United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
RALPH D. JACKWAY, Plaintiff,
RICHARD HANSEN et al., Defendants.
J. QUIST 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.
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at Baraga Correctional Facility (AMF) in
Baraga, Baraga County, Michigan. The events about which he
complains, however, occurred at the Chippewa Correctional
Facility (URF) in Kincheloe, Chippewa County, Michigan.
Plaintiff sues Property Room - Corrections Officer Richard
Hansen, Warden Jeffrey Woods, and the Michigan State
alleges that on February 23, 2015, his property was packed up
at the Macomb Correctional Facility to be transferred to URF.
Plaintiff did not see his property again until March 5, 2015,
when he arrived at URF. At this point, Plaintiff witnessed
Defendant Hansen breaking and discarding numerous hobby craft
property items. On June 1, 2015, Plaintiff had a final
administrative property hearing and realized how much of his
property was missing. Plaintiff subsequently filed a
grievance. Plaintiff also completed a list of his missing
property and filed a request for reimbursement using an
Administrative Board Prisoner Property Claim form. Plaintiff
states that Defendants denied his grievances and refused his
request for reimbursement in violation of his due process
rights. Plaintiff seeks 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).
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 action.
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, as Plaintiff did. 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).
not appear that Plaintiff filed a claim in state court.
Plaintiff does not allege any reason why a state-court action
would not afford him complete relief for the deprivation,
either negligent or intentional, of his personal property.
Moreover, in order to satisfy due process, the
post-deprivation remedy does not have to guarantee a
successful outcome, nor is it required to provide relief
equivalent to that available in a § 1983 action. See
Parratt, 451 U.S. at 543-44. As the Court has
instructed: “Although the state remedies may not
provide . . . all the relief which may have been available .
. . under § 1983, that does not mean that the state
remedies are not adequate to satisfy the requirements of due
process.” Parratt, 451 U.S. at 544. Due
process only requires that an adequate post-deprivation
remedy be available when the deprivation of property occurs.
Id. at 544. The Sixth Circuit specifically has held
that Michigan provides adequate post-deprivation remedies for
deprivation of property. See Copeland, 57 F.3d at
480. Accordingly, Plaintiff's complaint will be
conducted the review required by the Prison Litigation Reform
Act, the Court determines that Plaintiff's complaint will
be dismissed for failure to state a claim, under 28 U.S.C.