United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
L. Maloney 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, Plaintiff's action will be dismissed for
failure to state a claim.
David Wilson is presently incarcerated with the Michigan
Department of Corrections at the Earnest C. Brooks
Correctional Facility (LRF) in Muskegon Heights, Michigan.
Plaintiff sues several MDOC official and employees from LRF:
Warden Shirlee Harry, Business Manager Unknown Groenhof,
General Office Assistant Unknown Dietz, Resident Unit Manager
Unknown Cummings, and Assistant Resident Unit Manager Unknown
complaint centers on the rejection of mail he received on
June 14, 2016. Plaintiff alleges that on that date he
received three separate letters containing a number of
photographs. The mailroom personnel combined the photos from
the three letters and issued a notice to Plaintiff that the
photographs were being rejected because the photos were
simply too numerous to permit effective shakedown of their
content. The rejection notice was signed by Defendant Dietz.
8, 2016, J. Minich conducted a hearing regarding the mail
rejection. Minich determined that the photos themselves, with
the exception of four photos, did not violate policy.
Accordingly, Plaintiff anticipated receiving all but the four
photos. According to Plaintiff, that did not occur because
Defendant Cummings disagreed with the result of the hearing
and ordered a new hearing.
27, 2016, Plaintiff was given a second hearing. The result
was the same. The photos themselves did not violate policy.
Following this result, Defendant Groenhof ordered that the
photos be withheld from Plaintiff. Defendant Cummings ordered
yet another hearing.
August 17, 2016, Defendant Irby conducted the third hearing.
Defendant Irby concluded that the prior hearings had failed
to comply with MDOC policy regarding voluminous mail and that
it was the volume of the photographs that Plaintiff received,
not the content that was at issue. Defendant Irby found that
Plaintiff should not receive the photographs. Plaintiff
states that he was able to view the photographs at the
hearings and that the content of the photos was in no way
pursued a grievance regarding the rejection of the
photographs. He claims that Defendant Cummings reviewed the
grievance with Plaintiff at the first step. Plaintiff
contends that Cummings should not have reviewed a grievance
in which she was so deeply involved. Defendant Harry denied
Plaintiff's grievance at the second step claiming the
grievance was untimely. At the third step, the MDOC informed
Plaintiff that there was nothing left to resolve because,
according to information from LRF, Plaintiff had received the
mail to which he was entitled. Plaintiff claims that
Defendants (he does not identify which Defendant) misinformed
the MDOC that numerous pictures were in violation of policy
because they showed nudity.
March 13, 2017, Defendant Dietz informed Plaintiff that the
pictures would be disposed of if Plaintiff did not mail them
contends that Defendants violated his First and Fourteenth
Amendment rights. He seeks a declaration to that effect. He
seeks an injunction against such violations and an order that
Defendants' employment terminate if they violate the
injunction and their conduct is determined to be malicious.
Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages of $2.00 for each
photograph rejected and punitive damages of $25, 000.00 from
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 - ...