United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
JERMAINE A. HAMPTON, Plaintiff,
SHEBOYGAN COUNTY DETENTION CENTER, SERGEANT RICHTER, CO VELVEDLE, CO OPENEER, KEIMON D. JOINER, RN NICK, and JOHN DOES, Defendants.
William C. Griesbach, Chief United States District Judge.
plaintiff, who is currently serving a state prison sentence
at Waupun Correctional Institution 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 Plaintiff'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
plaintiff 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). The
plaintiff 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). On May 8, 2019, the court waived
the initial partial filing fee and gave the plaintiff 21 days
to notify the court if he did not wish to proceed with his
case. To date, the court has not received a response from the
plaintiff. Accordingly, the court will grant the
plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without
prepayment of the filing fee and screen the complaint.
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
December 2015, Plaintiff was transferred from the Dodge
Correctional Institution to the Sheboygan County Detention
Center for sentencing after being convicted of battery by a
prisoner. On December 22, 2015, while housed at the Sheboygan
County Detention Center, Plaintiff was assaulted by another
inmate, Keimon Joiner. Plaintiff sustained injuries to his
ear, mouth, hand, lips, and chin and had several broken
the attack, Plaintiff had heard from other inmates that
Joiner threatened to break Plaintiff's jaw because the
victims of Plaintiff's crimes, Anthony S. Sims and Donald
Ray Polk, were either Joiner's friends or family.
Plaintiff notified CO Openeer about Joiner's threats and
asked to be placed in a unit separate from Joiner. Plaintiff
alleges that Openeer told Sergeant Richter about the threats
but placed Plaintiff in the S-Pod with Joiner. After
Plaintiff realized he was placed in the same pod as Joiner,
he told CO Velvelde that Joiner threatened to hurt him and
requested to be moved. Plaintiff claims Velvelde stated that
Sergeant Richter was aware of his requests but placed
Plaintiff on S-Pod with the hope that Plaintiff and Joiner
could handle their business. Although Plaintiff met with
Joiner to attempt to diffuse the situation, Joiner stated
that he wanted “blood for blood.” Compl. ¶
29, Dkt. No. 1, at 6. Plaintiff then returned to his assigned
cell to go to sleep. After some time, Plaintiff heard his
cell door open and ignored the sound, thinking his cellmate
was entering the cell. Plaintiff alleges that Joiner entered
his cell, delivered blows to the top of Plaintiff's head,
and ran out of the cell.
pressed the emergency call button in his cell and requested
medical treatment because he had been jumped. Officer
Velvelde immediately secured Plaintiff inside his cell and
locked down the pod. Sergeant Richter retrieved Plaintiff
from his cell and escorted him to the medical unit.
Nick examined Plaintiff and concluded that Plaintiff should
be transferred to Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center for
stitches and further treatment. Plaintiff was immediately
transferred to the hospital; received stitches inside his
mouth, chin, ear, and hand; and then returned to Sheboygan
County Detention Center. After returning to the Detention
Center, Plaintiff alleges that, when he asked Officer Openeer
about additional medical treatment, Openeer responded that
Plaintiff must now know how Officer Schultz felt when
Plaintiff attacked him during his altercation with Donald
Polk. The next day, Plaintiff was transported to Dodge
claims that Sergeant Richter, Officer Velvelde, and Officer
Openeer failed to protect him from Joiner's attack. The
Eighth Amendment prohibits “cruel and unusual
punishments” and imposes a duty on jail officials to
ensure that inmates receive adequate food, clothing, shelter,
and medical care and to take reasonable measures to guarantee
an inmate's safety. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 832 (1994); see U.S. Const. Amend. VIII. Jail
officials have a duty to protect inmates from violence caused
by other inmates when they are aware that the inmate faced
“a substantial risk of serious harm” and
“disregard[ed] that risk by failing to take reasonable
measures to abate it.” Farmer, 511 U.S. at
847; see also Pierson v. Hartley, 391 F.3d 898,
903-04 (7th Cir. 2004). In this case, Plaintiff alleges that,
even though Richter, ...