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Case Name McKinley Bey v. Pollard PC-WI-0017
Docket / Court 2:16-cv-00521-RTR ( E.D. Wis. )
State/Territory Wisconsin
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On April 29, 2016, a prisoner at the Waupun Correctional Institution (WCI) in Wisconsin, filed this pro se lawsuit against the warden and other prison officials at WCI under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The original complaint named several other plaintiffs similarly situated in solitary confinement ... read more >
On April 29, 2016, a prisoner at the Waupun Correctional Institution (WCI) in Wisconsin, filed this pro se lawsuit against the warden and other prison officials at WCI under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The original complaint named several other plaintiffs similarly situated in solitary confinement conditions, alleging that their First, Fifth, and Eighth Amendment rights were being violated. The plaintiff described in his complaint that the administrative confinement unit conditions were harsh and unsanitary. Specifically he described that cells were infested with insects, that the light in his cell was always on, that he was only allowed out of his cell four hours a week to access the recreation room, and that the recreation room was covered in urine and feces. Additionally, the plaintiff alleged that prisoners in administrative confinement were subject to manipulation and assaults by the guards. The main plaintiff, who had been in administrative segregation for over 25 years, alleged that the isolating conditions at WCI caused him to develop serious mental illnesses.

The plaintiff moved for class certification, preliminary injunction, and to be assigned counsel. All of these motions were denied by Judge Rudolph Randa. The judge denied class certification because under federal law pro se litigants are not allowed to represent other pro se litigants.

In June, according to a prison news website, the plaintiff went on a hunger strike to protest his administrative confinement. To convince the plaintiff to begin eating again, the warden agreed to recommend the plaintiff be moved to the Wisconsin Resource Center. On July 25, 2016, the plaintiff submitted an amended complaint that did not include the other plaintiffs.

In the amended complaint, the plaintiff requested preliminary injunction, injunctive relief, declaratory judgment, and damages. Specifically, the plaintiff requested injunctive relief limiting the use of administrative confinement, allowing a pathway for prisoners in administrative confinement to move to the general population, and that the prison implement various accountability measures. The plaintiff also requested declaratory judgment acknowledging that his rights had been violated and that the administrative confinement was harmful and punitive in nature. And finally, the plaintiff requested both punitive and compensatory damages totaling $400,000 from each defendant.

Due to the unavailability of Judge Randa, the case was reassigned to the Chief Judge William Griesbach. On November 2, 2016, the plaintiff was moved to the Wisconsin Resource Center where he had access to treatment and the possibility of moving to general population. As a result, the Chief Judge dismissed his motion for preliminary injunction as moot. As of February 11, 2017 the plaintiff’s motions to appoint counsel had been consistently denied because, despite his mental illness, he had demonstrated he was able to file complaints.

The discovery deadline was set for May 1, 2017 and the dispositive motion deadline was set August 14, 2017. This case is ongoing.

Amanda Kenner - 02/11/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Sanitation / living conditions
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) William Pollard
Plaintiff Description Prisoner in administrative confinement.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Cruel Confinement: Abuse, Discrimination and Death Within Alabama's Prisons
Date: Jun. 4, 2014
(Southern Poverty Law Center )
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
2:16−cv−00521−WCG (E.D. Wis.)
PC-WI-0017-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/02/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PC-WI-0017-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/29/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Screening Order [ECF# 18] (E.D. Wis.)
PC-WI-0017-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/30/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 19]
PC-WI-0017-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/25/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
[Order Denying Motion for Preliminary Injunction] [ECF# 44] (E.D. Wis.)
PC-WI-0017-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/29/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Griesbach, William C. (E.D. Wis.)
PC-WI-0017-0004 | PC-WI-0017-9000
Randa, Rudolph Thomas (E.D. Wis.)
PC-WI-0017-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Conlin, Shannon A. (Wisconsin)
PC-WI-0017-9000
Peacock, Ann M. (Wisconsin)
PC-WI-0017-9000

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