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Hines v. Michigan Department of Corrections

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division

June 23, 2015

NATHANIEL HINES, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, a/k/a CORRECTIONS MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM, Defendant.

ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTIONS, ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION, GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS, DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITH PREJUDICE AGAINST NAMED DEFENDANT, DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO LEAVE TO AMEND, GRANTING LEAVE TO AMEND, AND DENYING PENDING MOTIONS AS MOOT

THOMAS L. LUDINGTON, District Judge.

On March 30, 2015, Magistrate Judge Michael Hluchaniuk returned a Report and Recommendation in the above-captioned case. In the Report, Judge Hluchaniuk recommends granting Defendant Michigan Department of Corrections' ("MDOC")[1] motion to dismiss. Judge Hluchaniuk further recommends dismissing Plaintiff Nathaniel Hines' Complaint insofar as it brings claims against MDOC but allowing Hines an opportunity to amend in the event he wishes to name individual defendants against whom he could plausibly state claims. Hines objected to Judge Hluchaniuk's Report on April 27, 2015. Those objections are meritless and will be overruled. Judge Hluchaniuk's Report will be adopted along with the directions for Hines that he includes therein.

I.

On September 17, 2014, Hines, a prisoner, filed a pro se complaint alleging violations of the United States Constitution inflicted upon him by the administration of the prison's mental health program. Hines alleges that he is subject to involuntary injections of psychiatric drugs. This injection program, according to Hines, violates the Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments. Primarily this is so because Hines claims he is not mentally ill and does not need the injections. Despite his protestations, however, the injections have continued over the many years he has been incarcerated in Michigan prisons, necessitating this lawsuit.

Along with his Complaint, Hines filed an Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis, ECF No. 2. Magistrate Judge Steven Whalen granted that request and service was ordered. ECF No. 7. This Court referred all pretrial matters in this case to Judge Hluchaniuk on November 13, 2014. ECF No. 9. Shortly thereafter Hines filed an omnibus motion, ECF No. 10, in which he objected to the referral of his case to a magistrate judge, requested access to his mental health records, and requested that the Court order an independent psychiatric evaluation. This Court denied Hines' objection to the referral of his case on December 30, 2014 and left consideration of his other requests for relief to Judge Hluchaniuk. ECF No. 12.

On December 31, 2014, Defendant MDOC filed a waiver of service. This was followed on January 8, 2015 by a motion to dismiss Hines' Complaint. ECF No. 10. MDOC argued that it is immune from suit under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 because state agencies are not "persons" under the act.

The same day MDOC filed its motion to dismiss, Hines filed a "motion for order" wherein he seemingly consented to the referral of his case to a magistrate judge. Judge Hluchaniuk construed this motion as a request for injunctive relief. Judge Hluchaniuk ordered responses to each of the motions that had been filed by MDOC and Hines. All motions were timely briefed.

On February 19, 2015, Hines filed a motion to compel. Hines sought to initiate discovery with Defendant, despite the pending motion to dismiss and lack of a scheduling order. Judge Hluchaniuk ordered full briefing on that motion as well. The motion was timely briefed.

Judge Hluchaniuk issued his Report on MDOC's motion to dismiss and Hines' motion for a preliminary injunction on March 30, 2015. ECF No. 26. He recommended dismissal of Hines complaint, with free leave to amend and add new individual defendants. He also recommended dismissal of Hines' motion for preliminary injunction as moot. That same day, Judge Hluchaniuk issued an order staying Hines' two other motions, ECF Nos. 10 & 23, pending this Court's ruling on the Report.

Hines objected to Judge Hluchaniuk's Report on April 27, 2015.

II.

A.

This Court may dismiss a pleading for "failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." FED. R. CIV. P. 12(b)(6). A pleading fails to state a claim if it does not contain allegations that support recovery under any recognizable legal theory. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). In considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court construes the pleading in the non-movant's favor and accepts the allegations of facts therein as true. See Lambert v. Hartman, 517 F.3d 433, 439 (6th Cir. 2008). The pleader need not have provided "detailed factual allegations" to survive dismissal, but the "obligation to provide the grounds' of his entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 ...


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