United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
GEORDAN ARTIS, et al. Plaintiffs,
INGHAM COUNTY JAIL et al., Defendants.
T. Neff, United States District Judge.
a civil rights action, originally brought by eight Ingham
County Jail inmates pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Since
filing, the Court has denied Plaintiff Paul Jackson leave to
proceed in forma pauperis (ECF Nos. 9-10), because
he had previously filed at least three cases that were
dismissed on the grounds that they were frivolous, malicious
or failed to state a claim. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(g). Jackson has paid his $43.75 portion of the civil
action filing fee. The Court has also granted the motions of
James Dalton and Leonard Samuel Barlow to proceed in
forma pauperis. The claims of the other five plaintiffs
(Geordan Artis, Dymarion Jackson, Cornelius Smith, Willie
Lewis, and John Glazier) have been dismissed for lack of
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 Plaintiffs' pro se complaint indulgently,
see Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and
accept Plaintiffs' allegations as true, unless they are
clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 33 (1992). Applying these
standards, Plaintiffs' action will be dismissed for
failure to state a claim.
Jackson, Dalton and Barlow are incarcerated at the Ingham
County Jail (ICJ). They sue the ICJ; Ingham County Sheriff
Scott Wriggelsworth; Ingham County Deputies Gaston, Johnson,
Wallace, Perry, Bradley, and Davis (first names unknown); and
Ingham County Sergeant Unknown Nye. Plaintiffs complain
generally about the conditions of their confinement.
1. “[T]there is black mold everywhere” and that
“numerous post/pods/floors have been closed because of
it.” (Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.5, ¶ 1.)
2. They are instructed “not to drink the water”
without explanation. (Id., ¶ 2.)
3. Two persons are housed in cells intended for one person.
(Id., ¶ 3.)
4. Inmates are locked in their cells for eighteen hours a day
and are permitted out for only two 3-hour periods in a small
television room. They are not permitted to go to the gym or
outside for exercise. (Id., ¶ 4.)
5. The toilets are timed to flush twice an hour. After the
two flushes, inmates are forced to defecate or urinate in a
dirty toilet which is unsanitary and odorous. (Id.,
6. The shower only stays on for three minutes (Id.,
7. One Plaintiff had his food thrown on the floor by
deputies. (Id., ¶ 7.)
8. Plaintiffs have been denied law library privileges and,
thus, access to the courts. (Id., ¶8.)
seek compensatory and punitive damages in the amount of $500,
000.00 each. In addition, the complaint purports to be filed
as a class action for all similarly situated
identify themselves as “Class Action Plaintiffs.”
(Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.3.) The Court construes this as a
request for class certification. For a case to proceed as a
class action, the court must be satisfied on a number of
grounds, including the adequacy of class representation.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(4). It is well established
that pro se litigants are inappropriate
representatives of the interests of others. See Garrison
v. Mich. Dep't of Corr., 333 F. App'x 914, 919
(6th Cir. 2009) (citing Oxendine v. Williams, 509
F.2d 1405, 1407 (4th Cir. 1975)); see also Dodson v.
Wilkinson, 304 F. App'x 434, 438 (6th Cir. 2008);
Ziegler v. Michigan, 59 F. App'x 622, 624 (6th
Cir. 2003); Palasty v. Hawk, 15 F. App'x 197,
200 (6th Cir. 2001); Howard v. Dougan, No. 99-2232,
2000 WL 876770, at *1 (6th Cir. June 23, 2000). Because
Plaintiffs are incarcerated pro se litigants, the
Court finds that they are not appropriate representatives of
a class. Therefore, the Court will deny Plaintiffs'
request for class certification.
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
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