United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S
HONORABLE JOHN C. O'MEARA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Michael Ray Thomas, a state inmate who is proceeding without
the assistance of counsel, filed a civil rights complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter is before the Court
for a screen of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A. For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's complaint
May 8, 2016 and December 7, 2016, Plaintiff filed five
complaints with the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission
(“AGC”), accusing a Macomb County Assistant
Prosecutor of misconduct. The AGC denied each complaint. In
response, Plaintiff filed a complaint with the Michigan
Supreme Court pursuant to Michigan Court Rule 9.122(a)(2),
seeking review of the AGC's decisions. The ACG did not
timely answer the complaint and Plaintiff moved for summary
judgment. The AGC then filed an untimely answer, which the
Michigan Supreme Court failed to strike. On September 12,
2017, the Michigan Supreme Court dismissed Plaintiff's
complaint. Two months later, the Court dismissed his motion
names as Defendants current and former Michigan Supreme Court
Justices Richard Bernstein, Joan Larsen, Stephen Markman,
Bridget McCormack, David Viviano, and Brian Zahra, the
Attorney Grievance Administrator, the Michigan Supreme Court,
the AGC, and Jane Doe. He asserts two causes of action: 1)
the AGC violated his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to
Due Process by failing to investigate his claims of attorney
misconduct and to timely file an answer; and 2) the Michigan
Supreme Court violated his constitutional rights by allowing
the AGC to file an untimely answer and by dismissing his
complaint. He seeks declaratory relief, injunctive relief,
Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 requires federal
district courts to screen a prisoner's complaint and to
dismiss the complaint or any portion of it if the allegations
are frivolous, malicious, fail to state a claim for which
relief can be granted, or seek monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. Flanory v.
Bonn, 604 F.3d 249, 252 (6th Cir. 2010) (citing 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915(e) and 1915A and 42 U.S.C. §
1997e); Smith v. Campbell, 250 F.3d 1032, 1036 (6th
Cir. 2001) (citing 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and
1915A). “District courts are required to screen all
civil cases brought by prisoners, regardless of whether the
inmate paid the full filing fee, is a pauper, is pro
se, or is represented by counsel, as the statute does
not differentiate between civil actions brought by
prisoners.” In re Prison Litigation Reform
Act, 105 F.3d 1131, 1134 (6th Cir.1997).
prepaid the filing fee for this action, and courts may not
summarily dismiss a prisoner's fee-paid complaint under
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) because that section applies only
to complaints filed in forma pauperis. Benson v.
O'Brian, 179 F.3d 1014, 1015-17 (6th Cir. 1999).
Benson, however, does not prohibit federal courts
from screening a prisoner's fee-paid civil rights
complaint against government officials under §1915A.
Hyland v. Clinton, 3 F. App'x 478, 478-79 (6th
Cir. 2001). As the Sixth Circuit explains:
The requirements of § 1915(e)(2) overlap the criteria of
§ 1915A. Section 1915A is restricted to prisoners who
sue government entities, officers, or employees. In contrast,
§ 1915(e)(2) is neither restricted to actions brought by
prisoners, nor to cases involving government defendants.
Further, § 1915A is applicable at the initial stage of
the litigation. Section § 1915(e)(2) is applicable
throughout the entire litigation process.
In re Prison Litigation Reform Act, 105 F.3d at
1134. Federal district courts also “may, at any time,
sua sponte dismiss a complaint for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure when the allegations of a complaint
are totally implausible, attenuated, unsubstantial,
frivolous, devoid of merit, or no longer open to
discussion.” Apple v. Glenn, 183 F.3d 477, 479
(6th Cir. 1999).
complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law
or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325
(1989). “A complaint is subject to dismissal for
failure to state a claim if the allegations, taken as true,
show the plaintiff is not entitled to relief.”
Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 215 (2007).
Court holds pro se complaints to “less
stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by
lawyers.” Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520
(1972). However, even in pleadings drafted by pro se
parties, ‘“courts should not have to guess at the
nature of the claim asserted.”' Frengler v.
Gen. Motors, 482 F. App'x 975, 976-77 (6th Cir.
2012) (quoting Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594
(6th Cir. 1989)).
establish a viable claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege that he or she was deprived of a right
‘“secured by the Constitution and the laws of the
United States' by one acting under color of law.”
Ahlers v. Schebil, 188 F.3d 365, 370 (6th Cir. 1999)
(quoting Flagg Bros., Inc. v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149,
155-56 (1978)). In addition, a plaintiff must make a showing
that he or she suffered a specific injury as a result of the
conduct of a particular defendant. Rizzo v. ...