United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
STADTMUELLER, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
filed a pro se complaint under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, alleging that his civil rights were violated at the
Milwaukee County Jail (“MCJ”). (Docket #1). This
matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's motion to
proceed in forma pauperis. (Docket #2). Plaintiff
has been assessed and paid an initial partial filing fee of
$13.52. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(4).
Court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or an officer or
employee of a governmental entity. Id. §
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.
Id. § 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);
Gladney v. Pendelton Corr. Facility, 302 F.3d 773,
774 (7th Cir. 2002). The Court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327;
Gladney, 302 F.3d at 774. “Malicious, ”
although sometimes treated as a synonym for “frivolous,
” “is more usefully construed as intended to
harass.” Lindell v. McCallum, 352 F.3d 1107,
1109 (7th Cir. 2003); Paul v. Marberry, 658 F.3d
702, 705 (7th Cir. 2011).
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). It is not
necessary for the plaintiff to plead specific facts; his
statement need only “‘give the defendant 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)); Christopher v. Buss, 384 F.3d
879, 881 (7th Cir. 2004). However, a complaint that offers
“‘labels and conclusions'” or
“‘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 555). To state a claim, a
complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, “‘that is plausible on its
face.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 570). “A claim has facial plausibility when the
plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable
for the misconduct alleged.” Id. The complaint
allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555; Christopher, 384 F.3d at 881.
considering whether a complaint states a claim, courts should
first “identif[y] pleadings that, because they are no
more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of
truth.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Legal
conclusions must be supported by factual allegations.
Id. If there are well-pleaded factual allegations,
the Court must “assume their veracity and then
determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement
to relief.” Id.
state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege that: (1) he was deprived of a right
secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and
(2) the deprivation was visited upon him by a person or
persons acting under color of state law. Buchanan-Moore
v. County of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d 824, 827 (7th Cir.
2009); Gomez v. Toledo, 446 U.S. 635, 640 (1980).
The Court is obliged to give Plaintiff's pro se
allegations, “‘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)).
allegations concern the failure of MCJ staff to provide him
with adequate medical supplies to address an on-going health
issue. (Docket #1 at 1). Plaintiff alleges that between
August and October 2017, he was not supplied with enough
catheters and related supplies to relieve himself on a
regular basis. As a result, he was forced to re-use catheters
without surgical lubricant, thereby exposing himself to
urinary tract infections, or go hours and hours without
relieving himself. Id. at 3. His clothes and bed
linens were frequently soiled from leakage resulting from the
hours he went without relieving himself, and he was denied a
shower and a change of clothes several times. Id. at
4. When he attempted to raise his complaints with Officer
Johnston and Lieutenant Mateo, he was ignored and forced to
continue sleeping in soiled clothing and bed linen. Officer
Ruiz denied him a shower, but gave him a change of clothing
and bed linen. Id. at 5.
Plaintiff complained of his inadequate medical treatment to
Nurse Practitioner Brandon, he was told that the only
solution would be to install a permanent catheter and a urine
bag. Plaintiff continued to receive an inadequate number of
catheters and related supplies. Nurse Supervisor Amy was also
apprised of the issue of an inadequate number of catheters
and related supplies, but she did not take any remedial
steps. Plaintiff wrote to Lieutenant Artus, Sheriff David
Clark, and Nurse Supervisor Jackie about the issue, and filed
several inmate grievance forms. Nobody responded to his
letters. Additionally, although his grievance response forms
indicated that his medical issue was founded, there was no
change in his treatment. Id. at 6. He continued to
receive inadequate supplies. Throughout September, Plaintiff
also continued to be denied showers, and was forced to reuse
catheters. He filed additional grievance forms throughout
September and October, indicating that there had been no
change in his treatment. As a result of the inadequate
medical care, Plaintiff suffered pain, was forced to sleep in
soiled clothes and linens, and was exposed to a heightened
risk of infection.
complaint crosses the low threshold set at screening. He has
successfully stated claims for deliberate indifference to his
serious medical needs and for unconstitutional conditions of
confinement, in violation of the Eighth
sustain such a claim for deliberate indifference to a serious
medical need, Plaintiff must show: (1) an objectively serious
medical condition; (2) that Defendants knew of the condition
and were deliberately indifferent in treating it; and (3)
this indifference caused him some injury. Gayton v.
McCoy, 593 F.3d 610, 620 (7th Cir. 2010). The deliberate
indifference inquiry has two components. “The official
must have subjective knowledge of the risk to the
inmate's health, and the official also must disregard
that risk.” Id. Negligence cannot support a
claim of deliberate indifference, nor is medical malpractice
a constitutional violation. Estelle v. Gamble, 429
U.S. 97, 105-06 (1976); Roe v. Elyea, 631 F.3d 843,
857 (7th Cir. 2011). To show that a delay in providing
treatment is actionable under the Eighth Amendment, Plaintiff
must also provide evidence that the delay exacerbated his
injury or unnecessarily prolonged pain. Petties v.
Carter, 836 F.3d 722, 730-31 (7th Cir. 2016).
state a claim for unconstitutional conditions of confinement,
Plaintiff must allege that officials were deliberately
indifferent to conditions of confinement that constituted an
“unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain.”
Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 5 (1992);
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1970) (holding
that an Eighth Amendment violation arises when prisoners are
deprived of “the minimal civilized measure of
life's necessities.”). At this stage, the Court
finds that Plaintiff has stated claims against Lieutenant
Mateo, Lieutenant Artus, Officer Dillon, Officer Johnston,
Officer Erickson, Officer Ruiz, Nurse Amy, Nurse Jackie, and
Nurse Practitioner Brandon, for deliberate indifference to
his serious medical needs and for unconstitutional conditions
of confinement. Thus, Plaintiff shall be permitted to proceed
against these defendants on two claims for Eighth Amendment
violations: first, for deliberate indifference to his serious
medical needs, and second, for his unconstitutional
conditions of confinement. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b). The
Court notes that Armor Correctional Health Services, Inc.,
Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department, David A. Clarke,
Jr. and Richard R. Schmidt are not appropriate defendants in
this matter, and will therefore be dismissed. Burks v.
Raemisch, 555 F.3d 592, 595 (7th Cir. 2009); Minix
v. Canarecci, 597 F.3d 824, 833-34 (7th Cir. 2010).
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion
for leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Docket #2)
be and the same is hereby GRANTED;
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion to
pay initial partial filing fee from release account and
motion for extension of time (Docket #6) be and the same is
hereby DENIED as moot;
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants Milwaukee County
Sheriff's Department, Armor Correctional Health Services,
Inc., David A. Clarke, Jr. and Richard R. Schmidt be ...