United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
J. Jonker Chief 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 against Defendant United States of
America for failure to state a claim.
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
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.)
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.)
“shower situation” on October 20, 2017, consists
of corrections officers denying Plaintiff a shower, shave,
and nail trim.
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.” (Id., PageID.8.)
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.
seeks $1, 000, 000.00 in damages and his license back.
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.