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Jones v. Dittman

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

January 15, 2020

DAMONT'A JONES, Plaintiff,


          WILLIAM M. CONLEY District Judge

         Pro se plaintiff Damont'a Jones, a prisoner at Columbia Correctional Institution, filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Jones claims that defendants, 19 Columbia employees, violated his constitutional rights with respect to their handling of his conditions of confinement and medical care. While Jones's complaint is ready for screening as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, even construing its allegations generously and in his favor, Jones's complaint must be dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.[1]


         Plaintiff Damont'a Jones was incarcerated at Columbia during the relevant time period. All 19 defendants are or were Columbia employees during the relevant time period: Columbia Warden Michael Dittman, Sergeant Dittman, Correctional Officer (“CO”) Fisher, Third Shift Supervisor Miller, Sgt. Jaunke, Sgt. Jakuzs, CO Lervic, CO Brandal, Sgt. Locke, Sgt. Garry, CO 2 Kratz, Sgt. Peterson (L.P.), RN Navarro, RN Dietrich, CO 2 Catlin, Unit Manager Hicks, Sgt. Freitog, Security Director Weber, and Security Segolowski.

         During the morning of July 26, 2017, Sgt. Dittman informed Jones that there were bugs on the hallway wall and door, and Jones informed him that he had seen bugs coming in from his cell window. Sgt. Dittman suggested that Jones ask the first shift sergeant to come and spray. That night, Jones instead asked third shift CO Fisher if he could spray the bugs because they were biting him. Fisher responded that he had to call his supervisor. Later that night, Jones followed up with Fisher, who told Jones that the third shift supervisor, Miller, was looking into getting some spray.

         A few hours later (2 a.m. on July 27), Jones asked Fisher to call a lieutenant or captain, and Fisher agreed. About ten minutes later, Miller came to his cell, and Jones showed him the bugs in the hallway and his cell. Jones further asked for bug spray because the bugs were biting him. Miller said he did not have any spray, but he or Fisher would leave a note for the first shift. Apparently, however, neither Miller nor Fisher left such a note.

         At about 6:25 a.m. that morning, Jones asked Sgt. Jakuzs if there was a note about the bugs, and Jakuzs responded, “no.” Jakuzs nevertheless allowed Jones to clean his cell with disinfectant and glass cleaner. At 6 p.m. that day, Jones asked Sgt. Locke if maintenance was coming to spray his cell, and Locke responded that he did not know. At 7 p.m. that day, Jones asked CO Brandal the same thing, and Brandal responded that there was a note that maintenance had come, even though according to Jones, maintenance never came.

         At 7 a.m. the next morning (July 28), Jones asked CO Lervic if there was a note or work order for his cell, and she responded, “no.” Lervic further declined to call maintenance to ask them to come spray his cell, but she did agree to talk to a sergeant for him. Ten minutes later, Jones asked Sgt. Garry to call maintenance, and Garry said he would. Jones followed up at 10:40 a.m. with Garry, who told Jones he had not been able to get in touch with maintenance yet because they were busy. Garry asked to see the bugs and Jones's bites, and Garry commented that he had never seen that type of bug before.

         At about 3:15 p.m. that same day, Jones was working in the main kitchen and asked CO Lervic if maintenance had sprayed his cell and hallway. Lervic said, “no, ” but then indicated that Sgt. Garry had called and made the request. At 4:50, Jones asked Garry the same thing, and Garry responded that in fact, he had not done so. At some point that day, Jones wrote a letter to Warden Dittman about the bug infestation and his inability to get help from his unit staff.

         At about 6:50 a.m. the following morning (July 29), Jones asked CO Lervic to call Unit Manager Hicks, a lieutenant or a captain. Lervic said no and told him to talk to a sergeant, to which Jones replied that he tried but was unsuccessful. Jones also showed her the bug bites on his arms, yet Lervic still declined to do anything. About ten minutes later, Jones asked Sgt. Locke about maintenance, and Locke asked him what the Health Services Unit (“HSU”) staff gave him, to which Jones apparently responded that he had not seen anyone from HSU. Jones then again asked for a lieutenant, captain or the unit manager. Although Locke also refused this request, he returned to Jones's cell a few minutes later, telling Jones that he had an appointment with the HSU for July 31, 2017, and that he talked to his lieutenant about calling maintenance, since it was again not available at the time.

         On the morning of July 31, 2017, Jones spoke with Sgt. Dittman again, telling him that no one had done anything to eliminate the bugs. Jones also showed Dittman his bug bites, and Dittman responded that he would call maintenance. Later that morning, Jones went to the HSU and RN Navarro examined him. Navarro provided him calamine lotion for the bug bites. Jones also asked her to take photographs of the bits, the hallway and his cell, to which Navarro responded that she would do her best. When Jones left the HSU, he saw Unit Manager Hicks and asked him to stop by his cell as well, but Hicks apparently never did so.

         At about 11:40 a.m. that same day, Jones asked Sgt. Dittman again about maintenance, and Dittman responded that maintenance was going to provide a mop and water solution for the unit that day. At that time, Jones also received a note from Hicks, who wrote that he is having maintenance spray outside the hallway door three times a day. At about 5 p.m. still that day (July 31), Jones learned that his inmate complaint had been submitted, he was going to receive new linens, and he would be allowed to clean his cell. Jones was dissatisfied, telling Sgt. Jaunke that the disinfectant and glass cleaner would not take care of the bugs. Regardless, Jones did not receive new linen or cleaning equipment that day.

         On the morning of August 1, CO 2 Kratz came to Jones's unit and sprayed the hallway door, telling Jones that the unit staff should have used the mop solution available in that unit's bubble. On August 2, Warden Dittman responded to Jones's July 28 letter, writing that (1) maintenance was looking into the bug issue and (2) the unit has taken measures to increase cleaning.

         On August 3, Jones spoke with CO 2 Catlin, who told Jones he would be a witness for him. Jones also visited the HSU again on August 4, at which point he did not receive any medication for the itch and his request for photographs was denied. Between July 31 and August 4, Jones further maintains that he asked for other photographs to be taken of his bug bites, and he received responses that his request was forwarded to security. On August 9, however, Jones received a response ...

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