United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
THOMAS R. SNELLING, Plaintiff,
PAUL KLEE et al., Defendants.
ORDER SUA SPONTE DISMISSING ALL DEFENDANTS OTHER THAN
NEWSOME AND BRAMAN
Victoria A. Roberts United States District Judge
a prisoner civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
On October 7, 2015, Thomas Snelling (“Snelling”)
filed the underlying complaint in the U.S. District Court for
the Western District of Michigan, alleging 21 Michigan
Department of Corrections employees violated the First,
Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
Constitution in their treatment of him. Snelling also filed a
memorandum in support of the complaint.
October 26, 2016, the Honorable Gordon J. Quist entered an
order: (1) dismissing two defendants under 28 U.S.C. §
1915A and 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c) for failure to state a
claim and (2) transferring the case from the Western District
of Michigan to this Court. Judge Quist summarizes
Snelling's case and sets forth relevant governing law:
In his pro se complaint, Plaintiff alleges that
Defendants used “unjustifiable” force on him on
April 17, 2015, between 11:00 am and 12:00 pm. Defendants
allegedly shot him, tazed him, beat him, and kicked him
without justification, and then put him in solitary
confinement without providing medical care for his injuries.
Plaintiff claims that Defendants conspired against him to
deprive him of his constitutional rights. In addition,
Plaintiff contends that Defendants retaliated against him for
contacting the Michigan State Police regarding “const.
rights, misconducts, property, food, law library, religious
services [and] OPMH.”
Plaintiff further contends that between April 17, 2015 and
May 18, 2015, all of the Defendants “did in fact
collaborate to fictitiously fabricate the incident to cover
up the unjustified use of force of the Plaintiff which le[d]
to administrative disciplinary action and charges against . .
. Plaintiff for fictitiously assaulting [and] resisting
Defendants.” Plaintiff provides more details in a
memorandum filed in support of the complaint.
Indeed, he does not even mention [any of the Defendants
except for Braman and Newsome] by name in the body of the
complaint or in the memorandum in support thereof. Moreover,
there are no facts alleged from which to infer that [any of
the Defendants except for Braman and Newsome] were involved
in the events giving rise to Plaintiff's claims. Where a
person is named as a defendant without an allegation of
specific conduct, the claim against them 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
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).
same reasons Judge Quist dismissed Heyns and Robinson, this
Court dismisses the remaining defendants except for
correctional officers Richard Newsome and Stephan Braman. In
his complaint and supporting memorandum, Snelling only
specifically refers to those two defendants and fails to
mention others by name.
28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A, and 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e(c), the Court has an obligation to screen
prisoner suits and suits where the plaintiff is proceeding
in forma pauperis; if at any time the Court finds
that the action fails to state a claim, is frivolous, or
seeks monetary relief from immune defendants it must dismiss
the suit sua sponte. In re Prison Litig. Reform
Act, 105 F.3d 1131, 1134 (6th Cir. 1997).
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 Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2), the statement of the claim must be plausible. See
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). The
purpose of this rule is 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) (citation omitted).
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.
League of United Latin Am. Citizens v. Bredesen, 500
F.3d 523, 527 (6th Cir. 2007). “The factual
allegations, assumed to be true, must do more than create
speculation or suspicion of a legally cognizable cause of
action; they must show entitlement to relief.”
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.
Furthermore, the Court is not required to “create a
claim which [the plaintiff] has not spelled out in his
pleading.” Clark v. Nat'l Travelers Life Ins.
Co., 518 F.2d 1167, 1169 (6th Cir. 1975).
the Court construes pleadings filed by pro se litigants more
liberally, “[t]he leniency granted to pro se
[litigants] ... is not boundless[, ]” and the Court
will not “conjure allegations on a litigant's
behalf.” Martin v. Overton, 391 F.3d 710, 714
(6th Cir. 2004) (citation and internal quotation marks
omitted). Indeed, pro se litigants still must plead a
plausible claim for relief. See Davis v. Prison Health
Services, 679 F.3d 433, 437-38 (6th Cir. 2012).
fails to state a claim against any defendants other than
Braman and Newsome in their personal capacities. These are
the only remaining claims.