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Bey v. Wickersham

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

July 26, 2016

ANTHONY WICKERSHAM, et al. Defendants.

          Jonathan Robinson, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

          Wickersham, Defendant, represented by John A. Schapka, Macomb County Corporation Counsel Office.


          ELIZABETH A. STAFFORD, Magistrate Judge.


         Plaintiff Jonathon Walter Robinson Bey, proceeding pro se, brings this action pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of his constitutional rights while he was detained at Macomb County Jail.[1] Defendants State of Michigan and Macomb County Jail were previously dismissed from this case. [R. 9]. The only issue remaining is whether Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham may be held liable for failure to adequately supervise, control, or train subordinates. [ See R. 9, PgID 19-20]. Wickersham has filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). [R. 12]. Because Robinson Bey fails to state a plausible claim upon which relief may be granted, the Court RECOMMENDS that Wickersham's motion to dismiss [R. 12] be GRANTED and the complaint be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.


         Robinson Bey's allegations arise out of several incidents that took place following his arrest in 2015. On July 14, 2015, Robinson Bey was pulled over for speeding, allegedly beaten, and then detained for driving a vehicle with a suspended license and "assaulting and obstructing an officer." [R. 13, PgID 1-2]. He was taken to Macomb County Jail where he allegedly suffered an additional beating inflicted by an "unknown subject, " whom Robinson Bey later clarified was a fellow inmate. [R. 1, PgID 1; R. 13, PgID 2].

         Robinson Bey claims in his response to the motion to dismiss that he sent Sheriff Wickersham three letters while he was detained.[2] [R. 13, PgID 39]. Robinson Bey says that, in the first letter, he demanded that he be released because he was a Moor and Wickersham had no legal right to detain him. [ Id. at PgID 39-40]. He states that, in the second letter, he requested medical treatment for a swollen mouth and broken tooth that he sustained during the assault by an unknown inmate. [ Id. at PgID 40]. He claims that, after a span of eight days, he was seen by a medical doctor, but he was not prescribed pain medication and his injuries were not attended to by a dentist as he requested. [ Id. ]. According to Robinson Bey, he again demanded in his final letter that Wickersham release him. [ Id. ]. He alleges that Wickersham did not respond to these letters. [ Id. ].

         Robinson Bey alleges that, during his incarceration, several inmates at Macomb County Jail died after being attacked or denied medical care. [R. 1, PgID 2; R. 13, PgID 41]. He claims that these reports, compounded by his alleged mistreatment, led him to fear for his life. [ Id. ]. Robinson Bey also alleges that he was treated inhumanely, and verbally and mentally abused while detained at Macomb County Jail. [R. 1; R. 13, PgID 6].

         III. ANALYSIS

         Wickersham argues that Robinson Bey fails to allege any particularized factual allegations that would allow for a claim upon which relief may be granted, and that this case should be dismissed with prejudice pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). [R. 12]. The Court agrees.


         A motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) tests a complaint's legal sufficiency. Although the federal rules only require that a complaint contain a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, " see Rule 8(a)(2), the statement of the claim must be plausible. Indeed, "[t]o survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). The Iqbal Court explained, "[a] claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id.

         In deciding whether a plaintiff has set forth a "plausible" claim, the Court must construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and accept as true all well-pleaded factual allegations. Id . However, legal conclusions need not be accepted as true. "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. While the Court accords some leniency to pleadings drafted by pro se litigants, "[t]he leniency granted to pro se [litigants]... is not boundless." Martin v. Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 714 (6th Cir. 2004). ...

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