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, Plaintiff's action will be dismissed for
failure to state a claim.
Robert Leon Wiggins, a state prisoner currently confined at
the Baraga Maximum Correctional Facility (AMF), filed this
pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 against Defendants Hearing Administrator Richard
D. Russell, Hearing Officer Thomas O. Morhman, Hearing
Investigator R. Mohr, Lieutenant Unknown Maki, Sergeant
Unknown Baldini, and Corrections Officer Unknown Kinasz.
alleges that on September 10, 2016, while he was confined at
the Kinross Correctional Facility (KCF), there was a protest
in the prison yard. Plaintiff states that he did not
participate in the protest and never left his unit. Plaintiff
was on his way out of the “cube, ” when the siren
blew. The unit officer began his rounds and Plaintiff got
back on his bunk. Once the officer finished rounds, Plaintiff
walked up the hallway to the officer station, looked at the
clock, and then went into the T.V. room.
states that at some point, prisoners who had been outside at
the protest returned to their units and count was taken.
After count, there were no call-outs, no yard, and telephone
or j-pay use. Later, another count was taken and never
cleared, so prisoners continued to be in their cubes.
Subsequently, officers left the units and went into the
control center. Seconds later, the Emergency Response Team
(ERT) emerged and surrounded the units with guns drawn.
Prisoners in the cubes were gassed without warning. Prisoners
were then ordered to walk backwards with their hands up out
of the unit's backdoor.
was taken to the kitchen, where Defendant Kinasz asked him
his name and number. Plaintiff was strip searched in front of
other prisoners and numerous officers, including female
officers. Plaintiff was then recuffed and shackled and was
taken to the Marquette Branch Prison (MBP). Plaintiff arrived
at MBP on September 11, 2016, at approximately 3:00 a.m. On
September 12, 2016, Plaintiff received an “incite to
riot” ticket that had been written by Defendant Maki at
KCF. The ticket was dated September 11, 2016, with a time of
1825 hours [6:25 p.m.]. Plaintiff did not receive a review of
the ticket within 24 hours as required by MDOC policy.
Defendant Mohr gave Plaintiff a form to fill out giving his
personal statement of the facts surrounding the misconduct
charge. Plaintiff filled out the form and dated it September
13, 2016. He then returned the form to Defendant Mohr.
Plaintiff did not receive the documents he requested and was
never interviewed by Defendant Mohr.
September 19, 2016, Defendant Mohrman conducted a
disciplinary hearing, during which Plaintiff was not allowed
to hear the witness statements or testimony. Nor was
Plaintiff allowed to present witnesses or evidence to verify
his story. Plaintiff was found guilty and received 30 days
loss of privileges. On September 21, 2016, Plaintiff received
a hearing after which he was classified to administrative
segregation. Plaintiff's appeal of the misconduct
conviction was denied by Defendant Russell.
claims that Defendants' conduct violated his due process
rights. Plaintiff seeks costs, compensatory and punitive
damages, and equitable relief.
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 § 1983
is to identify the specific constitutional right allegedly
infringed. Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271
claims that the major misconduct charges against him were
“false.” A prisoner's ability to challenge a
prison misconduct conviction depends on whether the
convictions implicated any liberty interest. In the seminal
case in this area, Wolff v. McDonnell, 418 U.S. 539
(1974), the Court prescribed certain minimal procedural
safeguards that prison officials must follow before depriving
a prisoner of good-time credits on account of alleged
misbehavior. The Wolff Court did not create a
free-floating right to process that attaches to all prison
disciplinary proceedings; rather ...