United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge
Michael Dennis Mayotte, an inmate confined at the Lincoln
County Jail, filed a pro se complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that City of Milwaukee police
officers failed to conduct a thorough investigation after
Plaintiff suffered serious injuries when he was hit by a car.
Magistrate Judge William Duffin screened the original
complaint and determined that it did not state a plausible
federal claim for relief. ECF No. 9. Judge Duffin ordered
that Plaintiff could file an amended complaint to clarify
what claim, if any, he wanted to bring against Defendants.
Plaintiff has filed an amended complaint alleging that
Defendants failed to notify him that criminal charges had
been brought against the individual driving the car that hit
him, violating his state and federal rights as a crime
victim. However, because not all parties have had the
opportunity to consent to magistrate judge jurisdiction, the
case was reassigned to this District Judge for entry of this
order screening Plaintiff’s amended complaint.
Screening the Amended Complaint
Federal Screening Standard
the PLRA, the court must screen complaints brought by
prisoners seeking relief from a governmental entity or
officer or employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(a). The court must dismiss a complaint if the
prisoner raises 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. 28 U.S.C. §
determining whether the complaint states a claim, the court
applies the same standard that applies to dismissals under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). See Cesal v.
Moats, 851 F.3d 714, 720 (7th Cir. 2017) (citing
Booker-El v. Superintendent, Ind. State Prison, 668
F.3d 896, 899 (7th Cir. 2012)). To state a claim, a complaint
must include “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). The complaint must contain enough
facts, accepted as true, to “state a claim for relief
that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows a court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. (citing
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556).
state a claim for relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege that someone deprived him of a right
secured by the Constitution or the laws of the United States,
and that whoever deprived him of this right was acting under
the color of state law. D.S. v. E. Porter Cty. Sch.
Corp., 799 F.3d 793, 798 (7th Cir. 2015) (citing
Buchanan–Moore v. Cty. of Milwaukee, 570 F.3d
824, 827 (7th Cir. 2009)). The court construes pro
se complaints liberally and holds them to a less
stringent standard than pleadings drafted by lawyers.
Cesal, 851 F.3d at 720 (citing Perez v.
Fenoglio, 792 F.3d 768, 776 (7th Cir. 2015)).
names as defendant Milwaukee County District Attorney John T.
Chisholm, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s
Office, the Victim Witness Coordinator of Milwaukee County,
and Bryant Mychal Beckley. Plaintiff alleges that on June 2,
2017, he was the victim of a major crash that resulted in the
arrest of Defendant Beckley for a felony charge of Knowingly
Operating After Suspension and Causing Bodily Injury, in
violation of Wisconsin state law. After the crash, Defendant
Beckley was arrested and taken to District 4 for booking and
processing. On June 7, 2017, the Milwaukee County District
Attorney’s Office failed to notify Plaintiff and his
family that criminal charges were filed against Beckley. When
Plaintiff was released from medical care on September 14,
2017, the District Attorney’s Office had still not
informed him that criminal charges were filed. Plaintiff
wrote to the Victim Witness Coordinator on March 11, 2019,
but never heard a response.
claims that his rights under the United States Constitution
and the Wisconsin Constitution have been violated. For
relief, he seeks $100 million.
initial matter, the Milwaukee County District
Attorney’s Office is not a suable entity under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. See Omegbu v. Milwaukee Cnty.,
326 Fed.App’x 940, 942 (7th Cir. 2009); see also
Buchanan v. City of Kenosha, 57 F.Supp.2d 675, 679 (E.D.
Wis. 1999). Also, Plaintiff may not sue Defendant Beckley
under § 1983 because he does not allege that Beckley, a
private citizen, acted under color of state law, nor does
Plaintiff allege that Beckley violated his rights under
federal law. Regarding defendant Chisholm, state prosecutors
enjoy absolute immunity from suits under § 1983 for
activities that are “intimately associated with the
judicial phase of the criminal process.” Foreman v.
Wadsworth, 844 F.3d 620, 624 (7th Cir. 2016) (quoting
Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 430 (1976)). The
court need not determine whether the activity Plaintiff
describes – failure to notify him, a crime victim, that
criminal charges had been filed against Buckley – falls
under this description because Plaintiff makes no specific
allegation regarding Chisholm and because Plaintiff has not
alleged facts sufficient to state a claim that his
constitutional rights were violated.
does not have an actionable claim under Wisconsin state law
that he is a victim of crimes committed by Defendant Beckley.
Wisconsin law does not permit a victim of a crime to bring an
action for money damages against the state or any political
subdivision, agent, or employee thereof. See Wis.
Stat. § 950.10 (2017-18). Simply put, Plaintiff does not
state a claim under federal or state law.