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 against all Defendants, except for
Defendants Goulet and Vanderwagen.
Derrick Lee Smith is presently incarcerated with the Michigan
Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Muskegon Correctional
Facility (MCF) in Muskegon County, Michigan. In his amended
complaint,  Plaintiff sues the following employees of
the MDOC: Administrative Law Examiner / Hearing Officer D.J.
Pallas; Hearing Administrator Richard Russell; Corrections
Officers (unknown) Goulet and (unknown) Vanderwagen; General
Office Administrator Mail Room Clerks J. Dietz, A. Karel, A.
Hall, and S. Payton; Transfer Coordinator Brianna
Newton-Newman; Director Heidi Washington; Director of the
Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS) Shawn Cassidy;
and Corrections Facility Administrator Norma Killough. He
also sues former MDOC employee Manuela Anna Briki, Nurse
Juliette Bird (a former Sheriff's Deputy for the Detroit
Police Department), Detective Virginia Wilkinson of the
Detroit Police Department, Wayne County Circuit Court Records
Office Supervisor Stacy Bernardo, and an individual located
in Florida, Tray Hollenbeck.
Substance Abuse Misconduct
Goulet and Vanderwagen allegedly lied on November 22, 2016,
and December 2, 2016, about finding tobacco products on a
“homemade shelf” in an area under Plaintiff's
control. (Am. Compl., ECF No. 13, PageID.152.) Plaintiff
contends that they planted evidence to support these lies,
and their purpose was to retaliate against Plaintiff, because
Plaintiff had filed a lawsuit against their co-workers,
Farber and Lemaire. Vanderwagen allegedly convinced Goulet to
search Plaintiff's cell based on a false pretext, so that
they could plant the evidence. Plaintiff also alleges that
Goulet and Vanderwagen destroyed his “legal work”
when searching his cell. (Id., PageID.158.)
as a result of Goulet and Vanderwagen's actions,
Plaintiff was charged with substance abuse. On December 2,
2016, Officer Pallas conducted a misconduct hearing for the
charge of substance abuse. At the beginning of the hearing,
Pallas told Plaintiff that he was aware of Plaintiff's
lawsuits against Pallas' friends, Farber and Lemaire.
Pallas allegedly stated that he would find Plaintiff guilty
based solely on those lawsuits. Plaintiff asked that Pallas
to recuse himself, but Pallas refused to do so. Pallas then
found Plaintiff guilty for reasons that Plaintiff contends
are false. Pallas told Plaintiff that he would put falsehoods
into the reasons for his findings to ensure that Plaintiff
would know not to file another lawsuit against one of
apparently requested a rehearing and Defendant Russell denied
Plaintiff's request. According to Plaintiff, Russell
denied the request because “the previous out of place
ticket counts as a substance abuse ticket.”
(Id., PageID.150.) Plaintiff claims that this is a
“false” reason to deny a request for a rehearing.
(Id.) Plaintiff claims that Russell did not follow
state law or procedure.
sought judicial review of the misconduct decision in state
court. In the state-court proceedings, Russell allegedly
claimed that he did not sign the decision denying
Plaintiff's request for a rehearing, but the state court
rejected this argument. Russell also apparently claimed that
Plaintiff did not exhaust his administrative remedies, but
the state court rejected this argument as well. The state
court eventually denied Plaintiff's appeal for reasons
that are not identified in Plaintiff's complaint.
Rejection of Mail
December 2015 through May 2016, Defendants Dietz, Karel,
Hall, and Payton allegedly rejected issues of the Prison
Legal News that were intended for Plaintiff. Defendant
Killough allegedly instructed these defendants to do this.
Newton-Newman allegedly provided false reasons for
transferring Plaintiff to another prison on June 25, 2017.
Briki, Bird, and Wilkinson allegedly committed acts of
“character ass[ass]ination” against Plaintiff by
lying about him. (Id., PageID.160.) Although the
content of their statements is not clear, Defendants
apparently accused Plaintiff of kidnapping and rape.
Washington allegedly allowed Defendants to keep Plaintiff on
a “priority 2 watch list” for reasons that are
false. (Id., PageID.161.)
Cassidy maintains the MDOC website. Plaintiff's profile
on the MDOC's Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS)
allegedly shows false ...