United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
William C. Griesbach, District Judge.
Aaron Wright, who is currently serving a state prison
sentence at Fox Lake Correctional Institution and
representing himself, filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, alleging that his civil rights were violated.
This matter comes before the court on Plaintiff's motion
for leave to proceed without prepaying the full filing fee
and to screen the complaint.
to Proceed without Prepayment of the Filing Fee
has requested leave to proceed without prepayment of the full
filing fee (in forma pauperis). A prisoner plaintiff
proceeding in forma pauperis is required to pay the
full amount of the $350.00 filing fee over time. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). Plaintiff has filed a certified
copy of his prison trust account statement for the six-month
period immediately preceding the filing of his complaint, as
required under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(2), and has been
assessed an initial partial filing fee. On October 21, 2019,
Plaintiff filed a motion to waive the initial partial filing
fee asserting that he does not have the funds in his trust
account to pay the initial partial filing fee. On October 31,
2019, Plaintiff paid an initial partial filing fee of $3.20.
The court will therefore deny Plaintiff's motion to waive
the initial partial filing fee as moot and grant
Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without prepaying
the filing fee. Plaintiff must pay the remainder of the
filing fee over time in the manner explained at the end of
of the Complaint
court is required to screen complaints brought by prisoners
seeking relief against a governmental entity or officer or
employee of a governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 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. 28 U.S.C. §
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); Hutchinson ex
rel. Baker v. Spink, 126 F.3d 895, 900 (7th Cir. 1997).
state a cognizable claim under the federal notice pleading
system, 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). The complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter “that is plausible on
its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662,
678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The court accepts the factual
allegations as true and liberally construes them in the
plaintiff's favor. Turley v. Rednour, 729 F.3d
645, 651 (7th Cir. 2013). Nevertheless, the complaint's
allegations “must be enough to raise a right to relief
above the speculative level.” Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555 (citation omitted).
of the Complaint
alleges that on February 21, 2018, Defendant gave Plaintiff
the medication that belonged to Ronnie Wright, another
inmate. After Plaintiff took Ronnie Wright's medication,
Defendant gave Plaintiff his own medication, which Plaintiff
also consumed. In all, Plaintiff took eleven pills causing
him migraine headaches, lightheadedness, fainting, and
psychological distress. He requests that the court award him
$1, 050, 000.00 in damages.
claims Defendant was deliberately indifferent to his medical
needs when she gave him the wrong medication. The Eighth
Amendment prohibits “cruel and unusual
punishments.” U.S. Const. amend. VIII. It imposes a
duty on prison officials to take reasonable measures to
guarantee an inmate's safety and to ensure that the
inmate receives adequate medical care. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994). A prison
official's “deliberate indifference” to a
prisoner's medical needs or to a substantial risk of
serious harm violates the Eighth Amendment. Id. at
828; Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104-05 (1976).
This does not mean, however, that every claim by a prisoner
that he has not received adequate medical treatment states a
violation of the Eighth Amendment. To prove a claim of
deliberate indifference, the plaintiff must allege that
“he suffered from ‘an objectively serious medical
condition' and that the ‘defendant was deliberately
indifferent to that condition.'” Wilson v.
Adams, 901 F.3d 816, 820 (7th Cir. 2018) (quoting
Petties v. Carter, 836 F.3d 722, 728 (7th Cir.
2016)). A condition may be “objectively serious”
if the failure to treat the condition would result in
“further significant injury or the wanton infliction of
pain” or where a reasonable doctor or patient would
find treatment warranted. Gutierrez v. Peters, 111
F.3d 1364, 1373 (7th Cir. 1997). As to the second prong,
deliberate indifference requires more than negligence or
gross negligence; it requires that the defendant knew of, yet
disregarded, an excessive risk to the plaintiff's health
or safety. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 835, 837; see
also Estelle, 429 U.S. at 104.
administering the wrong medication to a plaintiff may pose
substantial risk of harm, the temporary symptoms Plaintiff
experienced, including headache, lightheadedness, and
fainting, are not sufficient to suggest that taking the
medication placed Plaintiff at a substantial risk of serious
harm. In addition, Defendant's isolated mistake does not
raise a plausible inference of deliberate indifference.
See Robbins v. Waupun Correctional Institution, No.
16-CV-1128, 2016 WL 5921822, at *3 (E.D. Wis. Oct. 11, 2016)
(collecting cases). Defendant may have been negligent in
administering the medication, but allegations of negligence
are insufficient to support a claim of deliberate
indifference. See Pierson v. Hartley, 391 F.3d 898,
902 (7th Cir. 2004) (“Negligence on the part of an
official does not violate the Constitution, and it is not
enough that he or she should have known of the risk.”).
The complaint contains no allegations that Defendant
intentionally or recklessly disregarded his serious medical
needs. Plaintiff has provided no arguable basis for relief,
having failed to make any rational argument in law or fact to
support his claims. See House v. Belford, 956 F.2d
711, 720 (7th Cir. 1992) (quoting Williams v.
Faulkner, 837 F.2d 304, 308 (7th Cir. 1988),
aff'd sub nom. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion for
leave to proceed in forma pauperis (Dkt. No. 2) is
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion to
waive the initial partial filing fee ...