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Glenn v. Napel

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

January 17, 2018

LARON GLENN, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT NAPEL et al., Defendants.

          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 for failure to state a claim.

         Discussion

         I. Factual allegations

         Plaintiff is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Marquette Branch Prison (MBP) in Marquette, Marquette County, Michigan. The events about which he complains occurred at that facility. Plaintiff sues Warden Robert Napel, Prison Counselor Unknown Horrock, Resident Unit Manager Viitala, Correctional Officer Unknown White, Assistant Deputy Warden Erica Huss, Deputy Warden James Alexander, Correctional Officer Unknown Jeske, and Inspector Unknown Tassen.

         Plaintiff alleges that he was transferred from the Ionia Maximum Correctional Facility (I-Max) to MBP on October 4, 2016, as the result of a protection request. Plaintiff's need for protection was the result of him informing Prison Counselor Nikita Haynes of a hit that the I.V.L. (Insane Vice Lords) prison gang had placed on a female officer, as well as a planned gang war. Plaintiff's information resulted in the discovery of weapons and the prevention of violence. However, other inmates discovered that Plaintiff was the informant. As a result, the Iman of the Nation of Islam (NOI) directed Plaintiff to either stab a member of the Aryan Nation, or be stabbed himself. Plaintiff had been attending NOI services as a guest of a fellow Five Percenter when the request was made via a note. Plaintiff turned the note over to the Sergeant and was subsequently transferred to MBP.

         Upon Plaintiff's arrival at MBP, he met with Defendant Huss, who expressed annoyance at I-Max officials for repeatedly sending protection cases to MBP. However, Defendant Huss stated that she would send Plaintiff to a good unit and instructed him to ask for an inmate named Lawson-Bey because she thought that Plaintiff was part of the Moorish Americans. Plaintiff requested protective custody, but was assured that he would be safe, so he went to the assigned unit. Plaintiff states that a couple of months later, two inmates arrived from I-Max and confronted Plaintiff on the yard, calling him a “rat.” Plaintiff states that he told the Five Percenters on the yard about the two inmates. Plaintiff later learned that the Five Percenters had planted a weapon in the cell of one of the inmates from I-Max, which resulted in that inmate being sent to segregation.

         Plaintiff states that he received a letter from prisoner Lawson-Bey, informing Plaintiff that if he wished to attend the Moorish American Services, an investigation would be opened on him to find out why the Moors in Detroit had shot Plaintiff, and that he could not guarantee that nothing would happen to Plaintiff. The letter also stated that if Plaintiff did not attend services, then no investigaton would occur. Plaintiff chose not to attend services. Plaintiff states that in January of 2017, he discovered that prisoner Lawson-Bey had lied and that there was now a price on Plaintiff's head. In addition, the Five Percenters began acting oddly toward him and one member mugged Plaintiff and told him to “get out of his face.” Plaintiff responded angrily. Later that day, the Five Percenter told Plaintiff that he had been testing him, but Plaintiff did not believe him. Plaintiff informed him that he would no longer be a part of the Five Percenters in MBP.

         On February 8, 2017, inmate Cheno, who had been transferred to MBP from I-Max, called Plaintiff a “rat, ” as well as other names. Cheno threw food at Plaintiff's cell and told him to get on his knees and “eat it like the bitch” he was. After approximately 30 minutes of name calling, Plaintiff lost his temper and told Cheno that he was going to kill him during the next yard time. Plaintiff states that he had access to a knife from a Five Percenter named “Black God.” Plaintiff alleges that prisoner Lawson-Bey and an I.V.L. member named Chico tried to convince Plaintiff to let the issue go, but “Black God” sent Plaintiff a note saying: “I just got word they go pop you when you go to yard so what's up?” Plaintiff later received another note from “Black God” stating that he had made Plaintiff a knife and that he and Plaintiff were going to “move on them as a team.” Plaintiff asked Chico about the situation and he told Plaintiff that the problem had been resolved. Then Chico went to “Black God, ” who subsequently agreed with Chico. However, Plaintiff states that he sensed deception.

         When Plaintiff went to the yard, officers searched him and saw a razor in Plaintiff's gloves, but acted is if they hadn't seen it and let Plaintiff proceed into the yard. Plaintiff approached inmate Cheno, who asked Plaintiff if he had a weapon. Plaintiff said he would find out. Inmate Cheno then told Plaintiff to look around. Plaintiff did and observed every officer watching them. Inmate Cheno stated that the officers had told him that Plaintiff was coming to stab him. Inmate Cheno told Plaintiff that the officers told him that Plaintiff was a child molester. Plaintiff and inmate Cheno compared notes they had both received from Black God and discovered that he had been manipulating them. Inmate Cheno was also known to be a rat and an “undercover homosexual.”

         Around dinner time on the same day, Plaintiff received a note from a Five Percenter named “Self-Made-Buddha-Allah, ” who accused Plaintiff of “teaching false science” and told Plaintiff that he was not recognized by the Five Percenter group at MBP. The following day, Plaintiff told “Self-Made-Buddha-Allah” that he had the wrong person because Plaintiff's “science” was always correct. “Self-Made-Buddha-Allah” did not answer. Another Five Percenter later told Plaintiff that “Self-Made-Buddha-Allah” had said he was going to pop Plaintiff when he went to the yard. Plaintiff subsequently requested protection and turned over all the threatening notes he had received from other prisoners. Plaintiff was placed in temporary segregation. A review of the request for protection investigation report, shows that Investigator Pokley found that Plaintiff's allegations of events at MBP, as well as at I-Max, could not be confirmed and that placement in protective custody was not warranted. However, Pokley concluded that Plaintiff should be placed in an alternate general population housing unit at MBP. See ECF No. 1-1, PageID.35.

         On February 15, 2017, Correctional Officer Jamie Pancher approached Plaintiff's cell with a porter and ordered Plaintiff to back up and go to the yard. Plaintiff tried to explain that if he went to the yard, he was in danger of being stabbed. Officer Pancher gave Plaintiff a direct order to go to the yard, and Plaintiff refused. Plaintiff then received a misconduct ticket. When Plaintiff saw the hearing investigator, he requested the threatening notes he had received as evidence that he required protection.

         On February 22, 2017, Plaintiff met with Prison Counselor Hares. While being escorted to the visitation room, Plaintiff overheard Hares telling Defendant Horrock that Plaintiff needed to stay at MBP, and that Hares was on the “same page” as Defendant Horrock. When Plaintiff confronted Hares with the fact that he had overheard the conversation, Hares stated that Plaintiff's placement was a custody issue.

         On February 24, 2017, Plaintiff was found guilty of the misconduct. The misconduct hearing report states:

At 0945 hours, Officer Pancher instructed [Plaintiff] to pack up his property as he was moving to general population. This order was valid and reasonable as [Plaintiff] was physically able to comply and faced no imminent risk of harm in doing so. He knew the order was directed to him as evidenced by his verbal response to it, “I will have to refuse. I am not going to move.” [Plaintiff] did not pack ...

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