United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYING FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2) AND
SCREENING THE COMPLAINT (DKT. NO. 1)
PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff, a Wisconsin state prisoner who is representing
himself, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. §1983,
alleging that the defendants violated his civil rights. This
decision resolves the plaintiff's motion for leave to
proceed without prepayment of the filing fee, dkt. no. 2, and
screens his complaint, dkt. no. 1.
THE PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYING THE
FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2)
Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) applies to
this case because the plaintiff was incarcerated when he
filed his complaint. 28 U.S.C. §1915. The PLRA allows an
incarcerated plaintiff the ability to proceed with his case
without prepaying the civil case filing fee if he meets
certain conditions. One of those conditions is that the
plaintiff pay an initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C.
§1915(b). Once the plaintiff pays the initial partial
filing fee, the court may allow the plaintiff to pay the
balance of the $350 filing fee over time, through deductions
from his prisoner account. Id.
November 26, 2018, the court ordered the plaintiff to pay an
initial partial filing fee of $40.00. Dkt. No. 6. The court
received the fee on December 17, 2018. The court will grant
the plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without
prepaying the filing fee and will allow him to pay the
remainder of the filing fee over time in the manner explained
at the end of this order.
SCREENING OF THE PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT
PLRA requires federal courts 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 may dismiss a case, or part of a
case, 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. §1915(e)(2)(B).
state a claim, the plaintiff must 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 need not
plead specific facts, and need only provide “fair
notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which
it rests.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355
U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). “Labels and conclusions” or
a “formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of
action” will not do. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at
facts alleged in the complaint must allow the court to
“draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
Allegations must “raise a right to relief above the
speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
Factual allegations, when accepted as true, must state a
claim that is “plausible on its face.”
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
courts follow the two-step analysis in Twombly to
determine whether a complaint states a claim. Id. at
679. First, the court determines whether the plaintiff's
legal conclusions are supported by factual allegations.
Id. Legal conclusions not supported by facts
“are not entitled to the assumption of truth.”
Id. Second, the court determines whether the
well-pleaded factual allegations “plausibly give rise
to an entitlement to relief.” Id. The court
gives the allegations of people who are representing
themselves, “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)).
Facts Alleged in the Complaint
filed his complaint, the plaintiff was an inmate at the
Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility. Dkt. No. 1. He has sued
Wisconsin Department of Corrections employees: Defendant
Tracy Johnson is the plaintiff's “p.o.
agent;” defendants Neil Thoreson, Saus Dewitt, and Chad
Frey are Johnson's supervisors. Id.
plaintiff's complaint is repetitive, but the court has
tried to pare it down to its basic facts. It appears that on
June 11, 2018, the plaintiff had a hearing at the Milwaukee
County Jail to revoke his extended supervision; on June 20,
2018, he won that hearing (his ES was not
revoked). Id. at 2-3. The plaintiff says
that on July 27, 2018, defendant Johnson-his probation agent-
appealed, but that she lost the appeal on June 27, 2018.
Id. The complaint alleges that from that point,
Johnson began harassing the plaintiff and trying to
intimidate him by trying to get the case reopened.
Id. The plaintiff says that on July 30, 2018, he
wrote to defendant Thoreson-Johnson's supervisor-
complaining about the harassment. Id. at 3. He says
that Thoreson responded on August 13, 2018, telling the
plaintiff that if he was released from Milwaukee County Jail,
Johnson no longer would be his supervising agent.
Id. at 3-4. The plaintiff asserts that on August 29,
2018, Johnson continued to harass him by keeping him locked
up for supervision violations that he'd “already
beat.” Id. at 3.
September 20, 2018, the plaintiff “bailed out” of
the county jail.Id. at 4. It appears that at that
point, he had a new probation agent, a “Mr.
Brain.” Id. The plaintiff says that on October
8, 2018, he was at his home “fighting [his] criminal
case” when Johnson had him re-arrested for the
allegations upon which he'd already prevailed back in
June. Id. at 2, 4. The complaint alleged that
Johnson “had her supervisor Chad J. Frey come to [the
plaintiff's] family home with 21 police officers and
[take] him into custody for no reason.” Id. at
4. The plaintiff asserted, and the docket confirms, that he
was out on bail for his criminal case. The defendant said had
been out for only nineteen days and had not committed any new
violations; he asserted that as of the date ...