United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
WILLIAM E. DUFFIN U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Shavontae Daniels is representing himself in this 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 lawsuit about his medication going missing and
being stolen. Daniels filed a document he titled a
“brief” in response to the defendants' answer
to his complaint. In it he asks the court to enter default
judgment against the defendants because they did not properly
answer his complaint. The defendants responded, and Daniels
filed a reply. Daniels then filed a series of motions
regarding discovery. The defendants responded to his two most
recent motions. Daniels also filed a motion to appoint
Motion for Default
asks the court to enter default against the defendants
because they answered his complaint with a general denial.
According to the answer, the defendants entered a general
denial because they did not have a signed release from
Daniels to access his medical records. (ECF No. 20 at
¶6.) Daniels believes this entitles him to a default
judgment entered against the defendants. However, defendants
may enter a general denial if they intend in good faith to
deny all the allegations of a pleading or generally deny all
allegations except those they specifically admit.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(b)(3). The defendants' general denial was
also argues that there is no way for the defendants to
dispute the allegations in his complaint. To the extent he is
arguing that default judgment should be entered based on the
merits of his case, a motion for default judgment is not the
appropriate mechanism to make that argument. Depending on
whether there is a genuine dispute as to any material fact,
the argument Daniels raises can be determined through a
motion for summary judgment or at trial.
motion for default judgment will be denied.
Motions for Discovery
first motion about discovery Daniels requests that the court
conduct a conference because the defendants “refuse to
be civil.” (ECF No. 30.) He objects to their responses
to his discovery requests, which responses deny that his
medication was stolen. Daniels also complains that the
defendants refused to supply copies of documents he
requested. Daniels does not specify what information is set
forth those documents. He asserts that he cannot pay for
copies because the prison takes almost 80 percent of his
money from him, in violation of an injunction issued in state
court that differentiates between inmates sentenced before or
those sentenced after a particular Act was passed.
court cannot grant Daniels any of his requested relief.
First, what happened to Daniels's medication is the
subject of this lawsuit. It is a question to be determined at
summary judgment or at trial. Second, Daniels does not say
what documents he needs (or what information they contain).
Without more information, the court cannot determine what
relief, if any, might be appropriate. Furthermore,
Daniels's allegations that the prison is violating an
injunction issued in state court is beyond the scope of this
case. Any relief on that issue must come from the state court
that issued the injunction.
Daniels's second motion regarding discovery he complains
that the defendants “continue to misrepresent [his]
1983 complaint by stating [his] medication was
unavailable.” (ECF NO. 31 at 1.) Daniels contests the
defendants' choice to label his medication as unavailable
(rather than stolen), and he asks the court to issue an order
to correct the record. However, as explained above, what
happened to Daniels's medication is the subject of this
lawsuit and will be resolved either on summary judgment or at
trial. The court denies Daniels's request to issue an
order that would, in effect, determine at this time what
happened to his medication.
third motion about discovery Daniels asks the court to
conduct a conference. (ECF No. 32.) He asserts that the
defendants did not answer his discovery requests and that
their objections were improper because their basis for
objecting- not having his medical records-was untrue. In
response the defendants state that they did answer to his
discovery requests, objecting to only four of his requests
because they did not have Daniels's medical records
because he never provided a medical authorization form.
Nonetheless, they provided substantive responses to three of
the four requests anyway. (ECF No. 33 at 1.) Daniels did not
file a reply brief.
on the information the court has, it sees no reason to
schedule a conference. Daniels may object to the content of
the discovery responses, but there is no reason to believe
the defendants are not responding in good faith. If he wants
the defendants to produce his medical records, he must
provide them with a medical authorization form.
Daniels's most recent motion he again takes issue with
how the defendants have responded to discovery requests about
his medication. (ECF No. 35.) He argues that he can establish
that the defendants “lied” when they denied his
request to admit that 31 more pills went missing on April 12,
2018. However, the documents on which Daniels relies do not
support his contention that a prison employee confirmed that
pills went missing on April 12, 2018. (ECF No. 35-1 at 1-2.)
He has not shown that the defendants made a misrepresentation
when responding to his request to admit. As a result, he has
not shown he is entitled to any relief and the court will not
compel the defendants to provide new answers to his discovery
also asks the court to hold both “Crystal Marchant and
Warden Foster responsible for the missing
[medication].” (ECF No. 35 at 2.) In his reply brief in
support of this most recent motion Daniels clarifies that he
is not asking the court to find that Foster and Marchant
violated his rights. (ECF No. 38 at 2.) He explains that,
because Foster and Marchant are unable to identify who is
responsible for his missing medication, he is asking the
court to remove any Jane/John Doe defendants who had access
to his medications and hold Foster and Marchant responsible
for those officers' actions. What Daniels is asking for,
then, is for the court to find that Foster and Marchant are
liable as supervisors for their supervisees' actions.
That is a ...