United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern 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, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff's complaint
for failure to state a claim against Defendants Alexsander,
Govern, Horton, Huss, Laiten, Neimisto, Tasson, Paville, and
Woods. The Court will serve the complaint against Defendant
Damon Sean Allen, a state prisoner currently confined to the
Kinross Correctional Facility (KCF), filed this pro
se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
against Defendants Deputy Warden James Alexsander, Assistant
Resident Unit Supervisor Unknown Govern, Deputy Warden Connie
Horton, Deputy Warden Erica Huss, Assistant Resident Unit
Supervisor Mike Laiten, Warden Robert Napel, Inspector Ken
Neimisto, Inspector Doug Tasson, Recreation Director Joel
Paville, and Warden Jeffrey Woods.
Plaintiff's complaint, he alleges that on January 25,
2016, he fell approximately 15 to 20 feet from a peg climbing
wall inside the gym during a work out class. Plaintiff
required surgery at War Memorial Hospital to repair his left
leg. On January 30, 2016, Plaintiff was taken to the
infirmary at the Marquette Branch Prison (MBP). Plaintiff
sent a letter to MDOC Director Heidi Washington complaining
about the conditions that led to his accident.
February 3, 2016, Plaintiff was informed that he was being
placed on a 90 day phone restriction. Plaintiff requested a
formal hearing and refused to sign a waiver. After 14
business days, Plaintiff sent a kite to all the Defendants
involved with the illegal phone restriction, requesting that
his phone be reactivated because the time for holding a
hearing had passed. Plaintiff's request was ignored.
Plaintiff sent a second kite to all Defendants, asserting
that his rights were being violated. Nurse Brenda James told
Plaintiff that Defendant Napel was angry because staff had
overheard Plaintiff and his mother talking about filing a
lawsuit and had instituted the phone restriction in
retaliation. During the phone restriction, Plaintiff's
mother sent him a letter informing him that his nephew had
died. Plaintiff filed a grievance regarding the phone
restriction, asserting that he suffered emotional distress
because he was unable to communicate with his family around
the time of his nephew's death. Plaintiff's phone was
not reactivated until the 90 day period expired.
21, 2016, Plaintiff had the “fixator” surgically
removed and the surgeon told Plaintiff that he would have to
deal with arthritis in that area for the rest of his life. On
August 24, 2016, Plaintiff sent a request for a declaratory
ruling to the MDOC Director's Office regarding the lack
of safety equipment in place when Plaintiff fell from the peg
climbing wall. On September 6, 2016, Plaintiff was diagnosed
with post traumatic stress disorder by Dr. Debra A. Leblanc,
states that Defendants violated his rights under the First,
Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiff seeks damages.
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).
claims that Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights
by failing to provide the proper safety equipment for the peg
climbing wall. The Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of
the Eighth Amendment embodies a constitutional limitation on
the power of the states to punish those convicted of crime.
Punishment may not be “barbarous, ” nor may it
contravene society's “evolving standards of
decency.” Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 346
(1981); Trop v. Dulles, 356 U.S. 86 (1958). The
clause therefore prohibits conduct by prison officials that
involves the “unnecessary and wanton infliction of
pain.” Ivey v. Wilson, 832 F.2d 950, 954 (6th
Cir. 1987) (per curiam) (quoting Rhodes, 452 U.S. at
Eighth Amendment claim comprises objective and subjective
components: (1) a sufficiently grave deprivation and (2) a
sufficiently culpable state of mind. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 8341977 (1994); Woods v.
LeCureux, 110 F.3d 1215, 1222 (6th Cir. 1997). A prison
official cannot be found liable unless the official has acted
with deliberate indifference; that is, the official must know
of and disregard an excessive risk to inmate health or
safety. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837; see also Wilson
v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 302-03 (1991) (deliberate
indifference standard applies to all claims challenging
conditions of confinement to determine whether defendants
acted wantonly). The official must both be aware of facts
from which the inference could be drawn that a substantial
risk of serious harm exists and he must also draw the
inference. Farmer, 511 U.S. at 837. Thus, the mental
state required ...