Redman v. Doehling et al
ORDER signed by Judge J.P. Stadtmueller on 10/12/2017 DENYING 40 Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Defendants' Summary Judgment Motions or to Hold Them in Abeyance. Plaintiff to respond to 27 and 34 Defendants' Summary Judgment Motions by 11/20/2017; no further extensions will be considered. (cc: all counsel, via mail to Richard Redman at Redgranite Correctional Institution) (jm)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
Case No. 17-CV-239-JPS
LORI DOEHLING and CHRISTINE
Plaintiff, who is incarcerated at Redgranite Correctional Institution,
filed a pro se complaint claiming his civil rights were violated. See (Docket
#1). On September 25, 2017, each Defendant filed a separate motion for
summary judgment. (Docket #27, #34). On October 4, 2017, Plaintiff filed a
motion requesting that certain alleged procedural deficiencies in
Defendants’ submissions be addressed or, in the alternative, that the
motions be stricken. (Docket #40). He further requested that Defendants’
motions be held in abeyance until the claimed deficiencies are
Plaintiff will be granted a short extension to respond to the
motions, but he presents no viable basis for striking them in their entirety.
First, he claims that none of the documents served on him were signed. Id.
at 1. However, documents that are filed electronically with the Court do
not need an inked signature to be considered validly signed. The papers
filed with the Court all bear electronic signatures, which is all that is
required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 or any of the Court’s Local
Rules, especially in a case like this one, where Plaintiff’s objection is
technical and raises no real doubt as to the authenticity of any of
Defendants’ submissions. See Magyar v. Saint Joseph Reg'l Med. Ctr., 544
F.3d 766, 770 (7th Cir. 2008).
Second, Plaintiff complains that Defendants cited unpublished
opinions in their briefs without providing copies of them. (Docket #40 at
2). Plaintiff says that, as an inmate, he cannot access electronic case
research services and so cannot retrieve unpublished cases. Id. Defendants
represent that they have now mailed copies of all the unpublished cases
they cited. (Docket #42). The oversight having been quickly rectified, there
is no reason for the Court to take the drastic step of striking the motions.
submissions were confusing to him, as they were printed on both sides of
every piece of paper but not in any sort of organized fashion. (Docket #40
at 2). Defendant’s counsel has reserved those papers with single-sided
printing, (Docket #41), so again there is no longer any reason to strike the
Fourth, Plaintiff claims that because Defendants each filed their
own motion for summary judgment, he will be overburdened in
responding to them. (Docket #40 at 2). The Court is not sympathetic, as
Plaintiff chose to file a lawsuit against two individuals and cannot now
complain that it will require an investment of time and effort to litigate
this matter. This is not a colorable basis for either striking the motions or
granting an extension of time to respond to them.
Fifth, Plaintiff says that Defendant Christine Dietrich references a
declaration in her motion which is not attached thereto. Id. Defendant has
clarified that the declaration in question is attached to Defendant
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Doehling’s motion. (Docket #42). The Court assumes this abates Plaintiff’s
Sixth, Plaintiff objects to the disclosure of his financial information
in connection with the declaration of Michelle Sonnentag. (Docket #40 at
3). Attached to the declaration is a copy of Plaintiff’s prison trust account
statement. Plaintiff cites no rule or other authority providing that his
prison trust account statement must be protected from disclosure, and the
Court notes that trust account statements are routinely filed on the public
docket for purposes of determining whether a prisoner can proceed
without prepayment of the filing fee. Plaintiff’s concern with his financial
privacy is not enough, standing alone, to warrant relief.
Finally, Plaintiff notes Defendants’ assertion in their motions that
he cannot sustain his state-law medical negligence claims without the
testimony of a medical expert. Id. at 4–5. Plaintiff complains that without
counsel, he lacks the resources to secure the necessary expert testimony.
Id. Without commenting on the propriety of Defendants’ defense to
Plaintiff’s state-law claims, the Court is not moved by Plaintiff’s
repackaging of his earlier requests for appointment of counsel, which this
Court has now denied three times.
Congress has provided that indigent prisoners may file their cases
without prepaying the associated fees. See Doty v. Doyle, 182 F. Supp. 2d
750, 751 (E.D. Wis. 2002). However, there is no such authority supporting
the appointment of a medical expert for a prisoner free of charge. Porter v.
Dep’t of Treasury, 564 F.3d 176, 180 n.3 (3d Cir. 2009) (noting that “granting
of IFP status exempts litigants from filing fees only. It does not exempt
litigants from the costs of copying and filing documents; service of
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documents other than the complaint; costs; expert witness fees; or
sanctions.”) (internal citations omitted). As the Seventh Circuit has
instructed, “like any other civil litigant, [a prisoner] must decide which of
[his] legal actions is important enough to fund,” Lindell v. McCallum, 352
F.3d 1107, 1111 (7th Cir. 2003); thus, if a prisoner concludes that “the
limitations on his funds prevent him from prosecuting [a] case with the
full vigor he wishes to prosecute it, he is free to choose to dismiss it
voluntarily and bring it at a later date.” Williams v. Berge, No. 02-CV-10,
2002 WL 32350026, at *8 (W.D. Wis. Apr. 30, 2002). Plaintiff will not be
appointed counsel so that counsel may expend his or her own resources to
fund Plaintiff’s case.
Because Plaintiff presents no good reason to strike Defendants’
motions for summary judgment, the Court declines to do so. However,
because of the time expended in rectifying some of the purported
procedural lapses in Defendants’ submissions, the Court will grant
Plaintiff a brief extension of time to respond to their motions. Plaintiff
shall file his responses to Defendants’ motions no later than November 20,
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s motion to strike Defendants’
motions for summary judgment or to hold them in abeyance (Docket #40)
be and the same is hereby DENIED; and
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff shall file responses to
Defendants’ motions for summary judgment no later than November 20,
2017. No further extensions of that deadline will be considered.
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Dated at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this 12th day of October, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
U.S. District Judge
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