United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
T. NEFF 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 Defendants Andres and
Smilenski for failure to state a claim.
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at the Saginaw County Correctional
Facility (SRF), though the events about which he complains
occurred at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility (IBC) in
Ionia, Michigan. Plaintiff sues Aramark Employee Supervisor
Naomi Andres and MDOC Classification Director A. Smilenski.
alleges that Defendant Andres filed a false work evaluation
about Plaintiff on January 19, 2015. In addition, Plaintiff
was accused of theft and he received a misconduct ticket. On
February 9, Plaintiff was found not guilty of the misconduct.
When Andres learned that Plaintiff would be returning to his
work detail, Andres filed another false work evaluation about
Plaintiff that same day. Defendant Smilenski removed
Plaintiff from his work assignment on February 24, 2015,
because of Plaintiff's second work evaluation.
apparently contends that Defendants retaliated against him.
He also claims that Smilenski did not follow MDOC policy.
Plaintiff does not specify the relief that he seeks, though
he sues Smilenski in his official capacity only. Plaintiff
sues Andres in her official and personal capacities.
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.
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994).
contends that Defendants retaliated against him. Retaliation
based upon a prisoner's exercise of his or her
constitutional rights violates the Constitution. See
Thaddeus-X v. Blatter, 175 F.3d 378, 394 (6th
Cir. 1999) (en banc). In order to set forth a First Amendment
retaliation claim, a plaintiff must establish that: (1) he
was engaged in protected conduct; (2) an adverse action was
taken against him that would deter a person of ordinary
firmness from engaging in that conduct; and (3) the adverse
action was motivated, at least in part, by the protected
conduct. Id. Moreover, a plaintiff must be able to
prove that the exercise of the protected right was a
substantial or motivating factor in the defendant's
alleged retaliatory conduct. See Smith v. Campbell,
250 F.3d 1032, 1037 (6th Cir. 2001) (citing Mount Healthy
City Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ. v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274, 287
does not state a retaliation claim because he does not allege
that he engaged in any protected conduct prior to
Defendants' actions. He contends that Andres was
“adverse” toward him and falsified work
evaluations, but that does not necessarily mean that Andres
was motivated by Plaintiff's ...