United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
WILLIAM C. GRIESBACH, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT
Willis, a Wisconsin state prisoner who is representing
himself, filed a civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§1983, along with a motion for leave to proceed without
prepayment of the filing fee under 28 U.S.C.
§1915(a)(1). Dkt. Nos. 1-2. This case was originally
assigned to U.S. Magistrate Judge David E. Jones. Not all
parties have had the opportunity to consent to magistrate
judge jurisdiction; therefore, the case was randomly
reassigned to this court for screening of the complaint.
For Leave to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) applies to this case
because Plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed his
complaint. The PLRA allows an incarcerated plaintiff to
proceed with a lawsuit in federal court without prepaying the
$350 filing fee, as long as he complies with certain
requirements. 28 U.S.C. §1915. One of those requirements
is payment of an initial partial filing fee.
April 23, 2019, Judge Jones assessed an initial partial
filing fee of $74.67. Dkt. No. 5. Plaintiff paid that amount
on April 29, 2019. Therefore, the court will grant his motion
to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee. He must pay
the remainder of the filing fee in the manner described
of the Complaint
PLRA requires federal courts to screen complaints brought by
an incarcerated plaintiff who seeks relief against a
governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental
entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The court can dismiss an
action or portion thereof if the claims alleged are
“frivolous or malicious, ” fail to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, or seek monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C.
state a claim, the 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). 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)).
in the Complaint
October 4, 2017, Milwaukee Police Officers Ryan Dewitt and
Arttavius Bradford, and Wisconsin Parole Agents Steven Boehm
and Spencer Sianicki, “attempt[ed] to make alleged
traffic stop without probable cause.” Dkt. No. 1 at 3.
Dewitt and Arttavius approached Plaintiff's car, while
Boehm and Sianicki remained in the unmarked patrol vehicle.
Id. Plaintiff spoke with Dewitt and Bradford and
cooperated in answering their questions. Id.
Plaintiff then interacted with Boehm and the two
“beg[a]n to quarrel back and forth about the rules of
[Plaintiff's] extended supervision.” Id.
Boehm then went back to the patrol car to find the exact
rules of Plaintiff's extended supervision. Id.
Boehm checked the rules of extended supervision, Dewitt
ordered Plaintiff to come out of his car. Id. at 4.
Plaintiff explained that he could not because of his medical
condition/pain issues (in his four prior lawsuits Plaintiff
explained he is disabled and needs a wheelchair).
Id. Dewitt told Plaintiff that he would be arrested
for obstructing/resisting an officer and asked for his cell
phones. Id. Plaintiff then attempted to break one of
his cell phones in half, which caused a struggle over his
cell phone. Id. Dewitt and Bradford used
“excessive force” to get control of both of
Plaintiff's hands. Id.
placed Plaintiff in handcuffs and “conducted a quick
pat search . . . finding no illegal substances or
firearms.” Id. Plaintiff then informed Dewitt
that he had cash in his underwear for safekeeping.
Id. Meanwhile, Bradford conducted a K-9
“sniff” of the vehicle and attempted to remove
Plaintiff's keys from the ignition. Id. At that
point, another struggle began about the removal of his car
keys. Id. DeWitt placed Plaintiff in a choke hold
and Bradford “with closed fist, batter[ed] [Plainitff]
causing injury to his feet, knees, legs, and groin
area.” Id. Bradford then “reach[ed] his
hand inside [Plaintiff's] underwear and illegally
search[ed] and remove[d] approximately $310.00 dollars in
cash from his buttocks and butt-crack area.”
the altercation, Plaintiff needed medical attention, so the
paramedics took him to the hospital. Id. at 4-5. At
the hospital, medical staff “maliciously medically
cleared” him. Id. at 5. Bradford and Milwaukee
Police Officer Anthony Wilson then tossed Plaintiff into the
back of the patrol car and took his finger prints.
Id. at 5-6. At that time, Sergeant Richard Jack (not
a defendant) told Plaintiff that they “towed his pink
Lexus without his consent.” Id. at 6. After
some confusion about where Plaintiff should be booked, Wilson
and Bradford transported him to the Milwaukee Secure Program
Facility. Id. Because of Plaintiff's medical
condition/pain issues, he was unable to comply with the
“intake process.” Id. at 7. Officers
then took Plaintiff to the segregation unit pending a conduct
four days later, on October 7, 2017, Plaintiff contacted the
Prison Rape Elimination Act hotline regarding the police
officers' behavior during his arrest. Id.
Investigator Kimberly Betzhold (not a defendant) initiated a
criminal and internal investigation. Id. Through the
investigation, the following individuals “all gain[ed]
knowledge of the police misconduct that occurred on October
4, 2017 and facilitate[d], approve[d], condone[d], and
turn[ed] a blind-eye to reject [his] complaints as
meritless:” Jeremy Gloudemans, Susan Bodden-Eichsteadt,
Shaunta Boston-Smith, Matthew Goldberg, ...