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Crall v. United States

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

December 21, 2017

Jordan Michael Crall, Plaintiff,
v.
United States of America, Defendant.

          OPINION

          Robert J. Jonker Chief 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 against Defendant United States of America for failure to state a claim.

         Discussion

         I. Factual allegations

         Plaintiff is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Ionia Correctional Facility (ICF) in Ionia, Michigan. The events about which he complains occurred at that facility. Plaintiff sues the United States of America.

         Plaintiff's complaint is not a model of clarity. Plaintiff does not explain why he names the United States of America as the only defendant. He is suing for three incidents: (1) medical kites that he sent on October 13 and 16, 2017, that were returned to him without action; (2) the “shower situation” on October 20, 2017; and (3) the refusal to return his license. (Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.5-8.)

         Plaintiff does not state specifically why he sent the medical kites. He does note that his weight has dropped a lot. (Id., PageID.8.) The kites were returned on October 20, 2017, he notes, because the recipient claimed he (or she) could not read them. (Id., PageID.5-7.)

         The “shower situation” on October 20, 2017, consists of corrections officers denying Plaintiff a shower, shave, and nail trim.

         Plaintiff does not explain what license was taken or when it was taken, but he does note “I cant go without driving I need to be able to get around.”[1] (Id., PageID.8.)

         Plaintiff identifies some corrections officers and other MDOC personnel in his complaint, but he does not name them as defendants. (Id., PageID.6) (“(Betche)(female), (shaved sides)(female)(c), (Watkins), (Martens), (Srg)(female)(Brunett), (Downing), or whoever else was here that day.”). Plaintiff also makes reference to other incidents in his complaint; but he clearly limits the claims he is raising to the three claims identified above. Plaintiff claims the listed incidents constitute cruel and unusual punishment and slavery.

         Plaintiff seeks $1, 000, 000.00 in damages and his license back.

         II. Failure to state a claim

         A 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)).

         To 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. Albrig ...


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