United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
LEIGHTON D. LINDSEY, Plaintiff,
RENEE SCHULER, MICHAEL DITTMANN, MAUREEN WHITE, ANGELICA FOX, TERESA GAIER, SHANE HINTON, JOSHUA CRAFT AND JOHN DOE NURSES 1-3, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
BARBARA B. CRABB DISTRICT JUDGE.
plaintiff Leighton D. Lindsey is proceeding on claims that
prison staff at the Columbia Correctional Institution
repeatedly delayed providing him adequate medical treatment
for an abscess under his chin. Plaintiff has filed several
motions that are now before the court.
plaintiff filed a motion to compel responses to his first set
of discovery requests. Dkt. #37. He contends that defendants
failed to send responses to his interrogatories and requests
for admissions that were aimed at discovering the names of
the Doe nurses. After plaintiff filed his motion, defendants
provided responses to plaintiff's discovery requests.
Plaintiff concedes that his motion to compel is moot, so I
will deny the motion.
plaintiff agrees that his motion to compel is moot, he filed
a motion requesting monetary sanctions for defendants'
delay in providing the discovery responses, dkt. #39, and
motions to extend the discovery cutoff date due to
defendants' delay. Dkt. #47 and #64. I will deny these
motions as well. Plaintiff has not showed that defendants
intentionally delayed in responding to his discovery
requests. Defendants submitted a declaration from a paralegal
at the Department of Justice, explaining that defendants
acted promptly in responding to plaintiff's discovery
requests as soon as they received plaintiff's medical
authorization form. Dkt. #49. In addition, plaintiff has not
shown that he was prejudiced by any delay in receiving the
responses. As for his request to extend the discovery cutoff
date, that motion is unnecessary. The discovery cutoff is not
until May 29, 2020.
next set of motions concern the law library in the
segregation unit. Plaintiff filed a motion requesting that
prison staff change the handcuffing procedures for access to
the segregation law library computer. Dkt. #40. He says that
prisoners are handcuffed and tethered to a chair in the
library, making it impossible for him to use the computer
mouse. He asks that the court order that his right hand be
uncuffed so he can reach the mouse at the computer. He also
filed a motion complaining that the law library was updated
recently so that all legal materials are now online.
Plaintiff says that he has had difficulty finding legal
materials because he is not computer literate and does not
know how to use Lexis Nexis Advance. He asks that the court
order prison staff to put legal books back into the law
library. Dkt. #42.
deny both of these motions at this time. Plaintiff's
motion concerning his ability to use the computer mouse is
undermined by his second motion stating that he has attempted
to use the library's computer to find cases but cannot
navigate Lexis Nexis. Plaintiff does not explain how he is
using the computer if he cannot reach the mouse. As for his
complaint about not having legal books in the library,
plaintiff has not shown that his lack of access to books has
impeded his ability to litigate this case. Prisoners have a
constitutional right of meaningful access to the courts, so
prison authorities must provide adequate law libraries or
assistance from persons trained in the law. Bounds v.
Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 812, 823 (1977). In this instance,
however, plaintiff has not shown that the segregation law
library is inadequate. He has stated that he does not know
how to use the computer system, but he does not say whether
there is someone who can teach him how to use it. It is also
likely that plaintiff will learn how to use the new system
with practice. Moreover, plaintiff has not explained what
legal materials in particular he needs to litigate this case
at this time. Defendants have not yet filed a motion for
summary judgment, so plaintiff has no current court
deadlines. Plaintiff's focus now should be on obtaining
the factual evidence he needs to prove his claims.
has also filed two motions requesting the ability to review
his medical files. Dkt. #52 and #67. These motions will be
denied. Defendants' responses show that plaintiff has
been permitted to review his medical file at least once, that
defendants have sent him copies of relevant medical records
and that he will be permitted another medical file review
after Columbia Correctional Institution is no longer on
lockdown. Plaintiff has provided no reason why he should be
entitled to a medical file review while the prison is on
lockdown. That being said, if plaintiff is unable to prepare
a response to defendants' motion for summary judgment
because of the ongoing lockdown, he should request an
extension of his response deadline.
also deny plaintiff's motion regarding his mail. Dkt.
#59. Plaintiff says that there have been delays in sending
and receiving his legal and other mail, and that the delays
are in retaliation for his lawsuits against prison staff.
However, plaintiff has not shown that any delays have
prejudiced his ability to litigate this case, and if
plaintiff wants to pursue a retaliation claim against mail
room staff, he must do so in a separate lawsuit.
plaintiff filed a recent set of motions regarding discovery
and the summary judgment deadline. He filed a motion to
compel defendants to provide more complete responses to his
requests for admissions. Dkt. #62. However, a review of
defendants' responses shows that they are adequate and
that plaintiff's objections amount to arguments over word
choice and the merits of his claims. Therefore, I will deny
the motion to compel. As for plaintiff's request to
extend the summary judgment deadline because of discovery
disputes and pending motions, dkt. #68 and #69, I will deny
that motion as moot. The court has now resolved all of the
pending motions and discovery requests.
ORDERED that plaintiff Leighton D. Lindsey's motions to
compel, dkt. ##37, 62, 63, for sanctions, dkt. #39, for
access to the law library computers, dkt. #40, for an
adequate law library, dkt. #42, for discovery extension, dkt.
##47, 64, 65, for medical file review, dkt. #52, 67, ...