United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
William C. Griesbach, District Judge
Luis Granados, Jr., who is currently serving a state prison
sentence at the Racine County Jail and representing himself,
filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. Â§ 1983, alleging that his
civil rights were violated. In an October 4, 2019 screening
order, the court dismissed Plaintiff's complaint without
prejudice and allowed Plaintiff to file an amended complaint
curing the defects in the original complaint. On November 4,
2019, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint. The court will
now screen the amended complaint.
of the Amended 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 Amended Complaint
alleges he was transferred from a prison to the Racine County
Jail for a court proceeding and was housed in the Jail's
segregation unit. On May 8, 2016, an inmate in the
segregation unit propped his cell door open. Officer Noonan
became aware of the situation and ordered the inmate to keep
his door closed. On May 9, 2016, Plaintiff got into a verbal
altercation with that inmate. Deputy Drewitz opened the other
inmate's cell door and allowed the other inmate to speak
to Plaintiff. At that time, Plaintiff pushed his emergency
button and began to yell that the other inmate was going to
prop his door open and assault Plaintiff. Deputy Drewitz
ignored Plaintiff's concerns. Plaintiff then began his
one hour of recreation. The other inmate continued to
threaten Plaintiff and told Plaintiff his door was propped
open. Plaintiff informed Deputy Drewitz that the inmate's
door was propped open and that he was threatening to attack
Plaintiff. Deputy Drewitz replied that Plaintiff was
“okay” and ignored Plaintiff. The inmate then
came out of his cell and attacked Plaintiff. Plaintiff claims
the inmate struck him and threw him to the ground, causing
severe neck pain, bruising, and a laceration to the left side
of Plaintiff's neck. Plaintiff seeks compensation for his
injuries and the violation of his rights.
claims that Deputy Drewitz violated his rights by failing to
protect him and that Officer Noonan violated his rights by
ignoring the fact that the inmate's cell door was easily
manipulated and did nothing to protect the other inmates. The
Eighth Amendment prohibits “cruel and unusual
punishments” and imposes a duty on jail officials to
ensure that inmates receive adequate food, clothing, shelter,
and medical care and to take reasonable measures to guarantee
an inmate's safety. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 832 (1994); see U.S. Const. amend. VIII. Jail
officials have a duty to protect inmates from violence caused
by other inmates when they are aware that the inmate faced
“a substantial risk of serious harm” and
“disregard[ed] that risk by failing to take reasonable
measures to abate it.” Farmer, 511 U.S. at
847; see also Pierson v. Hartley, 391 F.3d 898,
903-04 (7th Cir. 2004). In this case, Plaintiff alleges that,
even though Deputy Drewitz knew about the risk of assault
posed by the inmate, he refused to take any action to
mitigate the risk. At this stage, Plaintiff has stated a
failure to protect claim against Deputy Drewitz.
has not stated a claim against Officer Noonan, however.
Damages for a “deliberate indifference claim cannot be
predicated merely on knowledge of general risks of
violence.” Weiss v. Cooley, 230 F.3d 1027,
1032 (7th Cir. 2000). The complaint must contain allegations
that the officials were aware of a specific, impending, and
substantial threat to the plaintiff's safety. See
Pope v. Shafer, 86 F.3d 90, 92 (7th Cir. 1996).
Plaintiff does not allege any facts to suggest that Officer
Noonan was aware of any substantial risk of serious harm to
Plaintiff or any specific threat to Plaintiff's safety.
Accordingly, Plaintiff's claim against Officer Noonan
will be dismissed.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Officer Noonan is
DISMISSED as a defendant.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the United States Marshal
shall serve a copy of the complaint and this order upon
defendant Drewitz pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
4. Plaintiff is advised that Congress requires the U.S.
Marshals Service to charge for making or attempting such
service. 28 U.S.C. § 1921(a). The current fee for
waiver-of-service packages is $8.00 per item mailed. The full
fee schedule is provided at 28 C.F.R. §§
0.114(a)(2)-(3). Although Congress requires the court to
order service by the U.S. Marshals Service precisely because
in forma pauperis plaintiffs are indigent, it has
not made any provision for these fees to be waived either by
the court or by the U.S. Marshals Service.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendant Drewitz shall file
a responsive pleading to the complaint.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that copies of the complaint and
this order be sent to the administrator of the Racine County
Jail, as well as the Racine County ...