United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
WILLIAM E. DUFFIN U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Joshua Lee Vinson, Sr., an inmate confined at the Racine
County Jail, filed a pro se complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that his constitutional rights
were violated. About a month after filing his complaint, he
filed an amended complaint, which he may do once without the
court's permission. This order resolves Vinson's
motion for leave to proceed without prepaying the filing fee
and his motion to waive the initial partial filing fee and
screens his amended complaint.
Motion for Leave to Proceed without Prepaying the Filing
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) applies to this case
because Vinson was a prisoner when he filed his complaint.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(h). The PLRA allows the
court to give a prisoner plaintiff the ability to proceed
with his case without prepaying the civil case filing fee. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2). When funds exist, the prisoner must
pay an initial partial filing fee. 28 U.S.C. §
1915(b)(1). He must then pay the balance of the $350 filing
fee over time, through deductions from his prisoner account.
September 19, 2019, the court ordered Vinson to pay an
initial partial filing fee of $18.42. (ECF No. 8.) About a
week later, Vinson filed a motion asking the court to waive
the initial partial filing fee. (ECF No. 9.) He explains that
his account balance is in the negative, he cannot earn money
at the jail, and he has no outside financial support. The
court will grant Vinson's motion to waive the initial
partial filing fee and will grant his motion for leave to
proceed without prepaying the filing fee. He must pay the
$350 filing fee over time in the manner explained at the end
of this order.
Screening the 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 it 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)).
sues the “State of Wisconsin Branch 4 Court
Racine” for violating his due process rights. He
explains that the prosecuting attorney added two additional
counts in an amended information on the same day his criminal
trial started. While he was allegedly acquitted of those
additional counts, he was convicted of two other counts.
Vinson asserts that the counts he was convicted of did not
appear in the amended information. Vinson explained to his
attorney how his due process rights had been violated, but
his attorney allegedly told him there was nothing he could
do. According to Vinson, his attorney then filed a motion for
a competency examination.
asserts that, on August 23, 2019, he informed the court that
the charge he was convicted of did not appear in the amended
information. In response, the prosecuting attorney allegedly
informed the court she would be filing new charges, which she
allegedly did about three weeks later.
states that he is innocent of all the charges. He asks to be
released from jail, for compensatory damages, and for