Cooper, Demetrius v. Meyer et al
ORDER denying plaintiff Demetrius Cooper's 37 motion to strike the trial date Defendants' counsel is directed to obtain a pair of handcuffs and tether from the Waupun Correctional Institution and bring them to trial. The clerk of court is directed to schedule a telephonic final pretrial conference the week of April 23, 2018. Signed by District Judge James D. Peterson on 4/16/2018. (Attachments: # 1 Draft voir dire, # 2 Draft introductory instructions) (jef),(ps)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
JEFFREY MEYER, PATRICK GORMAN, and
Pro se plaintiff Demetrius Cooper, a state prisoner confined at the Waupun
Correctional Institution (WCI), is proceeding on claims under the First and Eighth
Amendments against defendants Jeffrey Meyer, Patrick Gorman, and Cory Sabish, WCI
employees. The trial in this case is scheduled for the week of April 30, 2018.
I held a telephonic hearing on April 13, 2018, to address Cooper’s motion to strike the
trial date. Dkt. 187. At the hearing, Cooper appeared pro se and defendants appeared by
counsel, Brandon Flugaur. In his motion, Cooper explained that he could not prepare for trial
because defendants had failed to provide certain discovery and assist Cooper in locating
Dr. Desiree Grin, in contravention of my March 19, 2018 order. See Dkt. 179. Defendants had
already indicated that their response to Cooper’s supplemental discovery requests crossed in
the mail with Cooper’s motion. See Dkt. 185. As for Dr. Grin, defendants’ counsel indicated
during the hearing that they have located Dr. Grin, provided her attorney’s contact information
to Cooper, and arranged for her to testify by telephone during trial. Cooper agreed that these
issues have been satisfactorily resolved, so I will deny his motion to strike the trial date.
Cooper raised two other issues during the hearing. First, he indicated that despite
defendants’ counsel’s instruction to WCI officials to allow Cooper to pay for copy of pattern
jury instructions and similar materials with a legal loan, see Dkt. 179, at 8, he has still been
unable to obtain these copies. But Cooper has this court’s standard voir dire questions and jury
instructions, see Dkt. 20, at 23–39, and he indicated at the hearing that he has no objections
to using the standard instructions. He also has copies of defendants’ proposed voir dire
questions and jury instructions. See Dkt. 157–60. Attached to this order are draft voir dire
questions and preliminary jury instructions tailored to this case. The parties may raise
objections to these drafts during the final pretrial conference. I will provide draft post-trial jury
instructions and verdict forms to the parties in advance of trial. The parties may raise objections
to those drafts at the instruction conference near the end of trial.
Second, Cooper asked that he be provided with a pair of handcuffs and a tether to show
to the jury during trial. Defendants do not object. I will order defendants’ counsel to obtain a
pair of handcuffs and tether from WCI to bring to trial.
Finally, I will address two additional matters concerning trial. First, as I mentioned
during the March 14 telephonic scheduling conference, a criminal case is scheduled for trial
during the same week as this one. The parties consented to allow Magistrate Judge Stephen
Crocker to conduct the voir dire on April 30. I will preside over the remainder of the trial,
which will being on Wednesday, May 2. I will direct the clerk of court to schedule a telephonic
final pretrial conference the week prior. At the telephonic final pretrial conference, I intend to
rule on the parties’ motions in limine and finalize the voir dire questions and preliminary jury
Second, if Cooper wishes to appear at trial in street clothes, this court’s policy is that
he must make his own arrangements for street clothing by asking family members or friends to
have his street clothing delivered to the office of the United States Marshal, 120 N. Henry
Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53703, not later than 8:00 a.m., April 30, 2018. Alternatively,
Cooper may ask prison officials to transfer his clothing to the marshal when they bring him to
the courthouse for trial. Whether they would agree to do this is a matter within their discretion.
IT IS ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiff Demetrius Cooper’s motion to strike the trial date, Dkt. 187, is DENIED.
2. Defendants’ counsel is directed to obtain a pair of handcuffs and tether from the
Waupun Correctional Institution and bring them to trial.
3. The clerk of court is directed to schedule a telephonic final pretrial conference the
week of April 23, 2018.
Entered April 16, 2018.
BY THE COURT:
JAMES D. PETERSON
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