United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
L. MALONEY, 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 for failure to state a claim.
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at the Alger Correctional Facility (LMF)
in Munising, Michigan. The events about which he complains
occurred at that facility. Plaintiff sues Correctional
Program Coordinator Mark Treado, Warden Catherine Bauman, and
Deputy Warden Anthony Immel.
alleges that prisoners in the MDOC are allowed to purchase
MP3 players and songs, and that all songs purchased by
prisoners remain their property. The Keefe MP3 players had a
feature which required them to be connected to a kiosk every
30 days in order to prevent the player from being
automatically shut down. In January of 2017, the MDOC changed
vendors for the MP3 players to a different brand of player,
which is called a JP5 player. Prisoners were given the option
to purchase a new player, or to keep their old player and get
a 10 year timer, so that the player would no longer have to
be plugged in to a kiosk every 30 days.
was sent to administrative segregation in October of 2016,
prior to the change in the media players, and was never
offered an opportunity to uplink to the kiosk prior to the
March 1, 2017, deadline for the 10 year timer feature.
Plaintiff wrote to the property room at LMF and was told that
he had to be in general population in order to obtain the 10
year timer. Plaintiff then wrote to Defendant Treado, who
reiterated that Plaintiff had to be in the general population
to upgrade to the 10 year timer. On May 5, 2017, Plaintiff
again wrote to Defendant Treado and asked if he could send
the player to Keefe at his own cost. See ECF No.
1-4, PageID.13. Defendant Treado responded that he could not.
filed a step I grievance, which was responded to by Assistant
Resident Unit Manager J. Naeyaert, and reviewed by Defendant
Immel. In the May 30, 2017, response, Naeyaert states:
Prisoner interviewed and his concerns were addressed. CPC
Treado contacted. Prisoner has been advised: If a prisoner is
unable to connect their player to the kiosk by (3/1/2017) due
to restrictions (segregation), their player may be sent to
Keefe to allow for a mortality timer upgrade. This option
will be discontinued on 6/1/2017. Prisoner has been placed at
the top of the list to be released to general population to
help facilitate the process. At no time was the prisoner told
that he would never be able to reset/listen to his player.
Prisoner is encouraged to continue good behavior, progress
through the incentives program and prepare for release to GP
where he will be able to reset his MP3 player.
See ECF No. 1-5, PageID.14. Defendant Immel dated
his review June 5, 2017, and the response indicates that it
was returned to Plaintiff on June 6, 2017. Id.
Plaintiff's step II appeal was denied by Defendant
Bauman, and his step III appeal was denied by Richard D.
Russell, MDOC Grievance Section Manager. Id. at
was released from segregation in June of 2017, at which point
he discovered a memo from Bernie Scott, an Administrative
Assistant at the Correctional Facilities Administration in
Lansing, which stated that the deadline for segregation
prisoners to upgrade to the 10 year timer was June 1, 2017,
and that this could be done by sending the player to Keefe.
Therefore, Plaintiff contends that he should have been
allowed to send his player to Keefe when he asked Defendant
Treado about that option in May of 2017. Plaintiff filed a
grievance based on the memo, which was rejected.
alleges that Defendant Treado was given service tags by Keefe
for the sole purpose of mailing in players for segregation
prisoners. Plaintiff states that Defendant Treado purposely
denied him the opportunity to send his MP3 player in for the
timer upgrade in violation of Plaintiff's due process
rights. Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages and costs.
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 - ...