United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
J. QUIST UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. 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 complaint
for failure to state a claim against Defendants Baker,
Nalley, and Weller. The Court will serve the complaint
against the remaining Defendants.
Michael Malott presently is incarcerated with the Michigan
Department of Corrections at the Oaks Correctional Facility
(ECF). He sues 33 ECF officials: Dr. (unknown) Crompton;
Resident Unit Manager (RUM) (unknown) Thomas; Sergeants
(unknown) Baker, (unknown) Stone, (unknown) Kopfman, and
(unknown) Biddle; Deputy Wardens (unknown) Ball and (unknown)
Sharp; Warden (known) Mackey; Nurse (unknown) Bottrell;
Inspector (unknown) Spencley; Prison Counselor (unknown)
Weaver; and Corrections Officers (unknown) Taylor, (unknown)
Homrich, (unknown) Black, (unknown) Guzikowski, (unknown)
Bladzak, (unknown) Verville; (unknown) Farago; (unknown)
Annis, (unknown) Carney, (unknown) Smith, (unknown) Gaudio,
(unknown) Johnson, (unknown) Nalley, (unknown) Weller,
(unknown) Parcardet, (unknown) Mackey, (unknown) Borema,
(unknown) Aron, (unknown) Stergeon, (unknown) Blow, and
addition to the instant action, Plaintiff has filed a number
of other lawsuits in this Court over the last year, alleging
constitutional violations by a variety of officials at ECF.
See Malott v. Weaver et al., No. 1:16-cv-1009 (W.D.
Mich.); Malott v. Mackie et al., No. 1:15-cv-1148
(W.D. Mich.); Malott v. Hill et. al., No.
1:15-cv-1092 (W.D. Mich.). In the instant case, Plaintiff
alleges that, between July 23, 2016 and August 1, 2016,
Defendants engaged in a variety of harassing actions,
accompanied by demands for Plaintiff to drop his lawsuits
against Defendants or their colleagues. The harassing conduct
includes repeatedly denying Plaintiff his meal trays,
spitting into his food, placing pubic hair in his food, and
turning off the water to his cell. The conduct also included
more serious allegations: multiple incidents in which
Plaintiff was punched and kicked and one incident during
which he was anally raped with a baton. In addition, various
Defendants demanded oral sex before they would act to end the
harassment and assaults.
seeks injunctive relief, together with compensatory and
Failure to state a claim
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)).
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 § 1983 is a method for vindicating
federal rights, not a source of substantive rights itself,
the first step in an action under § 1983 is to identify
the specific constitutional right allegedly infringed.
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994).
It is a
basic pleading essential that a plaintiff attribute factual
allegations to particular defendants. See Twombly,
550 U.S. at 544 (holding that, in order to state a claim, a
plaintiff must make sufficient allegations to give a
defendant fair notice of the claim). Where a person is named
as a defendant without an allegation of specific conduct, the
complaint is subject to dismissal, even under the liberal
construction afforded to pro se complaints. See
Frazier v. Michigan, 41 F. App'x 762, 764 (6th Cir.
2002) (dismissing the plaintiff's claims where the
complaint did not allege with any degree of specificity which
of the named defendants were personally involved in or
responsible for each alleged violation of rights);
Griffin v. Montgomery, No. 00-3402, 2000 WL 1800569,
at *2 (6th Cir. Nov. 30, 2000) (requiring allegations of
personal involvement against each defendant)); Rodriguez
v. Jabe, No. 90-1010, 1990 WL 82722, at *1 (6th Cir.
June 19, 1990) (“Plaintiff's claims against those
individuals are without a basis in law as the complaint is
totally devoid of allegations as to them which would suggest
their involvement in the events leading to his
injuries.”); see also Wright v. Smith, 21 F.3d
496, 501 (2d Cir. 1994); Krych v. Hvass, 83 F.
App'x 854, 855 (8th Cir. 2003); Potter v. Clark,
497 F.2d 1206, 1207 (7th Cir. 1974); Williams v.
Hopkins, No. 06-14064, 2007 WL 2572406, at *4 (E.D.
Mich. Sept. 6, 2007); McCoy v. McBride, No.
3:96-cv-227RP, 1996 WL 697937, at *2 (N.D. Ind. Nov. 5,
1996); Eckford-El v. Toombs, 760 F.Supp. 1267,
1272-73 (W.D. Mich. 1991). Plaintiff fails to even to mention
Defendants Baker, Nalley and Weller in the body of his
complaint. His allegations fall far short of the minimal
pleading standards under Fed.R.Civ.P. 8 (requiring “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the
pleader is entitled to relief”). The Court therefore
will dismiss Defendants Baker, Nalley, Weller, and Bottrell
from the action.
review, the Court concludes that Plaintiff's allegations
against the remaining Defendants are sufficient to warrant
service of the complaint.
conducted the review required by the Prison Litigation Reform
Act, the Court determines that Defendants Baker, Nalley, and
Weller will be dismissed for failure to state a claim
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b),
and 42 U.S.C. § ...