United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING CERTAIN DEFENDANTS'
MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT OR TO DISMISS [17, 19] AND
REQUIRING PLAINTIFF TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL
STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a Michigan prisoner, sued ten Michigan Department of
Corrections employees under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged
"retaliatory harassment, " "hostile work
environment, " "libel and slander, "
"discrimination and prejudice, " "sexual
harassment, " "intentional infliction of emotional
distress and mental anguish, " and "deliberate
indifference." Plaintiff's claims were based on her
interactions with the employees while she was incarcerated.
Six of the defendants waived service of process and filed
motions for summary judgment or to dismiss. For the reasons
set forth below, the Court will grant judgment for eight of
the ten defendants and require Plaintiff to provide
additional information regarding Defendants A. Thomas and J.
Court must grant summary judgment "if the movant shows
that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and
the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party must identify specific
portions of the record "which it believes demonstrate
the absence of a genuine issue of material fact."
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986).
Once the moving party has met its burden, the non-moving
party may not simply rest on the pleadings, but must present
"specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue
for trial." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith
Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (quoting
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)) (emphasis omitted).
is material if proof of that fact would establish or refute
an essential element of the cause of action or defense.
Kendall v. Hoover Co., 751 F.2d 171, 174 (6th Cir.
1984). A dispute over material facts is genuine "if the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In
considering a motion for summary judgment, the Court must
view the facts and draw all reasonable inferences "in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party."
60 Ivy St. Corp. v. Alexander, 822 F.2d 1432, 1435
(6th Cir. 1987).
preliminary matter, the Court will apply the motion for
summary judgment standard, rather than the motion to dismiss
standard, because the moving defendants rely on an exhibit
outside the pleadings. See Fed. R. Civ. P 7(a) and
of the defendants are entitled to summary judgment because
Plaintiff has failed to exhaust her administrative remedies.
Before a prisoner may bring a claim under § 1983, she
must exhaust all available administrative remedies. 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e(a); Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 85
(2006). The requirement "applies to all inmate suits
about prison life" and preempts further consideration of
the unexhausted claims even if the case proceeds with respect
to other, fully exhausted claims. Porter v. Nussle,
534 U.S. 516, 532 (2002); see also Jones v. Bock,
549 U.S. 199, 219-24 (2007). To exhaust her administrative
remedies, Plaintiff must properly comply with all steps of
MDOC Policy Directive 03.02.130. Belser v. James,
No. 16-2578, 2017 WL 5479595, at *1 (6th Cir. June 6, 2017);
see also Woodford, 548 U.S. at 90. The Policy
Directive provides an escalating, multi-step dispute
resolution process that starts with an attempt at an oral
resolution, proceeds to a written grievance, and ultimately
ends, if necessary, at a "Step III Appeal."
Belser, 2017 WL 5479595, at *1. Thus, to exhaust her
administrative remedies, Plaintiff was required to file a
grievance naming all persons involved in the underlying
allegations and prosecute the claim through a Step III
Court has reviewed the record, and finds that Plaintiff
properly prosecuted her claims through a Step III Appeal only
as to Defendants A. Thomas and J. Thomas. Plaintiff's
prison records contain four grievances prosecuted through a
Step III Appeal, but only two pertain to the claims here:
Grievance ID WHV-15-08-3612-18b (the "18b
Grievance") and Grievance ID WHV-15-08-3522-28b (the
"28b Grievance"). ECF 17-3.
18b Grievance, Plaintiff alleged that she was strip searched
by Defendant J. Thomas. Id. at 128-135. Afterwards,
Defendant J. Thomas instructed Plaintiff to pick up her
clothes and get dressed. Plaintiff refused the order because
picking up her clothes would expose her to an uncovered
window on a door. Defendant J. Thomas then called Defendant
A. Thomas, who allegedly did not believe Plaintiff's
version of events. Defendants Allen and Johnson are also
named in the 18b Grievance, but their mention is incidental
to the claims. Plaintiff omitted their names in the later
stages of the grievance process. Id. at 128-30.
28b Grievance, Plaintiff alleged that Defendant J. Thomas
rolled her eyes at Plaintiff during a different strip search.
Id. at 122-27. Plaintiff also named Defendant Lee,
but again her mention was incidental to Plaintiff's
claim. And Defendant Lee was omitted from Plaintiff's
filings in the advanced stages of the grievance process.
Id. at 123-24.
Defendants Stewart, Patel, Braggs, Hardwick, and Russell were
not even mentioned by Plaintiff in her grievances, the Court
finds that Plaintiff failed to exhaust her administrative
remedies as to those defendants. Coleman v. Rich,
No. 16-1263, 2016 WL 9650985, at *2 (6th Cir. Dec. 20, 2016).
And although Defendants Allen, Johnson, and Lee are mentioned
in the initial stages of the grievance process, Plaintiff has
not exhausted her administrative remedies as to them either.
Their mention is incidental, so it is unclear that Plaintiff
was alleging wrongdoing against them. And even if she were,
Plaintiff did not prosecute the claims through the Step III
Appeal because she omitted their names from the later stages
of the grievance process. Consequently, all defendants-with
the exception of Defendants A. Thomas and J. Thomas-are
entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Defendants A. Thomas and J. Thomas, the Court needs
additional information for the case to proceed. In August
2017, the Court granted Plaintiff's application to
proceed without prepaying fees and ordered the U.S. Marshal
Service to serve all defendants. The U.S. Marshal Service was
unable to provide service to Defendants A. Thomas and J.
Thomas because neither individual works at the address
provided. The Court will grant Plaintiff 60 days from the
date of this order to provide the U.S. Marshal ...