United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
T. Neff 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 Defendant Yon. The Court
will serve the complaint against Defendants Buda, Lehto,
Stachowicz, Matter, and Stafford.
Raymond Delano Pitts, a state prisoner currently incarcerated
at the Cooper Street Correctional Facility, filed this
pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against Defendants Joseph Barrett, Steven Buda,
Steven Lehto, Jeffrey Stachowicz, Ronald Stafford, Andrew
Matter, and Michael Yon. Plaintiff originally filed this case
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District
of Michigan. On January 18, 2017, the Eastern District
dismissed Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Barrett
and transferred the remainder of Plaintiff's claims to
this Court. All of the remaining Defendants were employed at
the Ojibway Correctional Facility (OCF) during the pertinent
Plaintiff's complaint, he alleges that on March 12, 2015,
while he was incarcerated at OCF, he became involved in a
fight with another prisoner. Upon the arrival of Defendants
Buda, Stachowicz, Matter, and Lehto, Plaintiff stopped
fighting and put his hands in the air to show his surrender.
Plaintiff was ordered to lie on the ground and Defendant Buda
placed his knee in the center of Plaintiff's back.
Plaintiff offered his left arm to be cuffed while telling
Defendant Buda that he had a plate in his wrist from a
previous injury and his left arm did not bend. While cuffing
Plaintiff, Defendant Buda squeezed and twisted
Plaintiff's wrist and forearm and struck the back of
Plaintiff's wrist, breaking Plaintiff forearm. Defendant
Buda then exclaimed that Plaintiff's arm bent now.
Plaintiff told Defendant Buda that he thought his arm was
broken. Defendant Buda responded that maybe Plaintiff would
think about that before deciding to fight again.
Lehto, Stachowicz, Stafford, and Matter were members of the
yard crew and it was their duty to provide security in the
yard. Defendant Matter did not intervene to prevent Plaintiff
from being harmed by Defendant Buda. After the incident,
Defendant Matter and another officer took Plaintiff to health
care, where Plaintiff was seen by RN Jean Riverside, who
determined that Plaintiff's left wrist was broken. Before
Plaintiff was placed in a transport van, Defendant Yon told
I had to leave my Bar-B-Que because of this shit. You better
be glad that it wasn't one of my officers that got hurt.
If that was the case they'd be taking the
“long” way to the hospital and you might not have
made it back! Be careful what you say to the state police,
remember you have to live here and we can make it real hard
on you, real hard. Tell them what you want to, but remember,
this is the U.P. and we run this shit up here.
See ECF No. 1, PageID.8.
was taken to the hospital by Defendants Stafford and
Stachowicz. After Plaintiff was treated, he was returned to
OCF, and was then sent to level five security at the Baraga
Correctional Facility. Plaintiff was served with disciplinary
charges on March 13, 2015, and Plaintiff was found guilty on
March 24, 2015. Plaintiff was sentenced to ten days of
detention and thirty days loss of privileges, in addition to
$304.43. Plaintiff filed a grievance regarding his misconduct
conviction, which was denied at every level. Plaintiff's
three subsequent grievances were all rejected as duplicative
by Defendant Yon.
was transferred to the St. Louis Correctional Facility (SRF)
and on March 25, 2015, Plaintiff submitted a health care
request complaining of extreme pain in his broken left wrist
and forearm. Plaintiff received a response stating that
Motrin had been prescribed and that Plaintiff would be called
out. On March 30, 2015, Plaintiff was issued a splint for his
wrist, along with two ace wraps. On June 14, 2015, Plaintiff
requested pain medication and was told to watch for a
callout. Plaintiff again requested pain medication on June
25, 2015, and also in July and August of 2015. However,
health services continued to prescribe Plaintiff inadequate
medication. Plaintiff claims that he needs surgery and
physical therapy to avoid a permanent disability.
claims that Defendants violated his rights under the Eighth
and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiff seeks compensatory and
punitive damages. Plaintiff also seeks declaratory relief.
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 - ...