United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER OF PARTIAL SUMMARY DISMISSAL AND
TRANSFER TO THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
G. EDMUNDS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
prisoner Broderick Hodge (“Plaintiff”), currently
confined at the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility
(“MTU”) in Ionia, Michigan, has filed a pro
se civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 raising claims concerning his medical care and prison
accommodations, conspiracy, and retaliation. The events
giving rise to his complaint occurred while he was a prisoner
at the Michigan Reformatory (“RMI”) and at MTU,
both of which are located in Ionia, Michigan and when he was
treated at Duane Waters Hospital in Jackson, Michigan.
Plaintiff names Nurse Practitioner Corey Grahn, Jane/John Doe
health care staff at RMI and MTU, Registered Nurses Randel
and Surbine Aiken, Sergeant Nicholas, and Corizon Health Care
medical practitioners as the defendants in this action and
sues them in their official and personal capacities.
Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and any other appropriate
relief. The Court has granted Plaintiff leave to proceed
without prepayment of the filing fee for this action.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1).
reviewed the complaint, the Court now dismisses it, in part,
for failure to state a claim against possible defendants
Doctors Larson and Hill and Jane/John Does nos. 1-4, who are
identified as treating parties at the Duane Waters Hospital
in Jackson, Michigan but are not specified as defendants
(collectively “the hospital employees”) and are
the only defendants based in the Eastern District of
Michigan, and transfers the case to the United States
District Court for the Western District of Michigan for
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996
(“PLRA”), the Court is required to sua
sponte dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint
before service on a defendant if it determines that the
action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon
which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against
a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 42
U.S.C. § 1997e(c); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The
Court is similarly required to dismiss a complaint seeking
redress against government entities, officers, and employees
which is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a
defendant who is immune from such relief. See 28
U.S.C. § 1915A. A complaint is frivolous if it lacks an
arguable basis in law or in fact. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).
pro se civil rights complaint is to be construed
liberally. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21
(1972). Nonetheless, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)
requires that a complaint set forth “a short and plain
statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled
to relief, ” as well as “a demand for the relief
sought.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), (3). The purpose of this
rule is to “give the defendant fair notice of what the
claim is and the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)
(citation omitted). While this notice pleading standard does
not require “detailed” factual allegations, it
does require more than the bare assertion of legal principles
or conclusions. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. Rule 8
“demands more than an unadorned, the
defendant-unlawfully-harmed me accusation.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
“A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'”
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
“Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders
‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further
factual enhancement.'” Id. (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557). “Factual
allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above
the speculative level on the assumption that all the
allegations in the complaint are true (even if doubtful in
fact).” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-56 (citations
and footnote omitted).
state a civil rights claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a
plaintiff must allege that: (1) he was deprived of a right,
privilege, or immunity secured by the federal Constitution or
laws of the United States; and (2) the deprivation was caused
by a person acting under color of state law. Flagg Bros.
v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149, 155-57 (1978); Harris v.
Circleville, 583 F.3d 356, 364 (6th Cir. 2009).
alleges the following with respect to the hospital employees:
Doctor[s] Larson and Hill at [Duane] Waters Hospital acted
with deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious
medical needs and subjected him to wanton and unnecessary
pain by switching his pain medication. Plaintiff also asserts
that other John/Jane Doe employees nos. 1-4 were involved
acting on behalf of Corizon Health Care Co., whose identities
should become apparent after discovery.
United States Supreme Court has held that “deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners
constitutes the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain
proscribed by the Eighth Amendment.” Estelle v.
Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976). The deliberate
indifference standard requires an inmate plaintiff to show
that prison official defendants acted with a reckless
disregard of a known risk of serious harm to the prisoner.
Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 836 (1994). A
plaintiff may establish deliberate indifference by a showing
of grossly inadequate medical care. Terrance v.
Northville Regional Psychiatric Hosp., 286 F.3d 834, 843
(6th Cir. 2002).
however, makes no such showing. He admits that he received
medical attention for his condition, including pain
medication, from the hospital employees. When there is an
ongoing pattern of treatment, a prisoner's constitutional
rights are generally not infringed. See, e.g., Pate-El v.
Gluch, 848 F.2d 193 (Table), 1988 WL 49054, *1 (6th Cir.
1988); accord Huff v. Manfredi, 504 F. App'x
342, 345 (5th Cir. 2012); Ali v. Howard, 353 F.
App'x 667, 671 (3d Cir. 2009). Plaintiff alleges no facts
which show that the hospital employees ignored his problems,
acted with deliberate indifference, or intentionally caused
him injury or pain with respect to his ailments. He merely
alleges that they changed his pain medication - nothing more.
Such conclusory allegations are insufficient to state a civil
rights claim. See Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678;
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555-57; Crawford-El v.
Britton, 523 U.S. 574, 588 (1998); Moldowan v. City
of Warren, 578 F.3d 351, 390-91 (6th Cir. 2009);
Lanier v. Bryant, 332 F.3d 999, 1007 (6th Cir.
Plaintiff may disagree with the course of treatment provided
and believe that different pain medication would have been
more effective, he does not allege any facts or present
documentation to show that the hospital employees acted
unconstitutionally. See Jennings v. Al-Dabagh, 97 F.
App'x 548, 550 (6th Cir. 2004) (prisoner's personal
opinion that his care was substandard or that he was not
given treatment he requested raises a claim of state law
medical malpractice, not constitutionally defective medical
care); Owens v. Hutchinson, 79 F. App'x 159, 161
(6th Cir. 2003). The Supreme Court has ruled that decisions
about whether to order additional diagnostic tests or
treatment are classic examples of the exercise of medical
judgment and do not constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
Estelle, 429 U.S. at 107. Additionally, it is
well-settled that claims of negligence concerning a
prisoner's medical treatment, i.e. medical
malpractice, are not cognizable in a civil rights action
under § 1983. Id. at 106; see also Collins
v. City of Harker Hgts., 503 U.S. 115, 127-28 (1992) (an
“injury caused by negligence does not constitute a
deprivation of any constitutionally-protected interest”
and does not state a claim under §1983); Lewellen v.
Metropolitan Gov't. of Nashville & Davidson Co.,
Tenn.,34 F.3d 345, 348 (6th Cir. 1994). ...