United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
L. MALONEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Although Plaintiff has “three
strikes, ” the Court will grant Plaintiff's
application for leave to proceed in forma pauperis
because he has sufficiently alleged an imminent danger of
serious physical injury. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(g). 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 against the unnamed prosecutor for
failure to state a claim. The Court will order service of the
complaint on the remaining defendants.
I. Factual allegations
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility
(IBC) in Ionia, Michigan. Plaintiff sues IBC Warden Tony
Trierweiler; Deputy Wardens Unknown McCauley and John Davids;
and an unnamed Ionia County prosecutor identified as
“John Doe” (“Unknown Party”).
alleges that he was involved in an incident in 1975 leading
to the stabbing death of Buut Crutcher. One of Crutcher's
family members threatened to shoot Plaintiff following the
incident. Plaintiff alleges that Crutcher's family is
connected to several gangs with members in prison, including
the Chicago Vice Lords and the East Side Bishops.
Crutcher's family has allegedly sent word to fellow gang
members in the MDOC to have Plaintiff stabbed or killed. Some
members of those gangs are incarcerated at IBC. Plaintiff
alleges that he is at risk of being stabbed. Plaintiff
apparently requested protective custody, but the prison
wardens and Inspector Wakefield denied his request. He also
contends that prosecutor Kym Worthy wrote a letter in August
2017 urging IBC to provide protective custody to Plaintiff.
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).
contends that Defendants have denied him his Eighth Amendment
rights by failing to protect him from a threat of violence.
Construing his complaint generously, he alleges that
Defendants Trierweiler, McCauley, and Davids denied his
request for protective custody. However, Plaintiff does not
make any allegations against the unnamed prosecutor. It is a
basic pleading essential that a plaintiff attribute factual
allegations to particular defendants. See
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 544 (holding that, in order to
state a claim, a plaintiff must make sufficient allegations
to give a defendant fair notice of the claim). Where a person
is named as a defendant without an allegation of specific
conduct, the complaint against that individual is subject to
dismissal, even under the liberal construction afforded to
pro se complaints. See Gilmore v. Corr. Corp. of
Am., 92 F. App'x 188, 190 (6th Cir. 2004)
(dismissing complaint where plaintiff failed to allege how
any named defendant was involved in the violation of his
rights); Frazier v. Michigan, 41 F. App'x 762,
764 (6th Cir. 2002) (dismissing plaintiff's claims where
the complaint did not allege with any degree of specificity
which of the named defendants were personally involved in or
responsible for each alleged violation of rights);
Griffin v. Montgomery, No. 00-3402, 2000 WL 1800569,
at *2 (6th Cir. Nov. 30, 2000) (requiring allegations of
personal involvement against each defendant); Rodriguez
v. Jabe, No. 90-1010, 1990 WL 82722, at *1 (6th Cir.
June 19, 1990) (“Plaintiff's claims against those
individuals are without a basis in law as the complaint is
totally devoid of allegations as to them which would suggest
their involvement in the events leading to his
injuries”). Because Plaintiff's claims fall far
short of the minimal pleading standards under Fed.R.Civ.P. 8
(requiring “a short and plain statement of the claim
showing that the pleader is entitled to relief”), his
complaint must be dismissed against Defendant Unknown Party.
Court finds that Plaintiff's allegations suffice to state
a claim against the remaining defendants.
conducted the review required by the Prison Litigation Reform
Act, the Court determines that Defendant Unknown Party,
identified as “John Doe, ” will be dismissed for
failure to state a claim. The ...