McMillian, Oscar v. Carr, Kevin et al
ORDER that Plaintiff Oscar McMillian's motion for relief from the court's September 14 and October 8, 2021 orders (dkt. 17) is DENIED. Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunctive relief (dkt. 4) is DENIED as moot. This case is DISMISSED with prejudice for plaintiff's failure to prosecute it. Signed by Magistrate Judge Stephen L. Crocker on 11/17/2021. (kmd),(ps)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
OSCAR B. MCMILLIAN,
OPINION AND ORDER
KEVIN CARR, et al.
Pro se plaintiff Oscar McMillian filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging
that over the course of several years, defendants improperly conducted cell searches, lockdowns,
and disciplinary proceedings related to him, confiscated his legal materials, and prevented him
from acting as a jailhouse lawyer for several other inmates. On September 14, 2021, Judge
Conley dismissed McMillian’s 85-page, single-spaced complaint without prejudice under Rule
8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure because it was too difficult to decipher what happened,
when it happened, and why McMillian believes defendants violated his constitutional rights.
Dkt. 10. McMillian was given an opportunity to file a proposed amended complaint that
corrected the deficiencies. Rather than filing an amended complaint that clarified his claims,
McMillian moved for reconsideration of the Rule 8 order, arguing that his original complaint
provided more than enough detail. Dkt. 11. Judge Conley denied that motion on October 8
and gave McMillian another opportunity to file a proposed amended complaint that provided
only a broad outline of the alleged conduct on which he was basing his claim(s). Dkt. 12.
On October 26, 2021, McMillian requested reassignment of his case; after the defendants
consented to magistrate judge jurisdiction, this case was assigned to me. Dkts. 13-15. I adopted
Judge Conley’s September 14 and October 8 orders and gave McMillian extra time to file a
proposed amended complaint.
I also repeated Judge Conley’s previous warnings that
McMillian’s failure to timely file a proposed amended complaint that satisfies Rule 8 will result
in dismissal of this case with prejudice for his failure to prosecute it.
Now before the court is McMillian’s motion for relief from the court’s September 14 and
October 8, 2021 orders, in which he repeats the arguments that he made in his first motion for
reconsideration and emphasizes that neither Rule 8 nor any provision of the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (PLRA) require that a complaint contain too much detail. Dkt. 17. However, as
Judge Conley explained in his earlier orders, McMillian’s complaint is incomprehensible. It fails
to provide fair notice to defendants of the claims against them. McMillian generally explains
in his motion that he is seeking to bring three unspecified claims against defendants and cites
numerous paragraphs in his complaint that he says support his claims. McMillian’s cursory
explanation does not satisfy Rule 8 and does not constitute an amended complaint.
The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has made clear that “where the lack of
organization and basic coherence renders a complaint too confusing to determine the facts that
constitute the alleged wrongful conduct, dismissal is an appropriate remedy.” Stanard v. Nygren,
658 F.3d 792, 798 (7th Cir. 2011); see also Kadamovas v. Stevens, 706 F.3d 843, 844 (7th Cir.
2013) (internal citations omitted) (“[L]ength may make a complaint unintelligible, by scattering
and concealing in a morass of irrelevancies the few allegations that matter.”); Lindell v. Houser,
442 F.3d 1033, 1034 n.1 (7th Cir. 2006) (“District courts should not have to read and decipher
tomes disguised as pleadings.”). Accordingly, I am denying McMillian’s motion for relief.
This court has given McMillian three opportunities to file a proposed amended
complaint, and it has provided him with clear instructions on how to draft such a complaint.
McMillian has refused to follow these instructions. The court has warned McMillian in
three sequential orders that his failure to timely file a proposed amended complaint that
meets the stated criteria will result in dismissal of his case with prejudice for failure to
prosecute it. McMillian has refused to heed these warnings. Therefore, I am dismissing this
case with prejudice for McMillian’s failure to prosecute it.
IT IS ORDERED that:
(1) Plaintiff Oscar McMillian’s motion for relief from the court’s September 14 and
October 8, 2021 orders (dkt. 17) is DENIED.
(2) Plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunctive relief (dkt. 4) is DENIED as moot.
(3) This case is DISMISSED with prejudice for plaintiff’s failure to prosecute it.
Entered this 17th day of November, 2021.
BY THE COURT:
STEPHEN L. CROCKER
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