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Cook v. Michigan Department of Corrections

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

May 23, 2018

MICHAEL A. COOK, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL AND SUMMARILY DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT

          THOMAS L. LUDINGTON United States District Judge

         Plaintiff Michael A. Cook, a state prisoner at the Macomb Correctional Facility in New Haven, Michigan, has filed a pro se petition for declaratory judgment and a request for appointment of counsel. The only named defendant is the Michigan Department of Corrections, which is immune from suit. Accordingly, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff's complaint and deny his motion for appointment of counsel.

         I.

         The complaint contains allegations concerning a number of incidents that occurred during Plaintiff's incarceration in recent years. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that,

• in mid-July 2016, a correctional officer allowed another prisoner to enter Plaintiff's room and punch Plaintiff about nine times; Plaintiff's face was cut, and his head was slammed into the wall; see Compl., p.2;
• in September 2016, an inmate assaulted Plaintiff with a padlock, and Plaintiff received inadequate medical attention; see id., p. 1;
• On September 8, 2016, Correctional Officer Hall grabbed Plaintiff's buttock during a “pat down, and Plaintiff was forced to dismiss his subsequent grievance about the incident;” see id.;
• on or about December 24, 2016, Correctional Officer Hall “tore up” Plaintiff's room while pretending to search the room and then grabbed Plaintiff's buttocks during a search of Plaintiff; see id.;
• on February 8, 2017, Plaintiff slipped and fell on an unsalted walkway in front of the educational building; he suffered several injuries, including damage to his hip, bones, spine, and shoulder; despite the excruciating pain, he received essentially no medical care; see id., p. 2;
• finally, in January or February (of 2018, presumably), another prisoner punched Plaintiff in the head several times while Plaintiff was eating his lunch. The nurses made little effort to assess the extent of Plaintiff's injury, and, since then, he has experienced pain in his neck, head, and spine, along with blurred vision. See id., p. 1.

         Plaintiff now seeks $900, 000, 000 in money damages for his pain and suffering. He also seeks a declaratory judgment and immediate release from prison.

         II.

         Due to his indigence, the Court has granted Plaintiff permission to proceed without prepayment of the fees and costs for this action. Although Plaintiff has not cited any legal basis for his claims, the Court construes the complaint as being brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged violations of federal constitutional rights.

         Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996, federal district courts must screen an indigent prisoner's complaint and dismiss “any prisoner action brought under federal law if the complaint is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim for which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant immune from such relief.” Flanory v. Bonn, 604 F.3d 249, 252 (6th Cir. 2010) (citing 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A and 42 U.S.C. § 1997e). A 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 ...


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