United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
D. PETERSON District Judge.
Damien Green, appearing pro se, is a prisoner at Wisconsin
Secure Program Facility (WSPF). Green alleges that WSPF
officials have failed to treat his various medical problems,
including a painful injured foot, and that they canceled
previously scheduled off-site medical appointments upon his
transfer to WSPF from another prison. In a January 7, 2020
order, I granted Green leave to proceed on Eighth Amendment
and Wisconsin-law negligence claims against defendant Nurse
Practitioner Sandra McArdle about that treatment. Dkt. 6. But
Green failed to explain which defendants were responsible for
other violations of his rights, and some of his claims failed
to meet the imminent-danger standard that he is subject to
because he has “struck out” under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(g). I gave Green a chance to supplement his
complaint to explain defendants' personal involvement in
his claims and to either submit an initial partial payment of
the filing fee for his imminent-danger claims, or to pay the
$400 filing fee to proceed with both his imminent-danger
claims and his non-imminent-danger claims.
has filed a series of documents in response. He asks for an
extension of time to accomplish the tasks I've given him.
Dkt. 10. I'll grant that request because I inadvertently
gave Green only a few days to respond. See Dkt. 6,
at 8 (giving Green deadlines of January 10, 2020).
has filed a motion asking for an order directing the prison
business office to give him a legal loan or other funds to
allow him to send a copy of his trust fund account statement
to this court. Dkt. 9. I'll deny this motion because I
don't need a copy of his statement. In the January 7
order, I used financial materials from a previous case Green
filed in this court to assess him an initial partial payment
of $0.41. Dkt. 6, at 7. From Green's motion, it appears
that he wants to pursue only his imminent-danger claims and
that he has enough money in his count to make the initial
partial payment. He should do so by the deadline set in the
also asks for an order directing prison staff to give him his
medical records from 2019 and 2020. Dkt. 9 and Dkt. 10. I
will deny that motion because, as Green knows from his other
litigation in this court, he may use discovery methods to
obtain those documents from prison staff. It is also likely
that prison rules allow him access to those documents.
has filed a motion for appointment for counsel, stating that
he suffers from mental health problems, including depression.
Dkt. 8. Litigants in civil cases do not have a constitutional
right to counsel, and I do not have the authority to appoint
counsel to represent a pro se plaintiff in a civil matter.
Rather, I can only assist in recruiting counsel who may be
willing to serve voluntarily. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(1); Pruitt v. Mote, 503 F.3d 647, 654, 656
(7th Cir. 2007) (en banc).
that it is appropriate for the court to recruit counsel, a
plaintiff must first show that he has made reasonable efforts
to locate an attorney on his own. See Jackson v. Cnty. of
McLean, 953 F.2d 1070, 1072-73 (7th Cir. 1992)
(“the district judge must first determine if the
indigent has made reasonable efforts to retain counsel and
was unsuccessful or that the indigent was effectively
precluded from making such efforts”). To meet this
threshold requirement, this court generally requires
plaintiffs to submit letters from at least three attorneys to
whom they have written and who have refused to take the case.
Green has not submitted correspondence showing that he has
contacted three law firms, so he has not met this
had Green shown that he had reached out to lawyers, I would
deny his motion. I recruited counsel for Green in a previous
case, but I later allowed that lawyer to withdraw from the
case after he sent her inappropriate, sexually explicit
letters. See Dkt. 95 in No. 14-cv-326-jdp. So I am
already wary of recruiting counsel for Green again unless it
is absolutely necessary. Green has not shown that it is
necessary. This case is still in its earliest stages:
defendant McArdle has not even answered the complaint yet.
Green says that he suffers from mental illness, but this is
unfortunately true of many plaintiffs appearing in this
court. Green was able to adequately, although not
successfully, litigate the '326 case all the way through
trial. So there's no reason for me to conclude in the
early stages of this case that counsel is necessary.
Plaintiff Damien Green's motion for an extension of time
to respond to the court's January 7, 2020 order, Dkt. 10,
is GRANTED. Green may have until January 30, 2020, to
Plaintiff's motion for an order directing the prison
business office to locate funds to allow Green to send a copy
of his trust fund account statement to this court, Dkt. 9, is
Plaintiff's motion for an order directing prison staff to
give him medical ...