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Whiting v. Michigan Department of Corrections

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

July 2, 2018

STEPHEN WHITING, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS and ST. LOUIS CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER SUMMARILY DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLAINT

          ROBERT H. CLELAND UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Stephen Whiting, incarcerated at the La Porte County Jail in La Porte, Indiana, filed this civil rights action in the Northern District of Indiana. Because the events described in Plaintiff's complaint occurred while he was incarcerated in Michigan, the Northern District of Indiana transferred the matter to this court. (Dkt. #3.) Having reviewed Plaintiff's pleading, the court will dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges that he fell and injured himself while shoveling snow in the prison yard at the St. Louis Correctional Facility in February 2015. Plaintiff went to the prison doctor, where he received acetaminophen; when the pain continued to get worse, he was given a muscle relaxer.

         By the end of February, Plaintiff was unable to walk. He returned to the prison doctor, but was kicked out of the office. The doctor allegedly had an officer place Plaintiff in a wheelchair; Plaintiff was then wheeled out and dumped on the floor. The next day, Plaintiff was moved to a prison unit for inmates who are confined to wheelchairs. He claims that he was unable to eat or go to the bathroom because he was in so much pain. Plaintiff was eventually placed on crutches, but he was still suffering from pain so severe as to prevent him from eating or engaging in other activities.

         Plaintiff wrote several grievances and medical requests, which were ignored. He claims that he often fell while walking on his crutches, and he says that prison personnel would kick or spit on him while he was on the ground. Several times he defecated or urinated on himself because he was unable to make it to the bathroom.

         A prison nurse was finally able to help. The nurse gave Plaintiff shots that eased his pain and allowed him to start eating and moving again. Plaintiff regained the ability to walk, and he was released from administrative segregation.

         At some point after his recovery, prison personnel asked Plaintiff about the grievances he had filed. He was told that if he signed off on the grievances, he would be released on parole; if he did not sign them, the prison officials would contact the parole board and have his parole revoked. In response to the threat, Plaintiff signed off on his grievances.

         Plaintiff is now seeking monetary damages against Defendants Michigan Department of Corrections and St. Louis 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).

         III. DISCUSSION

         Plaintiff's complaint must be dismissed because his suit is barred by the State of Michigan's ...


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