United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER OF SUMMARY DISMISSAL OF PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT (ECF #1)
MATTHEW F. LEITMAN, District Judge.
Plaintiff Kevin Beverly ("Plaintiff") is a state prisoner currently confined at the Cooper Street Correctional Facility in Detroit, Michigan. Plaintiff, acting pro se, has filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Thomas R. Combs and Jane E. Price (collectively the "Defendants"), both members of the Michigan Parole Board, violated his rights to due process of law and to confront witnesses against him when they prevented him from crossexamining certain witnesses at a parole rescission hearing. ( See the "Complaint, " ECF #1.) Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and other appropriate relief.
On December 1, 2014, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a), the Court granted Plaintiff leave to proceed in this action in forma pauperis and without prepayment of the full filing fee. ( See ECF #4.)
For the reasons stated below, the Court summarily dismisses the Complaint and concludes that an appeal cannot be taken in good faith.
Pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the Court is required to sua sponte dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint before service on a defendant if the Court determines that the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 42 U.S.C. § 1997(e)(c); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The Court is similarly required to dismiss a complaint seeking redress against government entities, officers, or employees if the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law or in fact. See Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); see also Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).
The Court should construe a pro se civil rights complaint liberally. See Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972). Nonetheless, a pro se litigant is not immune from the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a), for example, requires that a complaint set forth "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, " as well as "a demand for the relief sought." Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)-(3). The purpose of this rule is to "give the defendant fair notice of what the claim is and the grounds upon which it rests." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (citation omitted). While this notice pleading standard does not require "detailed" factual allegations, it requires more than the bare assertion of legal principles or conclusions. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. This rule "demands more than an unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed me accusation." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). Indeed, "[a] pleading that offers labels and conclusions' or a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). "Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders naked assertion[s]' devoid of further factual enhancement.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
To state a civil rights claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege that: (1) he or she was deprived of a right, privilege, or immunity secured by the federal Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) the deprivation was caused by a person acting under color of state law. See Flagg Bros. v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149, 155-57 (1978); see also Harris v. Circleville, 583 F.3d 356, 364 (6th Cir. 2009). In addition, a plaintiff must allege that the deprivation of rights was intentional, and not merely negligent. See Davidson v. Cannon, 474 U.S. 344, 348 (1986); see also Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 333-36 (1986).
In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges a violation of his due process rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and his confrontation rights under the Sixth Amendment. More specifically, Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants, as members of the Michigan Parole Board, violated his Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights through the manner in which they conducted the hearing that led to rescission of his parole. His two claims for relief provide:
Claim 1: Plaintiff was denied his rights under the (5) and (14) Amendments to Due Process of law to be allowed to cross-examine his accusers by Defendants Thomas R. Combs and Jane E. Price in the Rescission Hearing Proceedings.
Claim 2: Plaintiff was deprived of his rights within the 6(th) Amendment of the United States Constitution to cross-examine his accusers by Defendants Thomas R. Combs and Jane E. Price in the Rescission Hearing Proceedings.
( See Compl. at 3, Pg. ID 3.)
Plaintiff has sued Defendants in both their official capacities as members of the Michigan Parole Board and in their individual capacities. ( See id. at 1, Pg. ID 1.) Plaintiff seeks monetary damages or other appropriate relief. ( See id. at 4, Pg. ID 4.) Defendants, though, ...