Hanson, Troy v. Hestekind, Paul et al
OPINION AND ORDER granting 56 Motion to Withdraw by Attorney Timothy S. Jacobson of Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Butler, LLC; granting 50 Motion to Dismiss. This case is DISMISSED with prejudice. Signed by District Judge Barbara B. Crabb on 9/7/2021. (kwf)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - TROY C. HANSON,
OPINION AND ORDER
PAUL HESTEKIND, CAROL MIDDLETON,
ELIZABETH TEGELS, M. DOBSON,
P. MILLER AND WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Plaintiff Troy C. Hanson, by counsel, filed this lawsuit contending that employees of the
Wisconsin Department of Corrections violated his rights under the Constitution, the Americans
with Disabilities Act and state law by failing to accommodate his knee injury while he was
incarcerated at Jackson Correctional Institution. Now before the court is defendants’ second
motion to dismiss the case under the fugitive disentitlement doctrine because plaintiff absconded
while on extended supervision and failed to report to his probation agent.
(Defendant withdrew the first motion after plaintiff reported to his probation after several
months, to his agent.) Defendants have submitted evidence showing that plaintiff failed to
report to his supervision agent between December 2019 and August 2020, and between January
2021 and June 2021. Wisconsin’s online inmate records list plaintiff’s status as “absconded,”
and his whereabouts as “unknown.”
Plaintiff’s counsel opposed the motion initially, dkt. #54, but later filed a motion to
withdraw as counsel. Dkt. #56. According to counsel, plaintiff has failed to communicate or
cooperate with them, rendering it impossible for them to provide effective representation.
Counsel warned plaintiff repeatedly that they would withdraw if he did not cooperate with
prosecuting the case, but he has continued to ignore their communication attempts. Plaintiff
did not respond to counsel’s motion to withdraw, despite being given the opportunity to do so.
I will grant counsel’s motion to withdraw and defendants’ motion to dismiss. Under the
fugitive entitled doctrine, courts may dismiss civil actions by individuals who are fugitives from
justice. Gutierrez-Almazan v. Gonzales, 453 F.3d 956, 957 (7th Cir. 2006). On two
occasions, plaintiff has absconded from his supervision for several months, causing significant
delay in the prosecution of this case. Defendants have been unable to obtain discovery or
depose plaintiff. Plaintiff has ignored his counsel’s attempts to communicate and move this case
forward, and he did not respond to his counsel’s motion to withdraw. Plaintiff’s actions show
that he has abandoned his case, so I will not require defendants or plaintiff’s counsel to continue
litigating it. The case will be dismissed with prejudice.
IT IS ORDERED that
1. The motion to withdraw by Timothy S. Jacobson of Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Butler,
LLC, dkt. #56, is GRANTED.
2. Defendants’ motion to dismiss, dkt. #50, is GRANTED. This case is DISMISSED
3. The clerk of court is directed to enter judgment and close this case.
Entered this 7th day of September, 2021.
BY THE COURT:
BARBARA B. CRABB
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