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Bradshaw v. Unknown Sage

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

October 7, 2016

UNKNOWN SAGE et al., Defendants.



         This is a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131. The Court has granted Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996), the Court is required to dismiss any prisoner action brought under federal law if the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A; 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c). The Court must read Plaintiff's pro se complaint indulgently, see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and accept Plaintiff's allegations as true, unless they are clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992). Applying these standards, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff's claims under the Eighth Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause. The Court also will dismiss Plaintiff's damages claim under Title I of the ADA. In addition, the Court will dismiss Defendant Unknown Party. The Court will serve the remainder of the amended complaint on Defendants Sage, Gilkie and Braman.


         I. Factual allegations

         Plaintiff Lonnie Dean Bradshaw presently is incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility (MTU). He sues MTU Classifications Director (unknown) Sage, MTU C-Unit Assistant Resident Unit Supervisor (unknown) Gilkie; MTU Deputy Warden (unknown) Braman; and an unknown doctor who worked at the Duane Waters Hospital in March 1999 (Unknown Party).

         Plaintiff alleges that, in 1992 and 1993, he had cancer of an unspecified nature, for which he underwent surgery and radiation treatment. As a result of the surgery, he incurred damages to two nerve centers, the inguinal and femoral nerves.

         On March 2, 1999, Plaintiff entered MDOC quarantine in Jackson, Michigan. He was seen at the Duane Waters Hospital by Defendant Unknown Party. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Unknown Party neglected his medical care, apparently by failing to provide nerve medication and neglecting to place information in Plaintiff's record about his need to be placed in a bottom bunk. As a result, Plaintiff did not receive a bottom-bunk detail until 2016.

         Between 1999 and 2015, Plaintiff was assigned a job on the yard crew, which required him to pick up papers and occasionally mow the grass or shovel snow. Plaintiff alleges that, by working this job, he gradually became able to walk much better and his limp was reduced. On September 3, 2015, Plaintiff was transferred to MTU. On October 20, 2015, Plaintiff was assigned a porter job. Plaintiff, however, could not perform the job duties of a porter, because the job required him to work too long. On November 23, 2015, after Plaintiff quit his porter job, Defendants Gilkie and Sage placed him on “double-O punishment, ” causing him to be confined to his cell from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.[1] (Am. Compl., ECF No. 8, PageID.32; Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.6.)[2] Plaintiff has remained on unemployable status since that time and has not been assigned to a job that he can perform.

         Plaintiff alleges that he tried to convince Gilkie, Sage and Braman that he should be assigned a job in the yard, but they did not change his assignment. As the result of being required to be in his cell for most of the day, unable to exercise or move freely, Plaintiff allegedly has been unable to engage in the self-care of working. He alleges that the inactivity has caused an increase in the symptoms arising from his nerve injuries: increased pain, increased weakness, and aggravation of his limp. In February 2016, Plaintiff went to health care about his increasing symptoms. He was prescribed a bottom-bunk detail. Plaintiff claims that, despite the detail, he has not been placed in a bottom bunk.

         In Count I of his complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants have violated his rights under Title I of the ADA, which prohibits discrimination in employment. In Count II, he contends that Defendants' actions have violated Title II of the ADA, by depriving him of the ability to participate in programs on the basis of his disability. In Count III, Plaintiff claims that Defendants have subjected him to cruel and unusual punishment by ignoring his reports that he was being negatively affected by the inability to work. In Count IV, he asserts that Defendant Unknown Party violated the Eighth Amendment by neglecting to indicate on Plaintiff's medical record that he had ongoing medical issues related to nerve damage caused during surgery. In Count V, Plaintiff claims that Defendants have violated the Equal Protection Clause by “punishing” him for doing a job that is ordinarily an “ask and get job.” (Id., PageID.35.) In Count VI, Plaintiff argues that he was put on unemployable status and confined to his cell during work hours without due process, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Finally, in Count VII, Petitioner contends that Defendants committed the tort of negligence by denying him an opportunity to work on the yard crew, aggravating his medical problems.

         Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, including a clearing of his work record and a transfer to another prison, together with compensatory and punitive damages.

         II. Failure to state a claim

         A complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it fails “‘to give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). While a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's allegations must include more than labels and conclusions. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”) The court must determine whether the complaint contains “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 570. “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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679. Although the plausibility standard is not equivalent to a “‘probability requirement, ' . . . it asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[W]here the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has alleged - but it has not ‘show[n]' - that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679 (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)); see also Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010) (holding that the Twombly/Iqbal plausibility standard applies to dismissals of prisoner cases on initial review under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A(b)(1) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(I)).

         To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the violation of a right secured by the federal Constitution or laws and must show that the deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of state law. West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Street v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 102 F.3d 810, 814 (6th Cir. 1996). Because ยง 1983 is a method for vindicating federal rights, not a source of substantive rights itself, the first step in an action ...

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