, he
indicated that he would support such placement if consulted.
the same day, Adell submitted a request for a single cell to
the special needs committee, citing his medical conditions
and each of the considerations he told Manlove. He also made
a formal request for a single cell to Aimee Wilson, WCI's
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator. Frustrated
with delay, Adell contacted Brian Foster, WCI's warden,
to complain about Wilson's lack of response. Adell also
filed an inmate complaint about the special needs
committee's delay. Wilson denied Adell's first
request in a letter dated January 24, 2019, though Adell
alleges he received the letter on February 1st. Adell filed a
follow-up request with Wilson, which she denied, saying that
Adell's request was a matter for Manlove and the special
needs committee. On March 27, 2019, WCI Security Director
Tony Meli notified Adell that his request to the special
needs committee was denied.
separately alleges that various defendants failed to
accommodate his sliding hernia, which he claims required
“proper elevation.” Id. at 8. Adell
claims that Sergeant Gau, who supervises WCI's laundry
facility, issued him part of a blanket as an alternative to a
“more efficient pillow” because “the MD
order allowed him to issue such.” Id. at 9.
Dissatisfied with this alternative, Adell asked WCI Health
Services Unit (HSU) Manager Crystal Marchant for a bed wedge
“as a reasonable alternative.” Id.
Marchant later notified Adell that the special needs
committee denied his bed wedge request. Adell alleges that
Gau erroneously told Marchant that he gave Adell two pillows,
and that Marchant “affirmed [Gau's] denials.”
attempted to obtain the names of the members of the special
needs and single cell committees from Marchant, but Marchant
offered a vague response. Adell claims that Toni Moon
rejected his inmate “complaint(s)” as untimely in
retaliation for past complaints he filed against Moon.
Id. at 10.