Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Clarke v. Brewer

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

June 29, 2018

TINA MARIE CLARKE, Plaintiff,
v.
SHAWN S. BREWER, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLAINT AND DENYING MOTIONS TO APPOINT COUNSEL AND A GUARDIAN AD LITEM

          ROBERT H. CLELAND UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Tina Marie Clarke-incarcerated at the Huron Valley Women's Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan-has filed a document entitled “Motion for Appointment of Counsel and Guardian Ad Litem.” (Dkt. #1.) The court construes the filing as a civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and will dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The motion for the appointment of counsel or a guardian ad litem is denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges that she suffers from a Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”) as a result of an automobile accident years ago. She says that this injury has rendered her mentally incompetent. The Michigan state courts ordered appointment of a guardian ad litem to assist Plaintiff with her affairs.

         Plaintiff says that in February 2014, she asked the law librarian at the Huron Valley Women's Correctional Facility if she could have extra time in the library. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit had affirmed the district court's denial of her petition for writ of habeas corpus, and Plaintiff needed additional time to research the deadline for filing a motion for rehearing en banc. Plaintiff also requested assistance from a legal writer: a fellow prisoner who could provide legal assistance. She requested assistance with filing a petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court.

         Plaintiff claims that Delores Kapulsinski, a fellow prisoner, was appointed to be her legal writer. Plaintiff alleges that Ms. Kapulsinski miscalculated the deadline for filing a petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court. Plaintiff alleges that as a result of Ms. Kapulsinski's negligence, the Supreme Court refused to entertain her petition for writ of certiorari because it was untimely. Plaintiff further alleges that Ms. Kapulsinki gave her inaccurate information about when she learned that the Supreme Court had rejected the petition for writ of certiorari.

         Plaintiff further alleges that she asked the law librarian if she could obtain a legal writer to help her draft a § 1983 lawsuit against the firm that supervised the Legal Writers Program-Peterson, Paletta, and Balese PLC-for Ms. Kapulsinki's alleged negligence. Plaintiff claims that Ms. Kapulsinski was actually assigned to assist Plaintiff with preparing her civil rights complaint. Ms. Kapulsinski was ultimately removed from the case because Peterson, Paletta, and Balese PLC asserted that there was a conflict of interest for Ms. Kapulsinski to continue to assist Plaintiff with her legal matters.

         Plaintiff was assigned another legal writer, Sharon Radke, who was also later removed. A third prisoner, Carol Poole, was assigned to assist Plaintiff. Eventually, Ms. Poole informed Plaintiff that she could no longer avail herself of the Legal Writers Program because it would be a conflict of interest while she was attempting to sue Peterson, Paletta, and Balese.

         Plaintiff claims that Peterson, Paletta, and Balese and her assigned legal writers deliberately allowed the three year statute of limitations to expire on her civil rights complaint. Plaintiff also claims that all three legal writers extracted information from her under false pretenses because they all knew they were laboring under a conflict of interest. Plaintiff has filed a complaint against Peterson, Paletta, and Balese with the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission.

         In the present suit, Plaintiff has only named one defendant: Shawn S. Brewer, the warden at the Huron Valley Women's Correctional Facility.

         II. STANDARD

         Plaintiff has been allowed to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”)-without prepayment of fees. See 28 § U.S.C. 1915(a); McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997). The court must dismiss an IFP complaint if the action is “frivolous or malicious” or “fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted.” § 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)- (ii). “A complaint . . . is frivolous where it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).

         The court considers whether the complaint “fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted” under the familiar guidelines of Rule 8. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2), a complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” The complaint must demonstrate more than just a possibility of wrongdoing; rather, “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “[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 shown- that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Id. at 679. The court views the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, and it accepts all well-pleaded factual allegations as true. Tackett v. M & G Polymers, USA, LLC, 561 F.3d 478, 488 (6th Cir. 2009). The court need not, however, “accept as true legal conclusions or unwarranted factual inferences.” Directv, Inc. v. Treesh, 487 F.3d 471, 476 (6th Cir. 2007).

         Although Plaintiff does not specifically cite 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in her pleadings, the court properly construes her complaint as a civil rights action under § 1983 because she alleges a denial of her right to access the courts. See, e.g., Brown v. Mills, 639 F.3d 733, 734 (6th Cir. 2011). To establish her claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Plaintiff must prove “(1) the deprivation of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States (2) caused by a person acting under the color of state law.” Sigley v. City of Parma Heights, 437 F.3d 527, 533 (6th Cir. 2006) (citing West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988)). ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.