United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
LATASHA R. ARMSTEAD, Plaintiff,
ADAM KOLLMANN, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR
J. NOVAK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
JUDGMENT AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
Armstead, a Wisconsin inmate representing herself, filed a
lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Armstead alleges that
Correctional Officer Adam Kollmann violated the Eighth
Amendment when he ignored her threats of self-harm. Before me
are the parties' motions for summary judgment. For the
reasons explained below, I will deny Armstead's motion,
grant Officer Kollmann's motion, and dismiss this case.
facts are relatively straightforward, although the parties
recall how they unfolded differently. On August 26, 2018,
Officer Kollmann was working in the control center of the MC
Unit at Taycheedah Correctional, where Armstead was
incarcerated. (ECF No. 23 at ¶ 2.) That day, the day
space (the common area of the MC Unit) was closed because the
space was needed to assist in moving twelve inmates to other
institutions. (Id. at ¶ 5.)
about 6 p.m., Armstead pushed the emergency call button in
her cell to speak with the officer at the unit desk. (ECF No.
23 at ¶ 6.) Officer Kollmann answered, and, according to
him, she asked him why the day space was closed.
(Id.) Officer Kollmann asserts that he explained the
reason to her. (Id.) About five minutes later, she
called again to complain about the day space being closed.
(Id. at ¶ 7.) Officer Kollmann states that
Armstead asked to see a “white shirt, ” that is,
a lieutenant or captain. (Id.) Officer Kollmann
states that he asked Armstead if she had any thoughts of
self-harm, and she responded only that she wanted to see a
white shirt. (Id.) According to Officer Kollmann,
Armstead never said anything about wanting to harm herself
and she did not request to speak to psychological services.
(Id.) After Officer Kollmann discussed the situation
with Sergeant Molina (who is not a defendant), Sergeant
Molina determined there was no reason to contact a supervisor
or any medical personnel. (Id.)
Kollmann explains that Armstead pressed her emergency call
button several more times over the course of the next hour.
(ECF No. 23 at ¶ 8.) Each time, she demanded to speak to
a white shirt about the day space being closed.
(Id.) Officer Kollmann states that at no time did
Armstead give any indication that she intended to harm
herself. (Id.) Accordingly, neither he nor Sergeant
Molina ever contacted a supervisor. (Id.)
noted, Armstead remembers her interactions with Officer
Kollmann differently. Although Armstead did not directly
respond to Officer Kollmann's proposed findings of fact,
she did file a sworn amended complaint and two declarations
in support of her motion for summary judgment. (ECF Nos. 13,
29, 30-1 at 17.) Armstead asserts that she pressed her
emergency call button four times to alert staff that she was
upset about the day space being closed. According to
Armstead, each time she spoke to Officer Kollmann, she told
him that she was “having a mental medical emergency and
d[id]n't feel safe in [her] room.” (ECF No. 13 at
2.) Armstead also asserts that she informed him of her mental
health status and said she was going to cut herself if she
did not get out of the room and see psychological services.
(Id.; ECF No. 29 at ¶ 2.) She asserts that
Kollmann told her that the sergeant was busy and, if she
wanted to see psychological services, she “needed to
drop a slip.” (ECF No. 30-1 at 17.)
explains that, when help did not come, she cut her arm with a
razor. (ECF No. 29 at ¶ 3.) Armstead submitted
affidavits from three prisoners. (ECF No. 30-1 at 19-21.)
None of the prisoners were housed in the same cell as
Armstead on the date in question, and none witnessed Armstead
cut her arm. (Id.) The prisoners merely state that
Armstead told them that she had cut her arm. (Id.)
Kollmann asserts that neither he nor Sergeant Molina are
aware of Armstead injuring herself that night. (ECF No. 23 at
¶ 19.) He explains that there is no evidence that
Armstead cut her arm that night. Armstead never requested or
received medical attention related to cuts on her arms.
(Id. at ¶¶ 20-21.) The health services
request slip she submitted that night did not indicate that
she had engaged in any self-harm or that she needed any
treatment for cuts or other injuries. (Id. at ¶
23.) Armstead said only, “Also some thing took place
today and I had a mental medical emergency and was denied
help. Just a FYI.” (ECF No. 26-1 at 3.)
the next day, Armstead saw Dr. Mary Ferguson in psychological
services. (ECF No. 23 at ¶ 24.) She states that Armstead
never claimed that she had cut herself the night before; she
stated only that she had banged her head on the wall, but her
cellmate had helped her calm down. (Id.) Dr.
Ferguson explains that she is aware of Armstead's history
of cutting herself, so she is confident that she would have
included information in her notes if she had observed any
evidence suggesting that Armstead had cut herself the night
judgment is required where “there is no genuine dispute
as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a);
see also Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 247-48 (1986); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986); Ames v. Home Depot U.S.A.,
Inc., 629 F.3d 665, 668 (7th Cir. 2011). When
considering a motion for summary judgment, the court takes
evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party
and must grant the motion if no reasonable juror could find
for that party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248, 255 (1986). “Material facts” are
those under the applicable substantive law that “might
affect the outcome of the suit.” Anderson ...