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.
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at Chippewa Correctional Facility (URF) in
Kincheloe, Chippewa County, Michigan. The events about which
he complains occurred at that facility. Plaintiff sues
Corrections Officer Unknown Killips and Sergeant P. Thompson.
alleges that he has worked for the URF small yard crew since
October of 2014. Plaintiff's current supervisor is
Defendant Killips, and his supervisor is Defendant Thompson.
Plaintiff states that in the past, he filed two grievances
about his pay, which were resolved. Plaintiff claims that he
worked 29 days between May 19, 2016, and June 18, 2016, which
included 26 days for Defendant Killips and 3 days for Marty
Terrion, the Horticulture Supervisor. However, Defendant
Killips insisted that Plaintiff had only worked 24 days for
him. Plaintiff attempted to get Defendant Killips to pay him
what he was owed, to no avail. Defendant Killips told
Plaintiff that if he filed a grievance, he would give him a
ticket for being out of place when Plaintiff tried to check
in for overtime. Prior to this, Plaintiff had been working
overtime on a regular basis.
4, 2016, Defendant Thompson interviewed Plaintiff on his
grievance regarding payment for his job. Defendant Thompson
refused to listen to Plaintiff's claims and told
Plaintiff that if he wanted to file grievances, he would make
sure to take more money from Plaintiff's pay. Defendant
Thompson also told Plaintiff that he would not be given any
overtime. On July 5, 2016, Plaintiff asked Defendant Killips
to pay him what he was owed, but Defendant Killips refused.
Plaintiff claims that the July 6, 2016, payroll was not
correct. On July 10, 2016, Defendant Killips told Plaintiff,
“You can't work overtime, take it in.” On
July 17, 2016, Defendant Killips again told Plaintiff that he
could not work overtime and that he should “go write a
grievance about that.” On July 25, 2016, Defendant
Thompson repeated to Plaintiff that he could not work
overtime. Plaintiff states that he has not worked since June
30, 2016, and that yard workers are paid five days per week,
whether they work or not.
states that Defendant Killips is supposed to use a check-in
sheet to keep track of workers as they arrive and leave work,
but that he does not use the sheet, so there is no way to
prove that Plaintiff is telling the truth. Plaintiff claims
that Defendant Killips provided false information regarding
the hours that Plaintiff worked in response to his grievance.
Plaintiff also claims that Defendant Killips paid a white
inmate overtime wages for working regular hours.
claims that Defendants violated his rights under the First
and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiff seeks compensatory and
punitive damages, as well as declaratory 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 - 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).
the Court notes that the refusal to allow Plaintiff to work
overtime does not constitute a violation of his
constitutional right of ...