United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
L. Maloney United States District Judge
a civil rights action initially brought by three state
prisoners, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has
since dismissed Plaintiffs Moreno and Jackson from the action
(ECF No. 10) for failure either to pay their $116.67 portions
of the filing fee or to file the documents required to
proceed in forma pauperis, as ordered by the Court.
The Court has granted Plaintiff Klotz leave to proceed in
forma pauperis (ECF No. 9).
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 claims
concerning double-bunking, toilets, showers, and mold. The
Court will serve Plaintiff's claims concerning
out-of-cell exercise and drinking water.
Terry Lin Klotz presently is incarcerated at the Ingham
County Jail (ICJ). He sues the ICJ for alleged Eighth or
Fourteenth Amendment violations.
to the complaint, Plaintiff is lodged in a cell originally
designed for one person, which is presently occupied by two
people. The cell is made of brick on all four sides, with a
solid entrance door. Plaintiff is locked in his cell for 18
hours in every day, with two periods, 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. and
8:00 to 11:00 p.m., spent in a television room with 30
prisoners. He asserts that no running or other
cardio-vascular exercise is permitted in the out-of-cell
area. In addition, he asserts that he is not provided any gym
time or other opportunity for cardiovascular exercise.
also alleges that the toilet for his cell is digitally timed
to flush only twice in every hour. He complains that, if both
prisoners use the toilet once during the course of an hour,
no flushes remain until the hour has passed. Plaintiff
alleges that, when one of the prisoners needs to use the
toilet a third time in the hour, his urine and feces must
remain in the toilet until the timer is reset. He contends
that, in such instances, he must smell the odors of the urine
or feces until the toilet can be flushed again. Plaintiff
also complains that, should he need to defecate during that
period, he may experience unsanitary toilet-bowl splash. In
addition, he contends, when the toilets flush, urine and
feces from other cells sometimes come up in his cell's
toilet. Further, when showers are taken, the water runs for
only three minutes, which Plaintiff contends is too little to
wash the offending germs from his body.
addition, Plaintiff claims that the prison has closed one
“post” due to the presence of black mold.
(Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.8.) He also alleges that there are
“signs everywhere saying that the water is unsafe. He
alleges that, while jail employees drink bottled water or
water from their own homes, prisoners are required to drink
the tap water, despite the signs saying the water is unsafe.
contends that the complained-of conditions amount to cruel
and unusual punishment.
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 ...