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Frazier v. Woods

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division

November 17, 2017

ALVIN D. FRAZIER, Plaintiff,
v.
JEFFREY WOODS et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          JANET T. NEFF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This is 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 Woods, Unknown Party #1, Unknown Party #2, Derusha, Caraccio, Huss, Yunker, and Tallic. The Court will serve the complaint against Defendants Butler, Isard, MacArthur, Russo, McGeshik, Herbert, Dunton, Line, Grove, Gallagher, McLeod, Olson, Marlette, and Pokley.

         Discussion

         I. Factual allegations

         Plaintiff is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility (JCF) in Jackson, Jackson County, Michigan. The events about which he complains, however, occurred at the Chippewa Correctional Facility (URF) and the Kinross Correctional Facility (KCF), which are both in Kincheloe, Chippewa County, Michigan. Plaintiff's allegations also concern events at the Marquette Branch Prison (MBP) in Marquette, Marquette County, Michigan. Plaintiff sues URF employees Warden Jeffrey Woods, Assistant Resident Unit Supervisor Unknown Butler, Deputy Warden David Isard, Corrections Officer Unknown MacArthur, Corrections Officer Unknown Russo, Mental Health Service Worker Unknown McGeshik, Social Worker Mark Herbert, Assistant Resident Unit Supervisor K. Dunton, Unknown Party #1 Hearing Investigator John Doe, Unknown Party #2 Assistant Resident Unit Supervisor John Doe, Assistant Resident Unit Supervisor Unknown Line[1], Corrections Officer Unknown Derusha, Corrections Officer J. Grove, Sergeant D. Gallagher, Corrections Officer Unknown Caraccio, and Resident Unit Manager G. McLeod. Plaintiff also sues KCF employees Deputy Warden Kathy Olson and Resident Unit Manager M. Marlette, as well as MBP employees Warden Erica Huss, Librarian A. Yunker, Screener C. Tallic, and Assistant Resident Unit Supervisor/Screener Mark W. Pokley. Finally, Plaintiff sues Hearing Officer Unknown O'Brien and Hearings Administrator Richard D. Russell.

         In Plaintiff's amended complaint (ECF No. 7), he alleges that he was transferred to URF on June 27, 2013. On October 1, 2013, Plaintiff notified Defendant Butler that he needed protection from family and friends of his victim, who were housed at the same facility. Plaintiff identified relatives of his victim named “Bobby Unknown (AKA Black)” and Dontee Laury. Defendant Butler merely advised Plaintiff to stay away from those individuals. In mid-January of 2014, Defendant Butler asked Plaintiff to move to the West Side of URF, where Dontee Laury was housed. Plaintiff asked for protection and begged not to be moved near Laury. Defendant Butler ignored Plaintiff's pleas and had a female staff member threaten Plaintiff with false misconduct tickets and segregation. Plaintiff notes that the order to move him was made when Defendant Butler was out of the office and could not be confronted by Plaintiff.

         After he was moved to the West Side, Plaintiff informed Defendants Gallagher and Line that Dontee Laury, who was the cousin of Plaintiff's victim Kizzy Laury, was conspiring with other prisoners to have Plaintiff killed. On September 30, 2014, Plaintiff was transferred to KCF, which was across the street from URF. Plaintiff states that KCF and URF frequently exchanged prisoners. Plaintiff kited his mental health case manager, asserting that he was still in danger, and he was placed in segregation for his protection. Plaintiff told Defendant Olson and other Security Classification Committee (SCC) members that he had been shown a knife while on the yard, and had been told that he was going to be stabbed. Defendant Olson told Plaintiff to “take a stand” because the prison would be closing soon.

         A few days later, Defendants Olson and Marlette met with Plaintiff and again told Plaintiff to “take a stand.” Plaintiff was moved to the general population in spite of his requests for protection. A few days later, Plaintiff was assaulted by the same prisoners who had threatened him in the yard. Plaintiff was taken to health care by a yard officer. Plaintiff asked the officer to ensure that his property was secured, but the officer failed to comply and Plaintiff's hobby-craft items, television, picture frames, and ear buds were stolen or lost. Health care staff placed Plaintiff in segregation. Plaintiff refused to return to general population and was placed on suicide watch.

         On December 3, 2014, Defendants Olson and Marlette told Plaintiff that he was being transferred back to URF. Plaintiff was transferred on December 8, 2014, and refused to go to general population. Plaintiff received a misconduct for disobeying a direct order and was placed in segregation. Plaintiff states that he continued to receive tickets for refusing to go to the general population, but that he insisted on protection from his victim's family members. On December 21, 2014, Defendant Caraccio retaliated against Plaintiff for refusing to go to the general population by writing a threatening behavior ticket, which claimed that Plaintiff had yelled at him from behind a closed door during rounds. After Plaintiff found out about the ticket, he approached Defendant Caraccio and explained that he had been in bed sleeping at the time of the ticket. Defendant Caraccio apologized, but stated that he could not rescind the ticket once it had been written. Defendant O'Brien found Plaintiff guilty without the benefit of witness statements, asserting that Plaintiff had not asked for witness statements. Plaintiff received 10 days in detention. Plaintiff requested a rehearing, stating that a request for witnesses was clearly marked on the investigation report. Plaintiff's rehearing request was denied by Defendant Russell.

         While Plaintiff was still in detention, he was taken before Defendants Isard, Dunton, and McLeod, who asked Plaintiff to return to general population. Plaintiff was afraid of being assaulted and refused. Defendants Isard, Dunton, and McLeod were angry and told Plaintiff that if he did not comply, they would send him to a level five facility, which was an increase of three levels. On April 29, 2015, Plaintiff was transferred to MBP, where Defendant Pokley told him that he had heard that Plaintiff was a “problem child” who needed to be “dealt with locally.” Plaintiff told Defendant Pokley of his prior requests for protection because he feared being sent back to URF or KCF.

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Yunker removed him from the legal writer program in retaliation for requesting assistance with judicial review requests on class I misconduct tickets. Plaintiff states that while at MBP, Eric Mattson from the Office of Legislative Corrections Ombudsman interviewed him regarding his complaints of lost property and the denial of legal writer services. Mr. Mattson concluded that Plaintiff's claims that he was not provided with protection were moot because he was no longer housed at URF or KCF, but stated that he would continue to investigate Plaintiff's stolen property claims. Mr. Mattson also told Plaintiff that copies of his grievances were on file with his office and available to Plaintiff if he needed access to them.

         On September 24, 2015, Defendant Pokley came to Plaintiff's cell and confiscated his “Observation Aide” study guides. Defendant Pokley told Plaintiff that he would like where he was going and that he was being transferred back to URF. Upon Plaintiff's arrival at URF, Plaintiff requested protection. Defendants Isard, Dunton, and McLeod told Plaintiff that he would miss his first outdate if he did not go to general population, so Plaintiff complied.

         Plaintiff was placed in level four housing amongst Security Threat Group Members. When Plaintiff had a problem with his cellmate, he attempted to get a new room assignment. Plaintiff states that despite the fact that all involved parties had signed consent forms, he was not moved, but that white prisoners were moved upon request. Plaintiff refused to room with “gang bangers, ” and was forced to serve 10 days in detention.

         On January 23, 2016, Plaintiff was moved to level two housing on the same floor as Dontee Laury. As soon as Plaintiff saw Dontee Laury, he told Defendant Russo that he was in danger. Defendant Russo told Plaintiff that he would be “all right, ” and that he should roll up his shirt sleeves because any moves had to be made by SCC members. Defendant Russo told Plaintiff that they had just installed new cameras and could see “through the eye of a needle.” Plaintiff went to the yard and was stabbed several times in the back, neck, and shoulders. Following the stabbing, Plaintiff sought the assistance of Defendant Grove, who was standing a few feet away during the attack. ...


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