Monday, December 30, 2019

Update on retaliation against Ron Schroeder for his legal work

An incarcerated friend of Ron Schroeder sent us this update about the obstruction and retaliation staff at Oshkosh Correctional Institution (OSCI) are putting him through because he's filed lawsuits against the DOC.

This and other letters we've received suggests a larger pattern of DOC staff routinely covering for themselves by preventing incarcerated people from accessing their legal work in a timely manner.

To support Ron's fight against retaliation and obstruction, please contact DAI Administrator Makda Fessahaye: Makda.Fessehaye@Wisconsin.gov Details and suggested email below.

We are seeking legal help with this and many other issues. FFUP has no funds to pay a lawyer, but we are in contact with skilled incarcerated litigators who are diligent about preparing cases and complaints in accordance with the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA).

Lawyers who are willing and able to take on civil cases for incarcerated people in Wisconsin should please contact Peg Swan at pgswan3@aol.com.


Ron's story:

It's said awareness is the first step in creating change. Here's a timeline of recent events regarding Ron Schroeder and his lawsuit regarding his wrongful termination from the library.


12/16/19, 9am, DOC Secretary served Ron's lawsuit challenging his wrongful termination from library job

12/16/19, 1pm, OSCI Inmate Complaint Examiner (ICE) Todd Gillingham and Education Director Ms. Dorner met with Ron. ICE said he was contacted by Office of Legal Counsel and offered 6 months back pay and asked Ron to sign termination form. Ron declined, stating it would compromise his lawsuit. Ron requested reinstatement which Ms. Dorner denied. (It would cost DOC $60 to reinstate (3 months at $20/mo.) versus thousands to litigate his wrongful termination.

12/17/19, 5:50pm, Ron discovered his personal legal documents (from his criminal case) in the library scrap paper box (for inmates to take and use). Ron alerted night acting librarian Mr. Fisher who emailed his supervisor Sheri Fromholz about the incident. (Video footage supports this.) Ron wrote Edu. Dir. Ms. Dorner and asked to meet regarding the incident. She responded, declining to meet or even discuss the matter.

12/26/19, 8:45am, Ron asked Librarian Rebecca Schaefer for extra law library time (extra is given if person has a court deadline inside of 30 days). Ron showed her his 10/22/19 dismissal order and cited Wis. Statute 808.04(1) which provides a person has 90 days to appeal. She phoned ICE Gillingham after which she denied Ron's request. She said the court deadline must be written on the court order. Ron explained that judges simply sign and date orders/judgments and don't write appeal due dates on them. She said she and ICE Gillingham have made their decision on the matter.

12/27/19, Ron verbally expressed his disappointment with ICE Gillingham. And brazenly, Gillingham told Ron he could file an Inmate Complaint. This is a bizarre response because Gillingham would hear the complaint ... about himself. (Does he really believe that would not constitute a conflict of interest?!)

The question is not if something is wrong here. It's whether OSCI officials are arbitrarily denying those who wish to appeal adverse court decisions extra law library time, or whether they are retaliating against those who sue them. (Federal courts recognize retaliation from a "chronology of events from which retaliatory motive may be inferred.")

But if OSCI officials are arbitrarily excluding everyone who wishes to appeal adverse decisions from extra law library time, it raises a bigger concern. And outside folks are asked to email DAI Administrator (Makda.Fessehaye@Wisconsin.gov) the following:

(start)
Why are OSCI Librarian Schaefer and OSCI ICE Gillingham erroneously requiring court orders to provide appeal deadline dates on court orders when they know or should know that court orders rarely provide them? They assert this is required in order to receive extra law library time. Is this to deter inmates from appealing adverse decisions? It appears to serve no legitimate purpose other than to oppress.
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(Permission to edit, share, and/or publish granted. This is authored and submitted under the First Amendment.)

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