United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
J. QUIST, 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.
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at Richard A. Handlon Correctional
Facility (MTU) in Ionia, Ionia County, Michigan. The events
about which he complains, however, occurred while Plaintiff
was incarcerated at the Marquette Branch Prison (MBP) and the
Kinross Correctional Facility (KCF). Plaintiff sues MBP
Warden R. Napel, Deputy Warden E. Huss, Resident Unit Manager
C. Tallio, Assistant Resident Unit Supervisor K. Giesen,
Assistant Resident Unit Supervisor C. Lacount, Assistant
Resident Unit Supervisor F. Govern, Unknown Party named as
A-Dorm Assistant Resident Unit Supervisor, and Deputy Warden
alleges that on March 3, 2017, MBP suffered extensive power
outages. In an effort to restore power, the Marquette Board
of Light and Power Company sent a 600 AMP surge into MBP. The
electrical outlets at MBP do not have surge protection. As a
result of the surge, Plaintiff's typewriter was damaged.
Plaintiff claims that he does not have sufficient funds to
have his typewriter repaired. Plaintiff filed a grievance
regarding the damage to his typewriter, which was denied by
Defendant Alexander. Plaintiff complains that Defendant
Alexander should not have responded to his grievance because
he was named in the grievance.
alleges that on May 8, 2017, he was transferred from MBP to
KCF. Plaintiff's typewriter was sent via catch-up
property on May 10, 2017. Upon arrival at KCF,
Plaintiff's typewriter was confiscated by the property
room supervisor. Plaintiff claims that Defendants
“acting through other agents (i.e. Marquette Branch
Prisoner Property Room Officers), egregiously claimed that
the typewriter was operational, while knowing that it was
not.” Consequently, when the typewriter arrived at KCF
already damaged, it was confiscated. Plaintiff contends that
his typewriter was necessary for him to access the courts and
that the Defendants' conduct violated his rights under
the First Amendment.
seeks equitable relief and 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).
Plaintiff's complaint, he asserts that Defendants were
negligent because they had knowledge of a potentially
hazardous condition in the cells as a result of having no
outlet surge protection. And that this negligence caused
Plaintiff to suffer a loss. Plaintiff alleges nothing more
than a negligent or inadvertent deprivation of his rights. He
does not allege intentional misconduct or even gross
negligence. Negligence is not enough to state a claim under
the procedural element of the Due Process Clause. Daniels
v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327, 330-31 (1986). Accordingly,
plaintiff has not stated a viable procedural due process
also asserts that Defendants violated his due process rights
by falsely stating that his typewriter was not damaged prior
to it being sent to KCF. Plaintiff asserts that this
falsehood made it impossible for him to get reimbursement for
the damage that had actually been caused by the power surge.
Plaintiff's due process claim is barred by the doctrine
of Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527 (1981),
overruled in part by Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S.
327 (1986). Under Parratt, a person deprived of
property by a “random and unauthorized act” of a
state employee has no federal due process claim unless the
state fails to afford an adequate post-deprivation remedy. If
an adequate post-deprivation remedy exists, the deprivation,
although real, is not “without due process of
law.” Parratt, 451 U.S. at 537. This rule
applies to both negligent and intentional deprivation of
property as long as the deprivation was not done pursuant to
an established state procedure. See Hudson v.
Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 530-36 (1984). Because
Plaintiff's claim is premised upon allegedly unauthorized
acts of a state official, he must plead and prove the
inadequacy of state post-deprivation remedies. See
Copeland v. Machulis, 57 F.3d 476, 479-80 (6th Cir.
1995); Gibbs v. Hopkins, 10 F.3d 373, 378 (6th Cir.
1993). Under settled Sixth Circuit authority, a
prisoner's failure to sustain this burden requires
dismissal of his ' 1983 due-process claim. See Brooks
v. Dutton, 751 F.2d 197 (6th Cir. 1985).
has not sustained his burden in this case. Plaintiff has not
alleged that state post-deprivation remedies are inadequate.
Moreover, numerous state post-deprivation remedies are
available to him. First, a prisoner who incurs a loss through
no fault of his own may petition the institution's
Prisoner Benefit Fund for compensation. Mich. Dep't of
Corr., Policy Directive 04.07.112, & B (effective Dec.
12, 2013). Aggrieved prisoners may also submit claims for
property loss of less than $1, 000 to the State
Administrative Board. Mich. Comp. Laws ' 600.6419; MDOC
Policy Directive 03.02.131 (effective Oct. 21, 2013).
Alternatively, Michigan law authorizes actions in the Court
of Claims asserting tort or contract claims “against
the state and any of its departments, commissions, boards,
institutions, arms, or agencies.” Mich. Comp. Laws
' 600.6419(1)(a). The Sixth Circuit specifically has held
that Michigan provides adequate post-deprivation remedies ...