United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
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
against Defendants Caron, Huss, and Napel. The Court will
serve the complaint against Defendants Feliciano and Pokley.
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at the Baraga Correctional Facility (AMF)
in Baraga, Baraga County, Michigan. The events about which he
complains, however, occurred at the Marquette Branch Prison
(MBP) in Marquette, Marquette County, Michigan. Plaintiff
sues Law Librarian Jodi Feliciano, Assistant Resident Unit
Supervisor Mark Pokley, Grievance Coordinator Glenn Caron,
Deputy Warden Erica Huss, and Warden Robert Napel.
alleges that he began asking Defendant Feliciano to schedule
him for law library time on January 25, 2017. Plaintiff was
scheduled for law library on January 31, 2017, at which time
he requested the assistance of a legal writer. Plaintiff
explained to Defendant Feliciano that he had been receiving
legal writer assistance at the Baraga Correctional Facility
(AMF). Defendant Feliciano told Plaintiff that AMF Law
Librarian Bouchard and Peterson Paletta PLC told her to
refuse his legal writer request, and that Bouchard failed to
forward Plaintiff's zip file or legal writer files.
Plaintiff states that he previously named Bouchard as a
defendant in Case No. 2:16-cv-246 and that Peterson Paletta
PLC are private attorneys under contract with the MDOC.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Feliciano refused to provide
Plaintiff legal writer assistance for the preparation and
filing of an application for leave to appeal the United
States District Court's order dated January 20, 2017. In
addition, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Feliciano denied
Plaintiff a copy of his civil rights complaint for case No.
2:16-cv-246, and denied him assistance with the preparation
of an appeal of right from the dismissal of that action.
February 8, 2017, Plaintiff, who was on modified access to
the grievance procedure, requested a step I grievance form so
that he could file a grievance on Defendant Feliciano.
Plaintiff filed a grievance on February 15, 2017. On February
21, 2017, Plaintiff met with a legal writer, but no pleading
was prepared. On March 1, 2017, Plaintiff informed Defendant
Napel that Defendant Feliciano was not scheduling him for law
library at a time when she was available to help obtain
notarized documents and copies.
March 7, 2017, Defendant Feliciano scheduled Plaintiff to
meet with a legal writer. Plaintiff was provided with an
erroneous, untimely application for leave to appeal the Wayne
County Circuit Court's January 11, 2017, order denying
Plaintiff's petition for judicial review of the MDOC
Hearing Administrator's denial of rehearing. On March 8,
2017, Plaintiff was scheduled for law library, but no
librarian was present. On March 9, 2017, Plaintiff told
Defendant Feliciano that he had received his request for
rehearing response and that he wished to file a request for
judicial review in the Marquette County Circuit Court. On
March 31, 2017, Defendant Feliciano sent Plaintiff a
“claim of appeal for judicial review, ”
containing substantial errors. On April 4, 2017, Plaintiff
returned the document to Defendant Feliciano. On April 7,
2017, Defendant Feliciano returned the same erroneous
document to Plaintiff, which prevented Plaintiff from filing
a timely appeal. Plaintiff claims that Defendant Feliciano
provided Plaintiff with untimely appeal documents in Case No.
asked to meet with a legal writer on April 5, 2017. Plaintiff
told Defendant Feliciano that he was going to file a civil
rights complaint against her for intentionally preventing him
from filing his legal documents in the courts. Plaintiff
contends that Defendant Feliciano needlessly sent the same
document offsite to Peterson Paletta PLC for corrections,
which caused an unnecessary delay. Plaintiff claims that this
practice by Defendant Feliciano frequently results in
documents taking months to prepare. On April 7, 2017,
Plaintiff filed a motion for an injunction in this case, and
Defendant Feliciano responded by putting a “hit”
out on Plaintiff. On April 12, 2017, Plaintiff gave pages
from a legal document to Defendant Pokley to be given to
Defendant Feliciano for minor corrections. Plaintiff states
that the pages have never been returned to him. Plaintiff was
scheduled to meet with a legal writer that day, but was not
allowed to attend. Plaintiff asked Defendant Feliciano to
reschedule the meeting and filed a grievance. On April 17,
Plaintiff asked Defendant Pokley about the pages Plaintiff
had given Defendant Pokley, and Defendant Pokley stated,
“How do you know you gave them to me?” Plaintiff
insisted that he had placed the pages in Defendant
Pokley's hand and Defendant Pokley stated, “If
you're taking me to court, things have changed between
you and I.” Plaintiff states that Defendant
Pokley's actions prevented him from filing an application
for leave to appeal the Wayne County Circuit Court's
order in In Re Jackson, Case No. 332096.
April 18, 2017, Defendant Feliciano scheduled Plaintiff to
meet with a legal writer. However, Defendant Feliciano then
wrote a class I misconduct on Plaintiff for threatening
behavior, which caused him to be placed in segregation and
miss his meeting with a legal writer. On April 19, 2017,
Plaintiff filed a grievance asserting that Defendant
Feliciano had sent a prisoner “hitman” to
Plaintiff's cell. On April 20, 2017, Plaintiff demanded
another meeting with a legal writer. On April 21, 2017,
Plaintiff requested books from the law library, which were
not provided. On April 24, 2017, Plaintiff asked to be placed
on call out for law library, but his request was not granted.
alleges that he filed a grievance asserting that he had not
been provided a form for filing a petition for judicial
review in the Circuit Court. Plaintiff states that he was not
provided with a step II appeal form for nearly one month.
claims that Defendants violated the First Amendment by
denying him access to the courts and by retaliating against
him. Plaintiff further claims that supervisory defendants
were deliberately indifferent to the misconduct of their
subordinates and that he was discriminated against on the
basis of his race in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as
declaratory and injunctive relief.
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 - ...