United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
Barbara B. Crabb District Judge.
plaintiff and prisoner Alex Jeremy Jay Kobza has filed a
civil action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, contending that he
was denied prompt medical treatment after being attacked
during an inmate transport. His complaint is before the court
for screening under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, to determine
whether it is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted or seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. I conclude
that plaintiff may not proceed with his case at this time
because his complaint does not provide enough information to
support a federal claim, as required by Rule 8 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure. Although I am dismissing
plaintiff's complaint, I will give him an opportunity to
file an amended complaint that explains his claims more
alleges the following facts in his complaint.
September 10, 2018, plaintiff was attacked by another inmate
while he and other inmates were being transported in a van
from Wood County to Waupaca County. Plaintiff suffered a
black and bloody eye, split lip and swollen nose. Plaintiff
yelled that he needed medical attention, but the transport
driver and Victoria C/O did not respond. Once he arrived in
Waupaca County, the transport driver reported that nothing
happened, but plaintiff was taken to receive medical
attention and pictures were taken of his injuries.
contends that defendants violated his constitutional rights
by failing to respond promptly to his need for medical
treatment after he was attacked by another inmate.
Plaintiff's allegations implicate the Eighth and
Fourteenth Amendments. It is not clear what standard governs
plaintiff's claims, because plaintiff does not specify
where he was being detained at the time of the incident and
why. Both the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments impose duties
on state officials regarding the safety and well-being of
individuals in their custody.
plaintiff was serving a sentence as a convicted prisoner at
the time of the incident, his claim is governed by the Eighth
Amendment. The Eighth Amendment “prohibits the
infliction of ‘cruel and unusual punishments' on
those convicted of crimes.” Wilson v. Seiter,
501 U.S. 294, 297 (1991). A prison official violates the
Eighth Amendment if the official acts with “deliberate
indifference” to a “substantial risk of serious
harm” to an inmate's health or safety. Farmer
v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994). “Deliberate
indifference” means that the officials are aware that
the prisoner faced a substantial risk of serious harm or
“‘excessive risk to [the prisoner's] health
or safety, '” but disregard the risk by consciously
failing to take reasonable measures to prevent it. Gevas
v. McLaughlin, 798 F.3d 475, 480 (7th Cir. 2015)
(quoting Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837); Forbes v.
Edgar, 112 F.3d 262, 266 (7th Cir. 1997).
Fourteenth Amendment applies to claims brought by pretrial
detainees, who are not convicted prisoners, and prohibits any
type of punishment against pretrial detainees. Youngberg
v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307, 320 (1982); Bell v.
Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535 (1979). Under this standard,
a detainee plaintiff need not prove the defendant's
subjective state of mind; he need show only that the
defendant's actions were “objectively
unreasonable.” Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 135
S.Ct. 2466, 2473 (2015); Miranda v. Cty. of Lake,
900 F.3d 335, 352 (7th Cir. 2018). This means that jail
officials must respond reasonably to the needs of prisoners.
allegations are somewhat difficult to follow, but they do not
appear to support a claim under either the Eighth or
Fourteenth Amendment against any defendant. He alleges that
another inmate attacked him during a transport, but he does
not allege that any defendant knew that the inmate was going
to attack him or that any defendant was responsible for
causing plaintiff's injuries. He alleges that neither the
transport driver nor Victoria C/O, whom I presume is a
correctional officer, gave him immediate medical treatment.
However, he alleges that he received medical treatment when
he arrived in Waupaca County, and he does not allege that he
needed emergency medical treatment that would have justified
stopping the inmate transport van in the middle of the trip.
He also states that defendants should have been more
sympathetic to his injuries, but defendants' lack of
sympathy does not amount to a constitutional violation.
plaintiff's allegations are somewhat difficult to follow,
it may be that I have misunderstood his allegations about the
underlying incident. Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), a complaint
must include "a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." This
means that the complaint must provide notice to the
defendants of what plaintiff believes they did to violate his
rights. Additionally, the complaint must contain enough
allegations of fact to support a claim under federal law.
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678-79 (2009)
(citing Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544
(2007)). Plaintiff's complaint does not meet this
standard, but I will give him the opportunity to clarify his
claims and include the allegations that are missing.
plaintiff chooses to file an amended complaint, he should
keep it short and to the point and draft it as if he were
telling a story to people who know nothing about his
situation. In particular, he should include allegations that
would allow someone reading the complaint to answer the
• Where was plaintiff incarcerated at the time of the