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Johnson v. Eckstein

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

September 19, 2019

MICHAEL S. JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN SCOTT ECKSTEIN, JOHN KIND, MICHAEL SCHULTZ, CHRISTOPHER STEVENS, JAY VAN LANEN, WILLIAM SWIEKATOWSKI, JAMES ELSINGER, DARCY STEVENS, CHRIS HEIL, and PATRICK BRANT, Defendants.

         ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AND TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER (DKT. NO. 33); DENYING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO REVISE SUMMARY JUDGMENT BRIEFING SCHEDULE (DKT. NO. 43); GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE EXCESS PAGES (DKT. NO. 45) AND DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO COMPEL (DKT. NO. 50)

          HON. PAMELA PEPPER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On August 6, 2018, Judge Barbara B. Crabb allowed the plaintiff to proceed on his Eighth Amendment claim against defendants Van Lanen and Kind for subjecting him to a substantial risk of harm by informing other staff and inmates the plaintiff had orchestrated a gang-related assault; his First Amendment retaliation claim against defendants Swiekatowski, Schultz, James Elsinger, Chris Heil, Darcy Stevens, Christopher Stevens and Patrick Brant for the plaintiff’s filing of specific inmate complaints and for the plaintiff declining to help reduce gang activity; and his Fourteenth Amendment due process claim against defendants Schultz and Elsinger regarding four specific hearings. Dkt. No. 14 at 9-17. She also allowed him to proceed against defendant Scott Eckstein in his official capacity as warden for purposes of pursuing injunctive relief on his First and Eighth Amendment claims. Id. On October 24, 2018, Judge Crabb granted the defendants’ motion to transfer the case to this district. Dkt. No. 24. This court issued a scheduling order on October 30, 2018, setting February 27, 2019 as the deadline for completing discovery and March 29, 2019 as the deadline for filing dispositive motions. Dkt. No. 28.

         Since then, the plaintiff has filed a motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order, dkt. no. 33, and a motion to compel discovery, dkt. no. 50. The defendants have filed a motion for a revised briefing schedule, dkt. no. 42, and a motion for leave to file excess pages, dkt. no. 45. The order resolves those motions.

         A. The Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order (Dkt. No. 33)

         At the time he filed his motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order, the plaintiff was representing himself. About two and a half months later, counsel made an appearance on behalf of the plaintiff. Dkt. No. 45. The plaintiff’s lawyer has not withdrawn the motion for injunctive relief.

         The motion contains a list of incidents that the plaintiff claims constitute retaliation against him by various staff members. The incidents fall into several categories.

o Attempts to get other inmates to turn on the plaintiff
• On March 14, 2018 (the day the court received the complaint), defendants Kind and Van Lanen attempted to get inmate Shirell Watkins to turn on the plaintiff during an interview of the inmate in front of the plaintiff. Dkt. No. 34 at 2-3. The defendants purportedly told Watkins that the December 2016 assault on him was ordered by the plaintiff. Dkt. No. 35, Ex. 1 at 15. According to the plaintiff, Watkins was released from restrictive housing that same day and was expected to be an informant for Kind and Van Lanen against the plaintiff. Dkt. No. 35 at 3.
• At some point, after a gang riot had erupted and was extinguished, the plaintiff states that Kind and Van Lanen interviewed several inmates including Gregory Banks regarding the riot. Dkt. No. 34 at 6. Although the plaintiff was not involved in the riot, Banks, who was, said that the defendants mentioned the plaintiff's name during Banks’s interview. Specifically, the plaintiff states he was told that Van Lanen said, “Amir isn’t going to let it go.” Id.
• The plaintiff alleges that Van Lanen also interviewed inmate Dereal Lott, and Van Lanen purportedly attempted to scare and threaten Lott into cooperating “by claiming that the plaintiff is going to retaliate against him for their attack on the vice lords.” Id.
• The plaintiff says Van Lanen had an argument with an inmate named Antoine Nelson on August 22, 2018, during which the two debated about the plaintiff and his lawsuit. Id. Van Lanen allegedly called the plaintiff a liar. Id.
• On November 22, 2018, the plaintiff alleges that Van Lanen attempted to bribe inmate Jesse Schlichting to “fabricate gang evidence against the plaintiff and his lawsuit.” Id. at 8.
• Van Lanen also tried to get two other inmates to say that the plaintiff ordered and orchestrated Watkins December ...

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