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Stein v. Whitinger

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

October 26, 2016

RICHARD DEAN STEIN, Plaintiff,
v.
G. WHITINGER et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          ROBERT HOLMES BELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This is 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, Plaintiff's action will be dismissed for failure to state a claim.

         Factual Allegations

         Plaintiff is presently incarcerated in the Baraga Correctional Facility in Baraga, Michigan. The incidents he describes in the complaint, however, occurred while he was incarcerated in the Michigan Reformatory in Ionia, Michigan. On July 4 2015, Plaintiff was placed in temporary segregation at the direction of Defendant Lieutenant G. Whitinger. He was released four days later.

         Claim 1-Defendant Whitinger

         Plaintiff complains that Defendant Whitinger placed him in segregation without notice or justification on July 4, 2015.

         Claim 2-Defendant Schooley

         Plaintiff filed a grievance (ECF No. 1, PageID.12), claiming: (1) Defendant Whitinger accused Plaintiff of receiving drugs and delivering them to Plaintiff's nephew; (2) Plaintiff claimed he knew nothing about it; and (3) Defendant Whitinger placed him in segregation. On July 10, 2015, Defendant Deputy Warden S. Schooley reviewed the response to Plaintiff's grievance. (Id.) He rejected the grievance noting that Plaintiff was placed into temporary segregation in accordance with Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) Policy Directive 04.05.120 ¶J.[1] (Id., PageID.10, 12-13.) Plaintiff contends that Defendant Schooley did not properly investigate his grievance as required by MDOC Policy Directive 03.02.130 ¶X.[2]

         Claim 3-Defendant Miller

         Although Defendant Schooley reviewed the response, it was Defendant Grievance Coordinator K. Miller who actually responded. (Id., PageID.11-13.) Accordingly, Plaintiff contends Defendant Miller also failed to comply with MDOC policy directives and the law when he responded to Plaintiff's grievance.

         Claim 4-Defendant Palmer

Plaintiff appealed the step I grievance response. (ECF No. 1, PageID.15-17.) His appeal asserted that the real reason Defendants Miller and Schooley rejected his grievance is that they were covering for Defendant Whitinger's improper placement of Plaintiff in segregation.

         Defendant Warden Carmen Palmer responded to the appeal on July 30, 2015. (Id., PageID.16-17.) Defendant Palmer stated that she found no impropriety or violation of policy. (Id. PageID.17.) Plaintiff contends that Defendant Palmer failed to adequately investigate his grievance appeal.

         Claim ...


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