United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
MICHAEL S. HOSKINS, Plaintiff,
SGT. FISHER, OFFICER MAITLAND, JOHN DOE, and HSU MANAGER, Defendants.
WILLIAM C. GRIESBACH, CHIEF 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 the plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed
without prepaying the full filing fee and to screen the
to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing Fee
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) applies to this case
because the plaintiff was a prisoner when he filed his
complaint. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(h). The PLRA
allows the court to give a prisoner plaintiff the ability to
proceed with his case without prepaying the civil case filing
fee. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2). When funds exist, the
prisoner must pay an initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(b)(1). He must then pay the balance of the $350
filing fee over time, through deductions from his prisoner
the plaintiff lacks the funds to pay the partial filing fee.
Therefore, the court waives the initial partial filing fee.
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4). The court will grant the
plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without prepaying
the filing fee. Even though the court waives the initial
partial filing fee, the plaintiff must pay the remainder of
the filing fee over time in the manner explained at the end
of this order.
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
plaintiff alleges that on or around April 7, 2019, he had a
seizure in his cell while in the restrictive housing unit
(RHU) of Waupun Correctional Institution that knocked him
out. When he awoke, he felt as if he had hit his head against
the wall. The plaintiff pressed the panic button in his cell
and told an unidentified officer through the his cell
intercom that he had just had a seizure and that he needed to
see a nurse. The officer allegedly told the plaintiff to tell
his range officer about his seizure and hung up. The
plaintiff pressed the panic button again, and the same
officer again allegedly told the plaintiff to tell his range
officer about his seizure and hung up. The plaintiff states
he waited 30 minutes before he saw his range officer, Officer
Maitland. The plaintiff asked Maitland if he knew about his
seizure. Maitland allegedly told the plaintiff that he was
unaware of the plaintiff's seizure and that if he had
known he would have come to his cell. The plaintiff informed
Maitland that he has a seizure disorder, that he had just had
a seizure, and that he hit his head as a result of it.
Officer Maitland said that he understood.
plaintiff also states in his complaint that “Sgt.
Fisher along with the John Doe officer in the Bubble [who
responded to him over the intercom] [are] aware of my seizure
disorder and when [the plaintiff] [has] seizures Sgt. Fisher
nor the officer in the Bubble will do anything, not even call
the nurse.” Dkt. No. 1 at 1. The plaintiff informed the
health services unit (HSU) about the RHU officers'
alleged failure to respond to his seizures. The HSU allegedly
told the plaintiff that “his life is in the hands of
the security” officers. Id. The plaintiff
states that all the officers do is notify their supervisors
who allegedly said “they can't wait until [the
plaintiff] die[s] in here.” Id. The plaintiff
is seeking monetary damages and to enjoin the warden
“to stop his official[s] from using retaliatory actions
against me.” Id. at 3.
Eighth Amendment prohibits the infliction of cruel and
unusual punishment as a sentence for a crime. U.S. Const.
amend. VIII. It protects an inmate from a governmental
actor's deliberate indifference to his basic needs,
including an inmate's medical needs. See Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 105 (1976). To state a claim for
deliberate indifference to a serious medical need, a
plaintiff must allege an objectively serious medical
condition and that an official was subjectively aware of that
condition and deliberately indifferent to it. Perez v.
Fenoglio, 792 F.3d 768, 776 (7th Cir. 2015);
Duckworth v. Ahmad, 532 F.3d 675, 679 (7th Cir.
the plaintiff's allegations as true, which the court must
do at this stage, the complaint sufficiently states a claim
against the John Doe officer who answered the plaintiff's
intercom call. The plaintiff informed the John Doe officer
that he had just suffered a seizure, he had hit his head
against the wall as a result, and that he needed to see a
nurse. The John Doe officer took no action in response and
told the plaintiff to speak with his range officer. A prison
official's decision to ignore a request for medical
assistance can be enough to show deliberate indifference.
Petties v. Carter, 836 F.3d 722, 729 ...