United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
L. MALONEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act,
Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321 (1996) (PLRA), 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
against Defendants Burt and Jackson. The Court will serve the
complaint against Defendants Attis, Goostre, Davis, and
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at the Lakeland Correctional Facility
(LCF) in Coldwater, Branch County, Michigan, though the
events about which Plaintiff complains occurred while he was
housed at the Muskegon Correctional Facility (MCF). Plaintiff
sues the following MCF officials: Warden Sherry L. Burt;
Deputy Warden S. Jackson; Resident Unit Manager (unknown)
Attis; Lieutenant (unknown) Goostre; Sergeant S. Davis; and
Correctional Officer (unknown) Dykstra.
alleges that, on March 12, 2015, he was assaulted by two gang
members, prisoners McBride and Hamilton, while he was in the
bathroom of his housing unit. Defendant Dykstra issued a
misconduct report against Plaintiff for fighting, even though
Dykstra did not observe Plaintiff fighting. Instead, Dykstra
based his report on a discovery that Plaintiff had been
stabbed several times in the face and head while he was in
the bathroom. Yet Dykstra failed to file a “critical
incident report” or request protection for Plaintiff.
The administrative hearing officer found Plaintiff not guilty
of the fighting charge.
March 24, while Plaintiff was in the prison yard, Plaintiff
was again assaulted by gang members. Defendant Goostre issued
a misconduct charge against Plaintiff for fighting, but took
no action to protect Plaintiff. The hearing officer again
found Plaintiff not guilty of fighting.
gave Defendant Attis a hand-written request for protection
from gang members on March 29, 2015. Plaintiff wrote his
request on a grievance form. Defendant Attis ignored the
request and did not forward it to either the deputy warden or
April 2, 2015, having been released from segregation to his
same housing unit, Plaintiff was assaulted for the third and
fourth time by gang members. In the first of these instances,
Plaintiff was assaulted by three gang members in the
downstairs dayroom of the housing unit. Hours later,
Plaintiff was assaulted in the upstairs hallway of the unit.
Between the two assaults on April 2, 2015, Plaintiff
complained to Defendant Sergeant Davis about being assaulted,
but Davis did nothing about protecting Plaintiff. Only after
the second assault of the day did Defendant Sergeant Davis
review the videotape and issue a request for protection and
investigation. Prison Counselor Jefferson (not a Defendant)
investigated Sergeant Davis' request and recommended that
Plaintiff be held in protective custody until he could be
transferred to another facility. The recommendation was
signed by Inspector P. Davis (not a Defendant).
April 2, 2015, Defendant Jackson reviewed Plaintiff's
grievance about the first assault. Defendant Jackson rejected
the grievance. Defendant Burt reviewed the rejection and
upheld it on May 12, 2017.
alleges that Defendants Jackson and Burt should have reviewed
all critical incident reports and should have become aware of
the risk to Plaintiff's safety, but they did not.
Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants knew or should have
known of hazardous conditions at the facility, but they did
not abate the situation. Plaintiff contends that Defendants
violated his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendments of the United States Constitution every time they
did not correct the problem, allowing Plaintiff to be
assaulted four times within three weeks.
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 - ...