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Motley v. Roeker

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

July 29, 2019

LAVON MOTLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
JOEL ROEKER, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DKT. NO. 19), DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DKT. NO. 29) AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO STRIKE (DKT. NO. 44)

          HON. PAMELA PEPPER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The plaintiff, representing himself, filed this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that the defendant violated his constitutional rights. Dkt. No. 1. On February 15, 2018, the court issued a screening order, allowing the plaintiff to proceed on a claim that the defendant was deliberately indifferent to his medical needs after the defendant allegedly failed to address the plaintiff's self-harm. Dkt. No. 9. On June 15, 2018, the plaintiff moved for summary judgment. Dkt. No. 19. On September 17, 2018, the defendant moved for summary judgment. Dkt. No. 29. During the briefing on the summary judgment motions, the plaintiff also moved to strike Lucas Weber's declaration, stating that it was false. Dkt. No. 44. The court will deny all three motions.

         I. SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTIONS (DKT. NOS. 19, 29)

         A. Facts

         At the time of the events he describes in the complaint, the plaintiff was an inmate at Columbia Correctional Institution, and the defendant was a correctional officer there. Dkt. No. 31 at ¶¶1-2.

         1. The Plaintiff's Version of Events

         The plaintiff alleges that on November 28, 2014, “around lunch time, ” he informed the defendant that he was going to cut himself.[1] Dkt. No. 21 at ¶1; Dkt. No. 20-2 at 10. The defendant allegedly told the plaintiff that hedidn't think the plaintiff was going to cut himself, then walked away. Id. The defendant came back around 12:15 P.M. to hand out medication. Dkt. No. 21 at ¶2; Dkt. No. 20-2 at 10. The plaintiff once again told the defendant that he was going to cut himself, and that either he needed to see the Psychological Services Unit (“PSU”) or the defendant needed to call a “white shirt.” Id. The plaintiff alleges that he also told the defendant that he needed to be placed in observation. Id. The plaintiff asserts that the defendant “was still talking to [the plaintiff] as if he didn't believe him, ” and left his cell for about two minutes. Dkt. No. 21 at ¶2.

         The plaintiff says that he yelled down the hall to the defendant that he needed his medication. Id. The defendant came back to the cell, and the plaintiff cut open his left arm with a sharp metal object while the defendant watched and in view of the cameras. Id.; Dkt. No. 20-2 at 10. The plaintiff asserts that the defendant did nothing, leaving the plaintiff in his cell with an open wound and the sharp metal object. Dkt. No. 21 at ¶4; Dkt. No. 20-2 at 10. The plaintiff states that he gave himself a “deep puncture wound, ” and that he was bleeding and in pain. Dkt. No. 21 at ¶4; Dkt No. 20-2 at 11. He asserts that he filed an inmate complaint; it appears that he signed it the day after the incident, and that the prison staff received it the following day. Dkt. No. 21 at ¶7; see Dkt. No. 20-2 at 10. The plaintiff says that he was interviewed by staff regarding the incident and that he gave a written statement, but that the “the defendant's seem to not have these records anymore.” Dkt. No. 21 at ¶10; Dkt. No. 20 at 3.

         2. The Defendant's Version of Events

         The defendant says that when an inmate arrives at Columbia, he is given a handbook that informs him that if he has an emergency requiring medical or psychological staff, he must immediately alert unit staff. Dkt. No. 31 at ¶5. In non-emergency situations, if an inmate wants to see a psychological services clinician, he must fill out a “green slip” (a psychological services request). Id. at ¶6. The defendant states that inmates often request to see psychological services clinicians, and when they do so, he instructs them to fill out a green slip. Id. at ¶7. The defendant explains that when an inmate says he is going to harm himself or asks to be placed under clinical observation, the defendant contacts a supervisor, medical services, or psychological services, depending on what would best protect the inmate. Id. at ¶9. The defendant indicates that if an inmate engages in self-harm, the psychological services unit would be contacted, and there would be a note in the inmate's psychological record. Id. at ¶16. The defendant says he also would have contacted his sergeant or a security supervisor and asked for help from medical or psychological staff, and that the incident would have been documented in the unit logbook. Id. at ¶11.

         The defendant says that if what the plaintiff alleges had occurred, the defendant would have contacted a supervisor and asked for medical or psychological services, and the incident would have been recorded in the unit logbook. Id. The defendant states that the plaintiff never told the defendant that he was thinking of hurting himself or that he needed to go on observation status. Id. at ¶12. The defendant argues that that had the plaintiff cut himself and bled, it would have been recorded in the unit logbook and someone would have called an inmate worker to come clean the cell. Id. at ¶13. The defendant asserts that there is no record of an inmate worker cleaning the plaintiff's cell on November 28, id. at ¶14, and there is no record of any activity regarding the plaintiff in the unit logbook for that day, id. at ¶15.

         The defendant also argues that the plaintiff's psychological services file does not contain any observation notes or clinical contact notes, does not indicate that the plaintiff was in observation on November 28 and does not indicate that the plaintiff harmed himself on that date. Id. at ¶¶16-18. The defendant notes that the plaintiff was seen at the PSU several times around November 28, but that there is no mention of any self-harm taking place on November 28. Id. at ¶¶19-20. The defendant also states that the plaintiff's health services unit file does not contain record of any injury from self-harm on November 28, or a report of such an injury. Id. at ¶21. The defendant further states that there was no evidence of any prison staff interviewing the plaintiff regarding his complaint. Dkt. No. 42 at ¶10.

         3. Discussion

         a. Summary ...


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