United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO
PROCEED WITHOUT PREPAYING FILING FEE (DKT. NO. 2), SCREENING
COMPLAINT UNDER 28 U.S.C. §1915A AND DISMISSING
PAMELA PEPPER CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Harris, who is confined at the Racine Correctional
Institution, and who is representing himself, filed a
complaint under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that the
defendants violated his civil rights. Dkt. No. 1. This
decision resolves the plaintiff's motion for leave to
proceed without prepaying the filing fee, dkt. no. 2, and
screens the complaint, dkt. no. 1.
Motion for Leave to Proceed without Prepaying the Filing Fee
(Dkt. No. 2)
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) applies to this case
because the plaintiff 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 then must pay the balance of the $350
filing fee over time, through deductions from his prisoner
November 5, 2019, the court ordered the plaintiff to pay an
initial partial filing fee of $20.38. Dkt. No. 6. The court
received that fee on November 20, 2019. The court will grant
the plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed without
prepaying the filing fee and will allow him to 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 an
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 it applies when considering
whether to dismiss a case 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 liberally construes
complaints filed by plaintiffs who are representing
themselves and holds such complaints 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)).
The Plaintiff's Allegations
plaintiff has sued Correctional Officer Jester and the
Milwaukee County Jail administration. Dkt. No. 1 at 1. His
allegations relate to events that occurred while he was an
inmate at the Milwaukee County Jail.
plaintiff alleges that sometime between September 22 and 24,
2018, Jester came to his cell to address the plaintiff's
malfunctioning sink; the plaintiff says that Jester had been
notified about the sink earlier. Id. at 2. After
asking the plaintiff to step out of his cell, Jester went to
the sink and “pressed the b[u]tton” on the sink,
which caused water to “come out all over her (from the
sink).” Id. The plaintiff says that Jester
then stepped aside and pushed the button again, which caused
water to go “all over” the floor. Id. He
alleges that Jester did not give the plaintiff any cleaning
supplies or help him clean up the water (as had happened in
the past). Id. When the plaintiff asked to speak to
someone higher up to “see if [he] could be moved,
” Jester refused and said she would put in a work order
about the sink. Id. at 3.
returned two hours later to tell the inmates it was time to
eat. Id. The plaintiff again requested to move to
another cell because of the sink, and Jester again refused
his request. Id. When the plaintiff returned to his
cell after eating, he slipped on the water and fell onto his
back, injuring himself. Id. The plaintiff saw a
doctor at the Health Services Unit, and was told that there
was “something wrong (injury).” Id. He
filed a grievance about the incident, but says he was
“moved due to that write up of the C.O.”
Id. He asserts that Jester “should have done
more to prevent the slip/fall, and the subsequent injuries
that [he] sustained, but she took matters into her own hands,