United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
JEFFREY R. LEBLANC, Plaintiff,
KALAMAZOO POLICE DEPARTMENT et al., Defendants.
J. JONKER CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a civil action, brought by a recently discharged state
prisoner, for violations of the United States Constitution,
the Michigan Constitution, and various federal statutes. This
is the one hundred and thirteenth such action Plaintiff has
filed in the Michigan federal courts in this decade.
sought leave to proceed in forma pauperis under 28
U.S.C. § 1915. Initially the Court granted that request,
(ECF No. 4). Then, based on the misconception that Plaintiff
filed this action while he was still incarcerated, the Court
vacated that order and, under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g),
required Plaintiff to pay the entire $400.00 filing fee
because he had accumulated more than three strikes for filing
meritless actions. (Op. & O., ECF Nos. 6, 7.)
responded by informing the Court that he was discharged from
Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) custody before he
filed the action. Because the “three strike” rule
applies only to prisoners, the Court will vacate its
“three strike” opinion and order. The Court will
also reconsider Plaintiff's application for leave to
proceed in forma pauperis (ECF No. 2) and grant
Plaintiff leave to so proceed.
the Prison Litigation Reform Act, Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110
Stat. 1321 (1996) (PLRA), the Court is required to dismiss
any action brought in forma pauperis 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). The screening required by §
1915(e)(2) applies to cases brought by prisoners and
non-prisoners. McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d
601, 608-09 (6th Cir. 1997).
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 because it seeks relief from
defendants who are immune and otherwise fails to state a
was discharged from incarceration by the MDOC on May 1, 2018.
He filed his complaint the same day. Plaintiff bases his
complaint on alleged constitutional flaws in the criminal
proceedings that resulted in his incarceration and on alleged
unconstitutional conditions of confinement.
understanding of the events that led to Plaintiff's
conviction is helpful in interpreting the rambling
allegations in his complaint. Those events are described in
LeBlanc v. Kalamazoo County Sheriff, No. 1:14-cv-305
Plaintiff Jeffrey R. LeBlanc . . . was sentenced to a prison
term of one year and six months to five years, after he
pleaded nolo contendere to malicious destruction of personal
property of more than $1, 000.00 and less than $20, 000.00,
Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.337a. He sues the Kalamazoo
Plaintiff's complaint is brief and somewhat confusing.
Plaintiff alleges that he was arrested without a warrant by
the Kalamazoo Police Department on November 28, 2012. He
seeks monetary relief for wrongful incarceration and alleged
falsification of documents. Plaintiff alleges that he filed a
grievance about his “whole case, ” but that he
has received no response. (Compl., docket #1, Page ID#2.)
Several weeks after he filed his complaint, Plaintiff filed a
motion seeking immediate release from prison (docket #7),
together with a supplement (docket #8). According to the
supplement and its attachments, Plaintiff drove a vehicle
belonging to a customer of J&L Auto into a gas pump at a
Marathon gas station. (Id., Page ID#26; Supp.,
docket #8, Page ID##43-48.) It appears that Plaintiff was an
employee of J&L Auto, and that he was sleeping inside the
office when the police arrived in response to the car
owner's report of damage to her vehicle. (Supp., docket
#8, Page ID#48.) Plaintiff argues that he was illegally
prosecuted in the 9th Judicial District Court for malicious
destruction of property, because he was on powerful
medications and did not possess the intent to drive his
customer's car into the gas pump.
(No. 1:14-cv-305, PageID.76.) Additional information is
provided in LeBlanc v. Romanowski, No. 2:14-cv-13219
On April 29, 2013, he was sentenced to three months in jail,
three years probation, and restitution in the amount of $24,
897.97 to an insurance company that insured the owner of
damaged property, and $350.15 to the owner of a vehicle
damaged by Petitioner. Shortly after the restitution hearing,
Petitioner violated the terms of his probation by absconding
from a community-based residential probation facility. He
then indicated that he wished to be discharged from that
program. On September 3, 2013, he was resentenced to 1 year
and 6 months to 5 years in prison.
(No. 2:14-cv-13219, PageID.1202)
that background, the role played by each Defendant is more
readily apparent. Defendant Kalamazoo Police Department
arrested Plaintiff for the incident at the gas station.
Plaintiff was eventually detained by Defendant Kalamazoo
County Sheriff at the Kalamazoo County jail. Plaintiff
sues Defendant City of Kalamazoo and Defendant County of
Kalamazoo based on the actions of the City's police
department and the County's sheriff's department,
respectively. The City and County of Kalamazoo are also
allegedly responsible for the myriad procedural improprieties
that occurred during Plaintiff's criminal prosecution.
Those improprieties also rendered Plaintiff's conviction
invalid, Plaintiff contends, and Defendant State of Michigan
and Defendant MDOC therefore are liable because they
unlawfully imprisoned him. Defendant Michigan State Police
allegedly failed to investigate Plaintiff's complaints
regarding his prosecution. Defendant State Bar of Michigan
similarly allegedly failed to investigate Plaintiff's
complaints regarding the attorneys who were involved in his
sues Oshtemo Township, where the incident occurred, because
the Oshtemo Township Police (actually the Kalamazoo County
Sheriff's Department “acting as a police official
for Oshtemo Township) told Plaintiff not to go to the
Marathon station anymore at the request of the owner.
Defendant United Petroleum Equipment and Defendant Corporate
Marathon provided fraudulent information to the Kalamazoo
courts regarding the proper amount of restitution for the
damage Plaintiff caused. Defendant Social Security
Administration stopped Plaintiff's disability payments
based on the improper criminal prosecution.
also contests the propriety of his 2008 criminal prosecution
in Kalamazoo County. Presumably, he sues the Kalamazoo Police
Department, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department,
the City of Kalamazoo, and the County of Kalamazoo for those
improprieties as well.
names as defendants 11 different MDOC Correctional facilities
where he was placed during his incarceration. He sues them in
part because the incarceration was unlawful and in part
because of the horrific conditions of confinement he
Plaintiff sues Kalamazoo County, Lenawee County, Manistee
County, and the United States because the courts, on behalf
of those entities, failed to properly handle Petitioner's
post-conviction cases seeking relief.
asks this Court to set aside his criminal convictions, remove
any order for involuntary treatment, award millions of
dollars in damages, award five years of social security
benefits, and fine the Social Security Administration.
list several bases for this Court's jurisdiction: eleven
federal constitutional amendments or provisions; Title VII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e -
2000e - 17; the American Bar Association Model Code of
Professional Conduct and Model Rules of Professional Conduct;
the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 500
- 596; the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 12101 - 12213; the Federal Tort Claims Act and
the Tucker Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346, 2671 - 2678,
2680; the Model Penal Code; the Statute of Frauds; six
provisions from the Michigan Constitution of 1963; and 28
U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1343, 1346, and 1367.
Improperly named defendants
lists 26 separate defendants. Many of those defendants,
however, are not separate entities capable of being sued.
Plaintiff sues the Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance
Center (RGC), the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility
(JCF), the Michigan Reformatory (RMI), the Bellamy Creek
Correctional Facility (IBC), the Richard A. Handlon
Correctional Facility (MTU), the Macomb Correctional Facility
(MRF), the Carson City Correctional Facility (DRF), the
Chippewa Correctional Facility (URF), the Ionia Correctional
Facility (ICF), the Oaks Correctional Facility (ECF), and the
Gus Harrison Correctional Facility (ARF). These individual
prisons are “buildings used by the MDOC to house
prisoners.” Ryan v. Corizon Health Care, No.
1:13-cv-525, 2013 WL 5786934, at *7 (W.D. Mich. Oct. 28,
2013). “They are not the proper public entity for
suit.” Id. *7; see also Cage v. Kent
County Corr. Facility, No. 96-1167, 1997 WL 225647, at
*1 (6th Cir. May 1, 1997) (“The district court also
properly found that the jail facility named as a defendant
was not an entity subject to suit under § 1983.”);
Belcher v. Ottawa County Adult Corr. Facility, No.
1:09-cv-173, 2009 WL 1163412, at *2 (W.D. Mich. Apr. 28,
2009) (“The Ottawa County Adult Correctional Facility
is a building, not an entity capable of being sued in its own
Plaintiff sues the Kalamazoo Police Department and the City
of Kalamazoo. A suit against such a city police department
is, in reality, a suit against the city. See Haverstick
Enterprises, Inc. v. Financial Federal Credit, Inc., 32
F.3d 989, 992 n.1 (6th Cir. 1994) (court affirmed summary
judgment in favor of Romulus Police Department because
“[a] suit against a city police department in Michigan
is one against the city itself, because the city is the real
party in interest.”); see also Glenn v.
Walker, 65 Fed.Appx. 53, 54 (6th Cir. 2003)
(“[T]he district court properly dismissed . . . claims
against the City of Detroit Police Department . . . [because
t]he Police Department is not amenable to suit . . .
.”). Similarly, Plaintiff sues the Kalamazoo County
Sheriff's Department and the County of Kalamazoo. A
“Sheriff's Department is not a legal entity subject
to suit[.]” Rhodes v. McDannel, 945 F.2d 117,
120 (6th Cir. 1991) (citing Kurz v. Michigan, 548
F.2d 172, 174 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 972
Court will drop as defendants the correctional facilities,
the Kalamazoo Police Department, and the Kalamazoo County
Sheriff's Department because those parties are not
amenable to suit. Plaintiff has already named as defendants
the proper ...