United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
J. QUIST, 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 Defendants Russell and
Buskirk. The Court will serve the complaint against
Defendants Johnson, Aiken, Papendick, Lindout, Mindlin, and
Robert James Morgan is presently incarcerated with the
Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Chippewa
Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, Michigan. The incidents
of which he complains, however, occurred when Plaintiff was
at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia, Michigan.
May of 2015, Plaintiff tore his bicep tendon and ligaments in
an accident. He claims that Defendants have failed to treat
him. Specifically, Plaintiff contends that Defendants refused
to provide him surgery to repair the damage caused by the
accident. As a result, Plaintiff suffers constant pain, lack
of mobility, and loss of strength.
is suing Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility healthcare
providers Dr. George Johnson and nurses S. Aiken, and Andrea
Lindout; Duane L. Waters Health Center doctors Keith
Papendick and Lyle Mindlin; and MDOC Bureau of Healthcare
Services nurse R. Harbaugh. Plaintiff contends that each of
these Defendants participated in the failure to treat his
also sues Bellamy Creek Housing Unit Manager Sue Buskirk and
MDOC Legal Affairs Grievance Manager Richard Russell.
Plaintiff does not allege that Defendants Buskirk and Russell
denied him care. Instead he alleges that their review of his
disputes regarding healthcare (presumably grievances against
the healthcare personnel) were not satisfactory.
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 - 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)).
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); Street
v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 102 F.3d 810, 814 (6th Cir.
1996). Because § 1983 is a method for vindicating
federal rights, not a source of substantive rights itself,
the first step in an action under § 1983 is to identify
the specific constitutional right allegedly infringed.
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994).
allegations are sketchy. Nonetheless, construed liberally,
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Johnson, Aiken, Papendick,
Lindout, Mindlin, and Harbaugh, as healthcare providers, were
deliberately indifferent to the serious medical need arising
from Plaintiff accidental injury during May of 2015.
Plaintiff's allegations suffice to state a claim against
Defendants Johnson, Aiken, Papendick, Lindout, Mindlin, and
Harbaugh for violation of the Eighth Amendment.
fails to make specific factual allegations against Defendants
Buskirk and Russell, other than to suggest that their
response was insufficient to his complaints regarding the
healthcare provided (or not provided) by the other
claimed constitutional violation must be based upon active
unconstitutional behavior. Grinter v. Knight, 532
F.3d 567, 575-76 (6th Cir. 2008); Greene v. Barber,
310 F.3d 889, 899 (6th Cir. 2002). Government officials may
not be held liable for the unconstitutional conduct of their
subordinates under a theory of respondeat superior or
vicarious liability. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 676;
Monell v. New York City Dep't of Soc. Servs.,
436 U.S. 658, 691(1978); Everson v. Leis, 556 F.3d
484, 495 (6th Cir. 2009). The acts of one's subordinates
are not enough, nor can supervisory liability be based upon
the mere failure to act. Grinter, 532 F.3d at 576;
Greene, 310 F.3d at 899; Summers v. Leis,
368 F.3d 881, 888 (6th Cir. 2004). Moreover, § 1983
liability may not be imposed simply because a supervisor
denied an administrative grievance or failed to act based
upon information contained in a grievance. See ...