United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
WILLIAM E. DUFFIN U.S. MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Rodney Jett, an inmate confined at Green Bay Correctional
Institution, filed a pro se complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the defendants violated his
constitutional rights. This order resolves Jett's motion
for leave to proceed without prepaying the filing fee and
screens his complaint.
court has jurisdiction to resolve Jett's motion to
proceed without prepaying the filing fee and to screen the
complaint in light of Jett's consent to the full
jurisdiction of a magistrate judge and the Wisconsin
Department of Justice's limited consent to the exercise
of magistrate judge jurisdiction as set forth in the
Memorandum of Understanding between the Wisconsin Department
of Justice and this court.
Motion for Leave to Proceed without Prepaying the Filing
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) applies to this case
because Jett 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 30, 2019, the court ordered Jett to pay an initial
partial filing fee of $28.30. (ECF No. 7.) Jett paid that fee
on October 31, 2019. The court will grant Jett's motion
for leave to proceed without prepaying the filing fee. He
must pay the remainder of the 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 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)).
alleges that, on March 21, 2018, unidentified officers
unnecessarily used an incapacitating chemical agent in an
excessive amount on another inmate living on the restricted
housing unit. According to Jett, officers did not turn off
the air handlers prior to using the chemical agent. As a
result, the chemical agent allegedly filled Jett's cell.
explains that he has asthma and exposure to the chemical
agent made it difficult for him to breathe. Jett states that
he suffered “non-stop gagging, coughing and choking
constantly, causing his eyes, sinus, and lungs to constantly
burn causing [him] to constantly be in pain for several
hours, believing he was going to die.” (ECF No. 1 at
3.) Jett alleges that he pushed his emergency call button and
explained that his asthma was giving him problems and ...