United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
BARBARA B. CRABB DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff Wilson Jackson, who is incarcerated at the
Wisconsin Secure Program Facility, has filed a civil action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, contending that various state
agencies and officials and prison employees violated his
constitutional rights, particularly with respect to his
meals. His complaint is before the court for screening under
28 U.S.C. § 1915A. In addition, plaintiff has filed a
motion for a preliminary injunctive relief that is also
before the court. Dkt. #10.
reviewed plaintiff's complaint, I conclude that it
violates Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
because it is difficult to understand and fails to provide
sufficient information for this court to determine whether
(1) subject matter jurisdiction exists or (2) whether
plaintiff would be entitled to any relief against any of the
named defendants. Although I am dismissing the complaint, I
will give plaintiff an opportunity to file an amended
complaint that explains his claims more clearly.
Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction will be
has filed an incoherent, 28-page document in which he accuses
defendants of being "imposters,"
"masquerading" as state employees who are
defrauding the courts and persecuting him. In the first
several pages, he cites what appear to be various filings in
state court cases with no apparent relevance to any federal
cause of action and refers generally to a prisoner's
right to complain about health care and breaches of medical
confidentiality. With respect to a few specific incidents,
plaintiff alleges that: (1) he filed several complaints in
August and September of 2018 about members of the food
service department (in particular defendant Daggenhardt) whom
he believes pose a threat to his health because they wear
dirty clothing, engage in unsanitary behaviors while handling
prisoners' food and have communicable diseases; (2) he is
on a special meal plan that some food service workers either
fail to follow or fail to provide him, depriving him of
proper nutrition; (3) he has become physically and
psychologically ill after failing to receive his
medically-prescribed meals; and (4) inmate and correctional
complaint examiners (who seem to include defendants Brad
Hompe, L. Alsum, Emily Dickerson, Ellen Ray, J. Payne and
William Brown) improperly rejected his complaints on the
ground that they fail to comply with the format or procedure
required by the prison. In addition to damages, plaintiff
seems to want to be placed on a "sealed meal" diet
to avoid further health risks and contamination.
plaintiff lists in his complaint several constitutional
amendments that he believes provide him certain rights, it is
difficult to ascertain the exact nature of plaintiff's
claims because he has not provided enough information about
what happened, who was involved or how his constitutional
rights were violated in each instance. Some of
plaintiff's allegations may implicate his rights under
the Eighth Amendment, which protects prisoners from cruel and
unusual punishment. To prevail on a claim under the Eighth
Amendment, a prisoner must show that a prison official was
"deliberately indifferent" to a" substantial
risk of serious harm" to the inmate's health or
safety. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994).
"Deliberate indifference" means that the officials
are aware that the prisoner faced a substantial risk of
serious harm, but disregard the risk by consciously failing
to take reasonable measures to prevent it. Forbes v.
Edgar, 112 F.3d 262, 266 (7th Cir. 1997). Inadvertent
error, negligence, gross negligence and ordinary malpractice
are not cruel and unusual punishment within the meaning of
the Eighth Amendment. Vance v. Peters, 97 F.3d 987,
992 (7th Cir. 1996).
has sued many parties, but it is far from clear how he
believes each of them wronged him in a way that can be
remedied in a civil rights lawsuit. Plaintiff fails to
discuss most of the individual defendants in the body of his
complaint. Under federal pleading rules, "[e]ach
defendant is entitled to know what he or she did that is
asserted to be wrongful." Bank of America, N.A. v.
Knight, 725 F.3d 815, 818 (7th Cir. 2013). See
also Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. Further, a defendant cannot be
held liable for a constitutional violation unless he or she
was personally involved in the alleged conduct. Kuhn v.
Goodlow, 678 F.3d 552, 555-56 (7th Cir. 2012).
plaintiff's complaint is so incoherent or vague that the
court cannot determine whether subject matter jurisdiction
exists or whether the complaint states a claim for relief, I
will give him an opportunity to file an amended complaint
that clarifies his claims. Plaintiff should draft the amended
complaint as if he is telling a story to someone who knows
nothing about his situation. This means he should explain:
(1) what happened to make him believe he has a legal claim;
(2) when it happened; (3) who did it; (4) why; and (5) how
the court can assist him in relation to those events. He
should take care to identify each defendant and the specific
actions taken by each defendant whom he believes violated his
rights. Plaintiff should also make clear whether each
defendant is a prison or government employee or not. Finally,
plaintiff should set forth his allegations in separate,
numbered paragraphs using short and plain statements. After
he finishes drafting a complaint, he should further review it
and consider whether it could be understood by someone who is
not familiar with the facts of his case. If not, he should
make necessary changes.
unlikely that plaintiff will be able to state a claim against
high-level officials like the Wisconsin attorney general, the
Secretary of the Department of Corrections and the warden of
the prison, whom he names as defendants. It is not enough to
show that a particular defendant is the supervisor of someone
else who committed a constitutional violation. Burks v.
Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592, 593-94 (7th Cir. 2009)
("Liability depends on each defendant's knowledge
and actions, not on the knowledge or actions of persons they
addition, plaintiff should be aware of the limitations of
Fed.R.Civ.P. 20. Plaintiff may join claims in a single
lawsuit only if they are asserted against the same defendant,
Fed.R.Civ.P. 18, or if the allegations "aris[e] out of
the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions
or occurrences and if any question of law or fact common to
all defendants will arise in the action." Fed. R Civ. P.
20; George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605 (7th Cir. 2007).
If plaintiff wishes to challenge unrelated matters against
different defendants, he will have to file separate lawsuits.
may have until August 16, 2019 to provide an amended
complaint. If plaintiff does not file an amended complaint by
that date, the court will dismiss and close this case.
Motion for Preliminary Injunction
motion is procedurally defective because it fails to comply
with this court's procedure for obtaining preliminary
injunctive relief, a copy of which will be provided to
plaintiff with this order. Under these procedures, a
plaintiff must file and serve proposed findings of fact that
support his claims, along with any evidence that supports