United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
J. JONKER CHIEF 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
against Defendants Murphy and Unknown Part(y)(ies) ##1-4. The
Court also will dismiss Plaintiff's Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendment claims arising from his placement in administrative
segregation. The Court will serve Plaintiff's remaining
Eighth Amendment and retaliation claims against Defendants
Crompton, Hall and Stone.
is incarcerated in the Oaks Correctional Facility (ECF). In
his pro se complaint, Plaintiff sues the following
ECF employees: Doctor Robert Crompton; Law Librarian
(unknown) Murphy; Corrections Officers (unknown) Stone and
(unknown) Hall; and Unknown Part(y)(ies) #1, named as
“John/Jane” at the Oaks Correctional Facility.
Plaintiff also sues Unknown Part(y)(ies) #2, named as
“any and all MDOC state and affiliates, ” Unknown
Part(y)(ies) #3, named as “any and all Michigan
prisoners and affiliates” and Unknown Part(y)(ies) #4,
named as “All MDOC state and affiliates.”
(Compl., ECF No. 1, Page ID#8.)
was transferred to ECF on February 24, 2016. He alleges that
on March 18 and April 7, 2016, Defendant Dr. Crompton denied
him treatment for pain in his “cervical, thorasic,
lumbar spine, right hip and right shoulder from ongoing
injuries.” (Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.9.) He further
claims that Dr. Crompton refused to treat the pain from his
cervical fusion on July 8, 9 and 11, 2016.
who was sexually assaulted at another prison before his
transfer to ECF, claims that he requested the Rape
Elimination Act national standards from Defendant Murphy.
Murphy, however, only provided him with five pages every
three days at “1/2 font size, ” (Compl., ECF No.
1, PageID.9), despite the fact that Plaintiff is partially
blind and has depth perception issues. Plaintiff filed three
civil rights actions in this Court in April and May of 2016
and has other legal actions pending in the state courts.
Plaintiff alleges that on May 11, 2016, Defendant Murphy
denied him supplies necessary to litigate his pending legal
actions. On June 6, 2016, Plaintiff asked Defendant Murphy
for paper, photocopies, envelopes and use of a typewriter to
be paid for by the Prisoner Benefit Fund. Murphy refused and
advised Plaintiff to write everything by hand on scrap paper.
Murphy also refused Plaintiff's request for copies of
summons and complaints and envelopes to serve two of his
claims that on June 29, 2016, he complained to Defendant Hall
that Murphy was denying his right of access to the courts. In
response, Hall allegedly threatened to write a false
misconduct ticket against Plaintiff and “to throw [him]
in the hole (segregation) so [he] can't use the law
library.” (Id.) The same day, Plaintiff
“wrote a grievance about CO Hall's threats and
asked for assistance from John/Jane Doe, Oaks Correctional
Facility Staff. No one provided any assistance.”
8, 2016, Defendants Hall and Stone walked over to the table
where Plaintiff was eating and told him to leave. Plaintiff
asked for a couple more seconds to finish his food.
Defendants Hall and Stone allegedly slammed Plaintiff to the
table and put handcuffs on him. Plaintiff contends that they
pulled his arms up so hard that they tore the
acromioclavicular joint in his right arm, causing pain and
disfigurement. Defendants Hall and Stone wrote a false
misconduct ticket against Plaintiff for assault and battery
and disobeying a direct order, which resulted in
Plaintiff's placement in administrative segregation.
seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages.
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)).
Unknown Part(y)(ies) ##2-4
sues Unknown Part(y)(ies) #2, named as “any and all
MDOC state and affiliates, ” Unknown Part(y)(ies) #3,
named as “any and all Michigan prisoners and
affiliates” and Unknown Part(y)(ies) #4, named as
“All MDOC state and affiliates.” To the extent
Plaintiff sues the State of Michigan or the MDOC, they are
entitled to sovereign immunity. Regardless of the form of
relief requested, the states and their departments are immune
under the Eleventh Amendment from suit in the federal courts,
unless the state has waived immunity or Congress has
expressly abrogated Eleventh Amendment immunity by statute.
See Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman,
465 U.S. 89, 98-101 (1984); Alabama v. Pugh, 438
U.S. 781, 782 (1978); O'Hara v. Wigginton, 24
F.3d 823, 826 (6th Cir. 1993). Congress has not expressly
abrogated Eleventh Amendment immunity by statute, Quern
v. Jordan, 440 U.S. 332, 341 (1979), and the State of
Michigan has not consented to civil rights suits in federal
court. Abick v. Michigan, 803 F.2d 874, 877 (6th
Cir. 1986). In numerous unpublished opinions, the Sixth
Circuit has specifically held that the MDOC is absolutely
immune from suit under the Eleventh Amendment. See,
e.g., McCoy v. Michigan, 369 F. App'x
646, 653-54 (6th Cir. 2010); Turnboe v. Stegall, No.
00-1182, 2000 WL1679478, at *2 (6th Cir. Nov. 1, 2000). In
addition, the State of Michigan (acting through the Michigan
Department of Corrections) is not a “person” who
may be sued under § 1983 for money damages. See
Lapides v. Bd. of Regents, 535 U.S. 613 (2002) (citing
Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 U.S. 58
(1989)). Therefore, the Court will dismiss Unknown
Part(y)(ies) ##2 and 4.
extent Plaintiff sues “any and all Michigan prisoners
and affiliates, ” he fails to state claims. 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); Dominguez v. Corr.
Med. Servs., 555 F.3d 543, 549 (6th Cir. 2009);
Street v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 102 F.3d 810, 814 (6th
Cir. 1996). In order for a private party's conduct to be
under color of state law, it must be “fairly
attributable to the State.” Lugar v. Edmondson Oil
Co., 457 U.S. 922, 937 (1982); Street, 102 F.3d
at 814. There must be “a sufficiently close nexus
between the State and the challenged action of [the
defendant] so that the action of the latter may be fairly
treated as that of the State itself.” Skelton v.
Pri-Cor, Inc., 963 F.2d 100, 102 (6th Cir. 1991) (citing