United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern 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,
Dominique Doss, 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.
a state prisoner currently confined at the Marquette Branch
Prison (MBP), filed this pro se civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants Hearing
Officer Linda Maki and Corrections Officer Unknown McPherson.
Plaintiff alleges that on July 30, 2015, he made the
following statement to Defendant McPherson: “I'm
going to beat your ass for playing with my mail.”
Defendant McPherson told Plaintiff that there was no need to
make threats and that he would check everyone's mail
before he passed it out.
August 5, 2015, Plaintiff filed a grievance against Defendant
McPherson regarding McPherson's handling of the mail. On
August 10, 2015, Defendant McPherson threatened to have
Plaintiff placed in administrative segregation for filing
grievances. Plaintiff offers the affidavits of inmates B.
Martin #251228 and Samuel Sams #698201, who both attest that
they heard Defendant McPherson tell Plaintiff that a
grievance would not get him anywhere but in segregation.
See ECF Nos. 1-3 and ECF No. 1-4. Plaintiff's
grievance was denied at each step.
September 10, 2015, Plaintiff filed a grievance on Defendant
McPherson for placing his mail on the floor and kicking it
under Plaintiff's door. On September 27, 2015, Plaintiff
filed a grievance on Defendant McPherson for pouring shampoo
on Plaintiff's legal paperwork while conducting a
shakedown of Plaintiff's cell. Defendant McPherson told
Plaintiff that he was lucky that he had not been set up by
Defendant McPherson, and that only time would tell.
October 6, 2015, Defendant McPherson wrote a misconduct
ticket on Plaintiff for threatening behavior. Plaintiff
believes that the ticket was motivated by a desire to
retaliate against him for his use of the grievance system. On
October 7, 2015, Plaintiff filed a grievance on Defendant
McPherson claiming that the misconduct ticket was
retaliatory. Plaintiff provided five witness statements in
support of this grievance. On October 12, 2015, Defendant
Maki held a hearing on the misconduct ticket. Defendant Maki
excluded all five of Plaintiff's witness statements from
evidence at the hearing. Defendant Maki found Plaintiff
guilty of threatening behavior and sentenced him to five days
detention, thirty days loss of privileges, and placement in
administrative segregation. Plaintiff's security level
was elevated by seven points and the misconduct conviction
was added to Plaintiff's file, which had a negative
impact on Plaintiff's parole eligibility. Plaintiff's
request for rehearing was denied by Richard D. Russell.
spent two-hundred and six days in administrative segregation.
Plaintiff claims that conditions in administrative
segregation were harsh. Plaintiff claims that Corrections
Officers in administrative segregation make rounds every
twenty minutes, during which they bang a metal pipe against
the cell doors, disturbing inmates who are attempting to
sleep, study, or pray. This conduct caused Plaintiff to awake
from sleep frightened, gave him headaches, and made him
paranoid and anxious. Plaintiff claims that during his time
in administrative segregation he was sexually assaulted by
staff, slammed down on his head while restrained, and was
given two class II misconduct tickets. Plaintiff also claims
that other inmates in administrative segregation frequently
bang on doors and walls, yell, sing, argue, and throw urine
and feces. Plaintiff contends that he suffered mental and
emotional distress and sleep deprivation.
alleges that while he was confined in administrative
segregation, a Corrections Officer stood next to him in the
exam room whenever he visited health services. Sometimes
Corrections Officers discussed Plaintiff's medical issues
in his presence. Plaintiff also lost the opportunity to use
the phone during recreation time, was in restraints whenever
leaving his cell, and was only allotted five minutes to
shower and shave. Plaintiff's educational, exercise,
visitation, and religious opportunities were also either
eliminated or severely restricted.
claims that Defendants violated his rights under the First
and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiff seeks compensatory and
punitive damages, as well as declaratory and injunctive
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);
Dominguez v. Corr. Med. Servs., 555 F.3d 543, 549
(6th Cir. 2009). Because § 1983 is a method for
vindicating federal rights, not a source of substantive
rights itself, the first step in an action under ...