United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
HONORABLE JANET T. NEFF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court denied Plaintiff leave to
proceed in forma pauperis, because he had three
strikes within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
Plaintiff thereafter paid the entire $400.00 civil action
filing fee. 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. §
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.
Dwayne Anthony Johnson presently is incarcerated with the
Michigan Department of Corrections at the Oaks Correctional
Facility (ECF). He sues ECF Librarian (unknown) Sikon.
alleges that he was transferred to ECF on October 5, 2016. He
was placed in administrative segregation on a misconduct
conviction for “incit[ing] to riot or strike, ”
based on his participation in a riot at Kinross Correctional
Facility in September 2016. On February 21, 2017, Plaintiff
sent two legal envelopes and a legal photocopy disbursement
to the library. One envelope contained a 17-page complaint
and 46 exhibits and a 6-page Motion for Injunction. Plaintiff
asked for two copies of the contents of the first envelope.
The second envelope contained an 8-page Petition for Judicial
Review, together with a 34-page brief in support. He
requested three copies of the contents of the second
February 23, 2017, Defendant Sikon brought both envelopes
back to Plaintiff in segregation. Sikon informed Plaintiff
that his photocopy requests were being denied, because he had
insufficient funds in his account to pay for the copies.
Defendant Sikon advised Plaintiff that, because he was
assigned a legal writer, he could have the legal writer
prepare legal documents, and copies would be provided for any
documents drafted by the legal writer. Plaintiff, however,
was not entitled to free copies of his own handwritten legal
documents. He instead was required to hand-copy his legal
told Defendant Sikon that he did not need a legal writer,
because he had a paralegal diploma and could prepare his own.
Plaintiff then told Defendant Sikon that he believed Sikon
had read his legal work, to which Sikon responded,
“[S]o I guess you're gonna sue me too.”
(Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.5.) Defendant Sikon then slammed
the door slot shut and walked away, purportedly with a smirk
on his face.
filed a grievance, which was denied at Steps I and II, on
March 4 and April 7, 2017, respectively. On April 8,
Plaintiff learned that Defendant Sikon had provided a loan
for photocopies to prisoner Braddox, even though Braddox did
not have sufficient funds in his prisoner account. Prisoner
Braddox was confined to segregation for the same reason as
Plaintiff. Plaintiff thereafter filed a Step-III grievance,
which was denied on May 26, 2017.
contends that Defendant Sikon violated his rights under the
Equal Protection Clause, when Sikon denied him funds for
copies of his documents, but granted a prison loan for
photocopies to prisoner Braddox. Plaintiff seeks compensatory
and punitive 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);
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 ...