United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM M. CONLEY DISTRICT JUDGE.
se plaintiff David DeBauche, a prisoner at Columbia
Correctional Institution (“CCI”), filed these two
lawsuits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that
several dozen defendants have been violating his
constitutional rights in a multitude of ways. While DeBauche
complains about a variety of issues in both lawsuits, his
main focus in Case No. 17-cv-454 (“the ’454
case”) is his continued placement in administrative
confinement, and the focus in Case No. 17-cv-524 (“the
’524 case”) is his medical care at CCI. Since
filing his complaints, he has filed supplements in both
lawsuits, which the court has reviewed along with his
complaints for purposes of screening under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A. However, both of DeBauche’s complaints are too
unwieldy to proceed as one lawsuit each, so DeBauche will be
required to submit an amended complaint in each lawsuit that
corrects the deficiencies described below.
is presently confined at CCI, where the events comprising his
claims in both lawsuits took place.
Case No. 17-cv-454
following defendants were employed at CCI during the relevant
time period: Warden M. Dittman; “Assistant”
Warden Rick; Security Director Lucas Weber; Captain Morgan;
Unit Manager L. Walker; Program Services Supervisor
Neuhauser; Inmate Complaint Examiner (“ICE”) Mary
Leiser; Inmate Complaint Supervisor Isaac Hart; Unit Manager
Fink A. Bender; Correctional Officers Hunter, Stahl, Price
and Kraft; and CCI Administrative Committee members Jane and
John Doe. DeBauche also names C. O’Donnell and the
Wisconsin Department of Corrections (“DOC”).
DeBauche’s allegations span from 2007 to the time he
filed his complaint.
False Conduct Reports and Continued Administrative
appears to be challenging his continued placement on
administrative confinement, which he claims is premised on
false conduct reports. DeBauche blames Walker, Dittman, Ruck,
Weber, Morgan and Neuhauser for this status, which he
represents has been continuous since 2007.
challenges the December 2016 decision to keep him on
administrative confinement, which appears to be memorialized
in Exhibits B and C to his complaint. (Pl. Exs. B, C (dkt.
#1-1 at 2-4).) DeBauche claims that the individuals that
recommended his continued placement made false statements
about his willingness to meet with them. He also challenges
the May 2017 decision to keep him on administrative
confinement status, and references Exhibit A to his
complaint, a document that appears to memorialize that
placement. (Pl. Ex. A (dkt. #1-1, at 1-2).) That document
lists several disciplinary actions taken against DeBauche
between 2007 and 2016. DeBauche claims these conduct reports
were baseless, but CCI staff since have been citing to those
conduct reports to justify his continued placement on
administrative confinement status. DeBauche adds that various
CCI officials also issued him false conduct reports after he
filed another lawsuit, DeBauche v. James, No.
13-cv-553 (W.D. Wis. dismissed Jan. 11, 2016) (“the
’553 case”). He claims that defendant Leiser was
appointed to serve as his advocate, but she did nothing to
Complaints about Access to Courts and Handling of Legal
claims that various CCI staff took actions that prevented him
from litigating his claims in the ’553 case, as well as
other matters. Apparently in 2014, he was moved to a
different cell and CO Hunter destroyed all of his legal
materials when he was moved. Additionally, when the
institution was on lockdown status, he lost access to the law
also claims that in 2017, prison staff enforced a policy
promulgated by Security Director Weber that essentially
forces prisoners to give up time in the day room for time in
the law library. He also complains about a policy that began
in June of 2017, in which prisoners were more restricted in
their law library time and were prohibited from using other
prisoners for help in legal matters.
also claims that his inability to access more legal loans has
created a barrier to the courts. In particular, CCI’s
business office employees have frozen his trust account,
denying him the ability to pay filing fees. He further claims
that the business office has been inappropriately charging
him for legal materials that he never received.
also includes some allegations complaining that his legal
mail has been opened outside of his presence, but he does not
provide any details about when this has occurred or who
opened his legal mail. He adds that his legal mail has
previously been held for up to three months before delivery,
apparently in an effort to cause him to miss court deadlines.
He claims that A. Bender was involved in these events but
does not provide any more detail than that.
claims that ICE Leiser has refused to accept numerous inmate
complaints he has filed, and that Isaac Hart has participated
in her refusal to accept his complaints.
Conditions of confinement
includes several narratives complaining about various aspects
of his conditions of confinement, but provides very little
detail about when he was subjected to these conditions or who
was involved. First, he complains generally about
overcrowding and a difficulty accessing clean clothing and
bedding. DeBauche alleges that has been unable to purchase
necessary health, hygiene, canteen and other items, but he
has not provided any details about who he has complained
about these problems to, or when he has had these issues.
However, he does state that in May of 2017, Unit Manager
Walker was aware that inmates were not receiving enough food.
DeBauche includes allegations related to the condition of
meal trays and that the heat in his cell is only turned on
from November through March. DeBauche vaguely describes a few
instances in October of 2016 when his blanket and warm
clothes were removed from his cell and later returned, as
well as a point in 2017 when a fire near his unit caused him
to have difficulty breathing and an officer just told him to
DeBauche adds stray allegations that he has not been able to
receive communion on Christmas or Easter because he was in
in a supplement to his complaint, DeBauche claims he has been
harassed by officers Stahl, Price, Kraft and Fink in
retaliation for filing this lawsuit. Specifically, on
September 5, 2017, the toilet in DeBauche’s cell
overflowed, covering his floor and toilet in feces and
sewage. After being briefly moved to the showers, DeBauche
was moved back to the dirty cell. At one point, he was given
a single rag to clean the mess. Officer Stahl allegedly
laughed at him and refused to provide additional cleaning
supplies. Later, in April of 2018, Unit Manager Fink
apparently sent DeBauche to restrictive housing and when he
returned, he was missing various items, including his legal
materials related to this case. Apparently Fink refused to
help find these items, in an effort to prevent him from
litigating this case.
outlines an incident on March 6, 2017, in which Nurse Walters
sexually assaulted him during an examination by needlessly
exposing his genitals in front of correctional officers. He
claims that his complaints about it were ignored.
Case No. 17-cv-524
allegations in this case similarly span several years, from
approximately 2012 to 2017. The main theme of this case
challenges how CCI staff handled his physical and mental
health treatment. However, like in the ’474 case,
DeBauche includes various general complaints about the
conditions of his confinement, retaliatory conduct since he
filed this lawsuit and he repeats the alleged sexual assault
by Walters in 2017.
the named defendants were employed at CCI during the relevant
time period, and include: Drs. Suebke, Suliene, Martin,
Stange, Hoffman, Callister, Griffin, and Syed; nurses
Dejarden and Walters; Warden Dittman; Sergeant Chattman; CCI
Health Services Unit (“HSU”) managers Anderson,
Mashak, and Gohde; L. Walker; and correctional officers
Stahl, Price and Kraft.
Treatment of Allergies
2006, DeBauche has suffered from an allergic reaction to the
detergent used for laundering his clothes, bedding, and
towels. The contact causes him painful eye irritation, a body
rash, and severe difficulty breathing because his sinuses
swell up. In 2006, Dr. Martin confirmed this allergy and