United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
D. PETERSON, DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff Carlos Lindsey, a prisoner at Wisconsin Secure
Prison Facility, has filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. §
1983. He alleges that defendants Warden Gary Boughton,
Security Director Mark Kartman, Unit Supervisor Lebbreus
Brown, and Correctional Sergeant Stephen Schnieder are
putting him in danger by placing him in group recreation with
other inmates who wish to harm him. In addition to his
complaint, Lindsey has moved for injunctive relief, Dkt. 2,
and expedited screening of his complaint, Dkt. 9.
year, I barred Lindsey from filing most types of cases in
this court because of his filing of false and unauthorized
documents. Lindsey v. Johnston, No. 18-cv-398, Dkt.
47 (W.D. Wis. Dec. 17, 2018). Under this sanction, Lindsey
may proceed only on a complaint alleging that he is in
imminent danger of serious physical harm. Id.
Lindsey doesn't make such an allegation, so I will
dismiss his complaint and deny his motions as moot.
following facts are drawn from Lindsey's complaint, Dkt.
8, and from his motion to expedite screening, Dkt. 9. I
accept them as true for the purposes of considering
Lindsey's complaint under his filing bar.
has been on administrative confinement, a form of
segregation, for the seven years he has been incarcerated at
WSPF. Prison officials place inmates in administrative
confinement if they consider the inmate to endanger the
physical safety of staff or other inmates or to threaten the
secure and orderly operation of the prison. Inmates on
administrative confinement can return to the prison's
general population by progressing through the phases of a
program called PACE. Inmates such as Lindsey who are at lower
PACE phases may engage in group recreation with other inmates
if they wish to. But to be in phases two and higher, inmates
must participate in group recreation.
in the highest phases of PACE can participate in group
recreation without restraints. This practice has increased
the frequency of altercations among inmates, particularly
says that defendants Boughton, Kartman, Brown, and Schnieder
have been “intentionally setting inmates up into cage
boxing matches with other inmates” on administrative
confinement. Dkt. 8, at 4. I take Lindsey to be saying that
defendants are intentionally scheduling inmates together for
group recreation knowing that these inmates are likely to
fight one another. Specifically, Lindsey says that Schnieder
intentionally scheduled Lindsey for group recreation with a
fellow inmate, Theraron Wells, who Schnieder knew had
previously assaulted Lindsey. Wells assaulted Lindsey again
during their shared group recreation session, but Schnieder
didn't intervene, even though he could observe the
recreation area via closed-circuit television.
inmates on administrative confinement have told Lindsey that
they will attack him during group recreation when they get
the chance. Lindsey recently asked Kartman to separate him
from four such inmates, but Kartman refused. Unnamed prison
staff have told Lindsey that because of an ongoing conflict
between Lindsey and prison staff, they will arrange for him
to be assaulted by other inmates.
will soon be reviewed for promotion to phase two of PACE, in
which inmates are required to participate in group
recreation. He says this will lead to him being assaulted. He
seeks money damages against the defendants and an injunction
barring the prison from allowing inmates in administrative
confinement to attend recreation without restraints.
requirements of Lindsey's filing bar are based on the
Prison Litigation Reform Act, which prevents inmates with
three “strikes” from filing in forma pauperis
unless they allege “imminent danger of serious physical
injury, ” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). This standard
requires allegations of a real and proximate threat.
Lewis v. Sullivan, 279 F.3d 526, 531 (7th Cir.
2002). The exception provides “an escape hatch for
genuine emergencies” in situations “where time is
complaint doesn't meet this standard. His allegation that
Schneider intentionally scheduled him for group recreation
with Wells only involves a past harm, not imminent danger.
His only allegations involving future danger are those
regarding PACE phase two's group recreation requirements.
He says that he may soon be approved for promotion into this
phase and that this will put him in danger of assault. But he
doesn't say that he can't remain in his current
phase, in which he wouldn't be required to participate in
group recreation. So Lindsey has a choice-avoid the risks of
group recreation by declining promotion into phase two or
accept those risks by accepting promotion.
can choose to avoid the danger he alleges, so that danger
isn't imminent. See Malone v. Ill. Dep't of
Corr., No. 17-cv-935, 2017 WL 5999478, at *4 (S.D.
Ill.Dec. 4, 2017) (plaintiff who could have accepted
placement in solitary confinement to avoid alleged harm
caused by cell overcrowding didn't allege imminent
danger); Williams v. Capps, No. 15-cv-708, 2015 WL
4498775, at *3 (S.D. Ill. July 23, 2015) (plaintiff refusing
to eat prison food he feared contained psychiatric medication
didn't allege imminent danger); Dye v. Bartow,
No. 09-C-660, 2009 WL 10699919, at *2 (E.D. Wis. Oct. 23,
2009) (plaintiff with phobia of public eating who challenged
prison's refusal to allow him to eat meals in his cell
didn't allege ...