Ennis Brown v. Milwaukee County Public Defend, et al
Filed opinion of the court by Judge Posner. We AFFIRM the district court's rejection of Brown's arguments concerning representation (self- or by counsel) on appeal. And because Brown's appeal is frivolous, we impose two strikes on him pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915(g); see Hains v. Washington, 131 F.3d 1248, 1250 (7th Cir. 1997) (per curiam). Richard A. Posner, Circuit Judge; Diane S. Sykes, Circuit Judge and David F. Hamilton, Circuit Judge. [6835430-1]  [16-3182]
United States Court of Appeals
For the Seventh Circuit
ENNIS LEE BROWN,
WISCONSIN STATE PUBLIC DEFENDER’S OFFICE, et al.,
Appeal from the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Wisconsin.
No. 2:16‐cv‐00632‐PP — Pamela Pepper, Judge.
SUBMITTED MARCH 27, 2017 — DECIDED APRIL 20, 2017
Before POSNER, SYKES, and HAMILTON, Circuit Judges.
POSNER, Circuit Judge. Ennis Brown, a Wisconsin state
prisoner, appeals the dismissal of a suit in which he charged
the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office, and others,
with violating what he claims to be his constitutional right to
represent himself on appeal. 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Brown has had a contentious relationship with lawyers
since being charged in 2012 with sexually abusing his chil‐
dren. See Brown v. Hicks, 2017 WL 701197 (7th Cir. 2017);
Wisconsin v. Brown, 2015 WL 5919165 (Wis. Ct. App. 2015).
Three times before the trial in the state court on those charg‐
es the presiding judge had allowed Brown’s appointed
counsel to withdraw because Brown would not cooperate
with him. So Brown appeared pro se at the trial but after
“multiple outbursts” and “attempts by him to intimidate the
victim‐witnesses,” the court held that he’d “forfeited his
right to represent himself.” Wisconsin v. Brown, supra, at *8.
Brown was convicted and the Public Defender’s Office
then appointed lawyer Mark Rosen to represent Brown on
appeal—who objected that in representing him Rosen was
acting without his “consent or participation.” Brown then
brought the present suit, against Rosen, the Public Defend‐
er’s Office, and others, charging that they’d combined to use
“unconstitutional procedures” by appointing counsel with‐
out determining whether Brown was indigent, requesting
his permission to appoint counsel, or asking whether he
wanted to appeal. Brown further alleged that one of the
lawyers had deprived him of legal documents and prevent‐
ed him from requesting legal help from a nonprofit organi‐
The district court screened Brown’s complaint under
28 U.S.C. § 1915A and concluded that his claim that Rosen
had been ineffective in representing him was barred by
Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 486–87 (1994), because it im‐
plied that his conviction may have been invalid; for Brown’s
argument that Rosen was ineffective in representing him on
appeal implies that the appeal was winnable, in which event
Brown’s conviction at trial may have been mistaken. As for
Brown’s further claim that he’d been deprived of the right to
represent himself on appeal, the district judge correctly
ruled that the claim failed because there is no constitutional
right to self‐representation on appeal. The Supreme Court
had held in Martinez v. Court of Appeal of California, 528 U.S.
152, 160–63 (2000), that in an appeal the state’s “interest in
the fair and efficient administration of justice” outweighs the
defendant’s interest in his autonomy because there is no
longer the presumption of innocence and because the Sixth
Amendment does not refer to appellate proceedings.
Brown sought reconsideration, arguing that he had a due
process right to decide whether to proceed pro se in his ap‐
peal, hire counsel, or be represented by appointed counsel.
But he didn’t explain why the Public Defender’s practice of
assigning appellate counsel immediately after trial violates
the due process clause. See Riggins v. McGinnis, 50 F.3d 492,
494 (7th Cir. 1995). The judge further noted that because
there is no right to self‐representation on appeal, the Consti‐
tution isn’t violated by requiring an indigent defendant to
accept, against his will, an appointed appellate attorney.
Martinez v. Court of Appeal of California, supra, 528 U.S. at 160–
61, 163–64; Speights v. Frank, 361 F.3d 962, 965 (7th Cir. 2004).
We affirm the district court’s rejection of Brown’s argu‐
ments concerning representation (self‐ or by counsel) on ap‐
peal. And because Brown’s appeal is frivolous, we impose
two strikes on him pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g); see Hains
v. Washington, 131 F.3d 1248, 1250 (7th Cir. 1997) (per curi‐
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