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Staples v. Stone

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

January 9, 2017

William Staples, Plaintiff,
Stone, et al., Defendants.

          Stephanie Dawkins Davis United States Magistrate Judge.


          Hon. Gershwin A. Drain United States District Court Judge.

         I. Introduction

         In June 2016, Plaintiff William Staples filed a pro se civil rights complaint. Dkt. No. 1. Plaintiff is a federal prisoner currently confined at the United States Prison-Hazelton, located in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia. Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against seven defendants. The Court reviewed plaintiff's complaint, dismissed one claim, and ordered Plaintiff to provide copies and documentation needed to effectuate service in July 2016. Dkt. No. 5.

         After Plaintiff failed to comply with the July order, the Court ordered Plaintiff to show cause why his case should not be dismissed on December 13, 2016. Dkt. No. 6. Plaintiff submitted a response to the order to show cause, improperly labeled as a motion, on December 28, 2016. Dkt. No. 7. In his response, Plaintiff claims that the July 2016 order “was never delivered to [him].” Id. at 3 (Pg. ID No. 35). He also requests that the Court send correspondence related to this case by certified mail to him. Id. at 1 (Pg. ID No. 33).

         The Court will reiterate its findings from the July 2016 order within this order. For the reasons stated below, the Court denies Plaintiff's request to have the Court send all his correspondence by certified mail and dismisses part Plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a claim and misjoinder. The Court will further order plaintiff to provide three (3) additional copies of the complaint to the Court and to specifically identify the remaining “John Doe” defendant within sixty (60) days of this order, so that the Court can properly effectuate service upon the remaining defendants.

         II. Standard Of Review

         A plaintiff may file suit in federal court for damages arising from a violation of plaintiff's constitutional rights by persons acting under the color of federal law. See Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 395 (1971). Because plaintiff is alleging that his constitutional rights were violated by persons acting under color of federal law, plaintiff's complaint is properly construed as a Bivens action. See, e.g., Shehee v. Luttrell, 199 F.3d 295, 298 (6th Cir. 1999).

         Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PLRA), district courts are required to screen all civil cases brought by prisoners. See McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 608 (6th Cir. 1997). If a complaint fails to pass muster under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) or § 1915A, the “district court should sua sponte dismiss the complaint.” Id. at 612. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) and § 1915(e)(2)(A), a district court must sua sponte dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint before service on the defendant if satisfied that the action is frivolous or malicious, that it fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or that it seeks monetary relief from a defendant or defendants who are immune from such relief. McLittle v. O'Brien, 974 F.Supp. 635, 636 (E.D. Mich. 1997). The screening provisions of the PLRA are applicable to Bivens actions brought by federal inmates. See, e.g., Diaz v. Van Norman, 351 F.Supp.2d 679, 680-81 (E.D. Mich. 2005).

         III. Background

         Plaintiff alleges that he was previously incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution at Milan, Michigan (“FCI-Milan”). Plaintiff claims he was being treated for several chronic medical conditions. Plaintiff claims that each time he received treatment for these illnesses, he was charged a co-pay of $2.00. In total, plaintiff was required to pay $12.00 in co-payments. Plaintiff appealed these co-payments to defendant Dr. Charles Samuel, Jr., the Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and Defendant Harrella Watts, the Administrator of National Inmate Appeals, but his appeals were denied.

         Next, Plaintiff claims that Defendant Stone, the Unit Manager at FCI-Milan, failed to provide postage to plaintiff to enable him to mail out various administrative appeals. Plaintiff alleges that Stone's failure to provide him postage caused one of his civil cases to be dismissed for failure to comply with a court date.

         Plaintiff claims that Defendants Murphy, Bowman, and “John Doe” forced him to work in the prison kitchen, even though plaintiff's medical conditions prevented him from being able to work. Plaintiff claims that the defendants threatened to place him in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) if he did not work. Plaintiff claims that he suffered a heart attack as a result of being forced to work and was rushed to the hospital.

         Plaintiff seeks monetary and injunctive relief.

         IV. ...

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