United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
PHILLIP J. GREEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
pro se, is pursuing this action against eight
Muskegon county officials in their official capacities,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims various
civil rights violations relating to an investigation and
criminal prosecution of plaintiff, as well as claims that he
was denied needed medications during his thirty days of
incarceration at the Muskegon County Jail. (Amended
Complaint, ECF No. 26).
matter is before the Court on defendants Roesler, Burns,
Waters, Steinholm, Poulin, Hilson, Hedges, and Davis'
motions, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
12(b)(6), to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a
claim. (ECF No. 38, 39, 41, 44, 45, 46). Plaintiff's
response is styled as a “motion for default judgment
and response to defense motion to dismiss complaint.”
(ECF No. 48). The Court has determined that the motions can
be denied without the need for oral argument. On October 10,
2016, prior to the instant motions, this Court granted
defendant Muskegon County's motion to dismiss pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 43). Having considered
defendants' written submissions and plaintiff's
response, the Court will grant defendants' motions to
12(b)(6) authorizes the dismissal of a complaint for
“failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Under Rule 8(a)(2) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint must
provide “ ‘a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief' in
order to ‘give the defendant fair notice of what the .
. . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.'
” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S.
41, 47 (1957), and Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). While this notice
pleading standard does not require “detailed”
factual allegations, it does require more than labels and the
bare assertion of legal conclusions. See Twombly,
550 U.S. at 555.
when considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the Court
must construe the complaint in the light most favorable to
plaintiff, accept the plaintiff's factual allegations as
true, and draw all reasonable factual inferences in
plaintiff's favor. See Total Benefits Planning
Agency, Inc. v. Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, 552
F.3d 430, 434 (6th Cir. 2008). “[C]ourts ‘are not
bound to accept as true a legal conclusion couched as a
factual allegation.' ” Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 555 (quoting Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286
(1986)). “[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the
‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment] to
relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a
formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555;
see Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 680-81 (2009);
Albrecht v. Treon, 617 F.3d 890, 893 (6th Cir.
2010). Courts are not required to conjure up unpleaded
allegations, nor accept unwarranted factual inferences.
See Total Benefits Planning, 552 F.3d at 434.
“To survive a motion to dismiss, [plaintiff] must
allege ‘enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.' ” Traverse Bay Area
Intermediate Sch. Dist. v. Michigan Dep't of Educ.,
615 F.3d 622, 627 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Twombly,
550 U.S. at 570); see Casias v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 695 F.3d 428, 435 (6th Cir. 2012).
se pleadings are held to a less stringent standard than
formal pleadings drafted by licensed attorneys. See
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007); Haines
v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Even the lenient
treatment generally given pro se pleadings has its
limits, however. See Jourdan v. Jabe, 951 F.2d 108,
110 (6th Cir. 1991). “A plaintiff must ‘plead [ ]
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct
alleged.' ” Albrecht, 617 F.3d at 893
(quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). “A plaintiff
falls short if  he pleads facts ‘merely consistent
with the defendant's liability' or if the alleged
facts do not ‘permit the court to infer more than the
mere possibility of misconduct[.]' ”
Albrecht, 617 F.3d at 893 (quoting Iqbal,
556 U.S. at 678-79).
alleges various claims against individuals of the Muskegon
County Prosecutor's office. (Amended Complaint, ECF No.
26, PageID.292-94). The various allegations against defendant
Hedges, in his official capacity as a Muskegon County
Prosecutor, include prosecutorial misconduct, malicious
prosecution, “violation of the  6th
Amendment Rights of Plaintiff when constant false Felony
criminal charges had been manufactured and added as new
Felony charges, ” and “making a Fair and Speedy
Trial Impossible for this Plaintiff.” (Am. Compl., ECF
No. 26, PageID.292-93); (Defs. Hilson, Hedges, and Davis'
Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 46-1, PageID.547-49).
alleges that defendant Hedges' “prosecutorial
misconduct” occurred under the supervision of defendant
Hilson, in his official capacity as Elected Muskegon County
Prosecutor. (Am. Compl., ECF No. 26, PageID.292); (ECF No.
46-1, PageID.547). The allegation against defendant
“Randy” Davis,  in his capacity as a Muskegon
County Prosecutor, was the wrongful pursuit of
“Attempted Resisting Arrest charges while knowingly and
willingly violating Brady Disclosure.” (Am. Compl., ECF
No. 26, PageID.293); (ECF No. 46-1, PageID.548). Finally,
plaintiff alleges that his computer was the subject of a
“study” that was talked about within the
Prosecutor's office and among visitors, but plaintiff
does not identify defendants Hilson, Hedges, or Davis as
participants in the aforementioned study. (Am. Compl., ECF
No. 26, PageID.292-93); (ECF No. 46-1, PageID.548).
further alleges that defendant Waters, acting in her official
capacity as the Muskegon County Clerk, “engaged in the
Obstruction of Justice when [she] failed to forward
Plaintiff's ‘Renewed Pleadings' as properly
filed by this Plaintiff with the Muskegon County Clerks
Office, ” and that the “County Clerk's office
knowingly violated the Michigan Freedom of Information Act
rights of Plaintiff upon denying access to public records to
Plaintiff.” (Am. Compl., ECF No. 26, PageID.293); (Def.
Waters' Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 41-1, PageID.456-57).
allegations against defendant Poulin, in his official
capacity as the Muskegon County Emergency Response Team
Commander, include violation of plaintiff's
4th and 8th Amendment rights for
“conducting an unreasonable search and seizure,
resulting in excessive bail in the amount of $70, 000.00 and
violation of citizenship rights and equal protection of
laws.” (Am. Compl., ECF No. 26, PageID.293); (Def.
Poulin's Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 45-1, PageID.517-18).
Finally, plaintiff alleges that defendants Roesler, Burns,
and Steinholm, acting in their official capacities of
Muskegon County Sheriff, Jail Administrator, and Jail
Corrections Officer respectively, “enforce[d] a jail
policy to absolutely deny life sustaining medications to
inmates, ” including plaintiff. (Am. Compl., ECF No.
26, PageID.294); (Defs. Roesler, Burns, and Steinholm's
Motion to Dismiss, ECF No. 38-1, 39-1, 44-1, PageID.427, 441,
502). Assuming plaintiff's allegations are true, and
construing them in a light most favorable to plaintiff, the
complaint fails to state a claim against the defendants.
Official Capacity Claims
lawsuits “generally represent only another way of
pleading an action against an entity of which an officer is
an agent.” Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159,
165 (1985) (citing Monell v. New York City Dept. of
Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 690, n. 55 (1978)). An
official-capacity suit is to be treated as a suit against the
entity itself. Id. at 166 (citing Brandon v.
Holt, 469 U.S. 464, 471-72 (1985)); See also Matthew
v. Jones, 35 F.3d 1046, 1049 (6th Cir. 1994).
“Individuals sued in their official capacities stand in
the shoes of the entity they represent, ” and the suit
is not against the official personally. Alkire v.
Irving, 330 F.3d 802, 810 (6th Cir. 2003);
Graham, 473 U.S. at 165-66 (cited by Baar v.
Jefferson County Bd. Of Education, 476 F. App'x 621,
634 (6th Cir. 2012)). See, e.g., Constantino v. Mich.
Dep't of State Police, 707 F.Supp.2d 724, 732 (W.D.
Mich. 2010); Swartz Ambulance Serv., Inc. v. Genesee
County, 666 F.Supp.2d 721, 726 (E.D. Mich. 2009);
R.S.S.W., Inc. v. City of Keego Harbor, 18 F.Supp.2d
738, 750 (E.D. Mich. 1998); see also Thompson v.
Connick, 578 F.3d 293 (5th Cir. 2009) (holding that it
is proper to dismiss allegations against government ...