United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
J. QUIST 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
against Defendants Smalligan, Sheppard, Chamberlain, Decker,
Sanchez, Nestle, Borgman, and Mendham. The Court will serve
the complaint against Defendants Kutzli and Lake.
is presently incarcerated at the Newaygo County Jail. The
events of which Plaintiff complains occurred at that
facility. Plaintiff sues Newaygo County Deputies Unknown
Kutzli, Brian Lake, Unknown Smalligan, Unknown Decker,
Unknown Chamberlain, and Unknown Sheppard; Corporal Unknown
Nestle; Sergeant Gabe Sanchez; Lieutenant John Borgman; and
Sheriff Unknown Mendham. Plaintiff alleges that on December
14, 2017, he and another inmate were involved in a fight.
There was some difficulty opening the cell door; accordingly,
the responding officers were hampered in their ability to
stop the fight. Defendant Sanchez directed the inmates to
cease fighting or Sanchez would use a taser to stop the
alleges that he and the other inmate stopped fighting after
Defendant Sanchez threatened to use the taser. Plaintiff
contends he did not thereafter resist; nonetheless, Defendant
Kutzli grabbed him and threw Plaintiff from the cell area
into the hallway.
the hallway, Plaintiff states that several deputies handled
him. He contends specifically that Defendant Kutzli slammed
Plaintiff's face into the floor and then put his knees on
Plaintiff's face causing him significant pain. Plaintiff
further contends that Defendant Lake put his knee, and the
entire weight of his body, into the back of Plaintiff's
knee causing him significant pain. After about two minutes,
the deputies hauled Plaintiff to his feet, placed him in a
restraint chair, and placed him in a holding cell. Plaintiff
remained in the restraint chair for an hour. During that
time, he was seen by a nurse.
the incident Plaintiff attempted to discuss the matter with
Defendant Borgman. Borgman refused. Plaintiff asked Defendant
Nestle for a grievance. Nestle refused. Despite repeated
requests, Plaintiff was not provided an inmate grievance form
until almost four months after the incident. Plaintiff's
grievance, attached to his complaint, was denied by Defendant
Sanchez based on his review of the video of the incident.
Defendants Smalligan, Sheppard, Chamberlain and Decker
participated in holding Plaintiff down, Plaintiff does not
allege any use of excessive force by those Defendants.
Rather, he complains that they did not stop Kutzli and Lake.
Plaintiff makes similar allegations against Defendants
Sanchez, Nestle, Borgman, and Mendham-that they failed to
stop Kutzli and Lake from using excessive force.
also alleges that Defendants interfered with his right to
pursue an administrative grievance. Plaintiff finally
complains that Defendant Borgman refused to go forward with
an administrative grievance in retaliation for
Plaintiff's prior assault of a prison employee.
seeks hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensatory
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 ...