Halford, Ernest v. Raemisch, Rick et al

Filing 12

Order dismissing 1 Complaint without prejudice for Plaintiff's failure to comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. Amended complaint due 6/9/2010. Signed by District Judge William M. Conley on 5/20/2010. (eds),(ps)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN ERNEST LOUIS HALFORD #365751 Plaintiff, v. 10-cv-206-slc1 RICK RAEMISCH: D.O.C., GOV. JAMES DOYLE and Current HFS - Dir., Defendant. Plaintiff Ernest Louis Halford, a prisoner at the Waupun Correctional Institution in W aup un , Wisconsin, has submitted a proposed complaint, dkt. #1, and several supplements, dkts. ##3, 7 and 9. Halford seeks leave to proceed in forma paupers under 28 U.S.C. 1915. In a previous order, Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker concluded that plaintiff was not req uired to make an initial partial payment because his prison trust fund account statement show ed that he has no means to do so. 28 U.S.C. 1915(b)(4). Because plaintiff is a prisoner, I am required under the 1996 Prison Litigation Reform Act to screen his complaint and dismiss any claims that are legally frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted or ask for money damages from a d efen dan t who by law cannot be sued for money damages. 28 U.S.C. 1915 and 1915A. H avin g reviewed plaintiff's complaint, I conclude that he may not proceed at this time. OPINION AND ORDER 1 For the purpose of issuing this order, Judge Conley acts for the court. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. requires that a complaint 1) set forth a "short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's jurisdiction . . .; 2) a short and plain statement of the claim show ing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and 3) a demand for the relief sought." Pursua nt to Rule 8(d), "each allegation must be simple, concise, and direct." Plaintiff's co m plain t is relatively short, but it does not describe his claims plainly as required by Rule 8 . Indeed, the text itself is printed in a seemingly painstaking and unique calligraphy intended to prevent ease of reading altogether. Ignoring this obvious defect, the overarching theme of plaintiff's complaint appears to be that he and other Wisconsin inmates suffer from overcrowding in the state's prisons b ecau se of a decision by defendant Doyle to terminate a contract with the Corrections Co rporation of America. Plaintiff's complaint reads more like an editorial on administrative decisions affecting Wisconsin prisons and conditions within the prisons he believes need to b e remedied, than it does a claim for specific relief based on legal claims of constitutional or statutory deprivation. See e.g., Cpt., dkt. #1, at 4 ("Issue: Overcrowded Prison System Floo ds W.R.C. after Gov. Doyle ends C.C.A. Prison Contract."); id at 5 ("Since Gov. Doyle ended the `out of state' C.C.A. Corp. Contract which forced thousands of inmates to be driven back into Wisc. and being asked to sleep on the cell floors of tiny 1-bunk cells with verm in and ni[ght]marish fear . . . .") Statements such as these violate Rule 8's notice p lead in g requirements. A plaintiff must allege sufficient facts to put each defendant on n o tice of the specific facts constituting which violate plaintiff's rights; so that the defendant can meaningfully answer. Higgs v. Carver, 286 F.3d 437, 439 (7th Cir. 2002). Moreover, p lain tiff does not have standing to raise claims on behalf of all other inmates. He names no other plaintiffs besides himself in the case caption and he is the only individual to sign the com plaint. As noted, an additional problem is with the format of plaintiff's complaint. His a llegatio n s consist of single-spaced paragraphs that are handwritten in an unusual font. T hese paragraphs are crammed onto white space of various inmate forms and documents m akin g them nearly impossible to follow. Plaintiff is free to handwrite his submissions to this court, but draft his filings on blank or lined paper. In addition, he should leave space in between lines and words to permit it to be read at all, much less without severe eye strain. B ecause plaintiff's complaint does not comply with Rule 8, the court will dismiss it w ithout prejudice. Attached to this opinion is a blank complaint form for plaintiff to fill out. In filling out the form, plaintiff should explain his claims in a way that would enable som eon e reading the complaint to answer the following questions: What are the facts that form the basis for plaintiff's claims? What did defendants do that makes them liable for violating plaintiff's rights? How was plaintiff individually injured by defendant's conduct? Pla in tiff will have until June 9, 2010, to file an amended complaint that complies w ith Rule 8. If plaintiff does this, the court will take the amended complaint under advisem ent for screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1915(e)(2). However, if he fails to respond to this order to this order by June 9, the case will be closed. ORDER IT IS ORDERED that plaintiff's complaint is DISMISSED without prejudice for his failure to comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. Plaintiff may have until June 9 , 2010, in which to file an amended complaint that complies with Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. If plaintiff fails to file an am ended complaint by that date, the clerk of court is directed to close the case. E n tered this 20t h day of May, 2010. B Y THE COURT: /s/ _ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ W IL L IA M M. CONLEY D istrict Judge

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