The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Paul L. Maloney Chief United States District Judge
Chief Judge Paul L. Maloney
Continuing to Take the January 4, 2010 R&R and Plaintiff's Objections under Advisement; Allowing the Plaintiff to Reassemble Files and
File a Brief in Opposition to Summary Judgment
Plaintiff Michael Marr ("Marr") is incarcerated at a state correctional facility in Muskegon, Michigan, and defendant Karl Foy is employed as Classification Director and Transportation Coordinator at the maximum-security state correctional facility in Ionia, Michigan ("ICF"), where Marr was formerly incarcerated. See Amended Complaint filed August 2008 ("Am Comp") ¶¶ 1-2. In September 2007, Marr brought this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that Foy violated his First Amendment rights beginning in September 2006. Comp ¶¶ 3-5. With extensions of time, Foy moved for summary judgment in February 2008, and Marr filed an opposition brief in May 2008. In August 2008, this court granted Marr's motion for leave to amend his complaint, accepted the amended complaint for filing, see Doc. No. 34, and denied as moot Foy's motion for summary judgment on the original complaint. In October 2008, Foy filed an answer to the amended complaint, see Doc. No. 41, and the Magistrate Judge granted Foy leave to take Marr's deposition in prison, see Doc. No. 47.
Marr's first amended complaint retains the First Amendment claim, but now also invokes the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ("RLUIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1 et seq., and the federal Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201 et seq. Am Comp ¶¶ 3-7.
Specifically, Marr alleges that during a classification interview in the presence of two other prisoners, Foy informed him that ICF was not designated as a Level II "kosher" facility under OP-05.03.150A Attachment A, and that ICF would not provide a separate room exclusively for preparation of kosher food. Am Comp ¶¶ 5-6. Marr further alleges that Foy berated him in front of the other prisoners for twenty minutes, stating that prisoners do not have any rights and that federal judges should not kow-tow to prisoners by giving them perks like kosher meals, and making anti-Jewish comments. Am Comp ¶¶ 7-8.
Next, Marr alleges that in retaliation for exercising his First Amendment rights, Foy assigned him to the position of "midnight porter", even though Marr explained that he did not have the certification needed for that position and that working at such hours would cause him to sleep during the day (when he needed to research his case and attend religious study and worship sessions). Am Comp ¶¶ 9-11. Marr began working in the new position on September 13, 2006, causing him to miss morning "sacred meal offerings" and preventing him from conducting research in support of a direct criminal appeal (which he wanted to pursue prior to filing a habeas corpus petition). Am Comp ¶¶ 12 and 14. In November 2006, Marr's supervisor recommended that he be assigned to another job because he was incompetent at the assigned job. Foy denied the request, directed Marr to improve his performance, and responded with belittlement when Marr wrote a letter regarding the issue. Am Comp ¶¶ 15-18.
Marr alleges that he pursued a grievance unsuccessfully, Am Comp ¶ 19, and that Foy denied his supervisor's renewed request to assign Marr to a different job, instead instructing prison staff to teach Marr the needed skills. Am Comp ¶¶ 20-21. Marr alleges that he wrote a letter in January 2007 which Foy ignored, and that he again unsuccessfully pursued a grievance. Am Comp ¶¶ 22-23. Also in January 2007, Marr was transferred from Ionia to Muskegon, and he alleges that his custodial supervisor told him that the transfer was intended to separate him and defendant Foy. Am Comp ¶¶ 24-25.
Marr expresses concern that the two negative work reports from ICF, which he characterizes as retaliatory, may adversely affect parole determinations and any possible re-sentencing by the state trial court. Am Comp ¶ 26.
Marr's first amended complaint asserts claims for:
* Count One, retaliation for the exercise of First Amendment ...