United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER OF SUMMARY DISMISSAL
CARAM STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff Lance Adam Goldman's
pro se civil rights complaint filed under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Plaintiff is proceeding without prepayment of
the filing fee in this action under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1). Plaintiff's claims relate to the cost of
items available for purchase from the prison commissary and
the cost of services available to prisoners such as e-mail
and phone use. Plaintiff seeks injunctive relief. For the
reasons which follow, the complaint is dismissed for failure
to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a complaint set
forth “a short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” as well as
“a demand for the relief sought.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2), (3). The purpose of this rule is to “give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley
v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957) and Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2)). The notice pleading standard requires more than the
bare assertion of legal conclusions or “an unadorned,
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
“A pleading that offers ‘labels and
conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action will not do.'”
Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555).
“Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders
‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further
factual enhancement.'” Id. at 1949
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
has been granted leave to proceed without prepayment of the
filing fee for this action. Under the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (“PLRA”), the court is required to
sua sponte dismiss an in forma pauperis
complaint before service on a defendant if it determines that
the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim
upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief.
See 42 U.S.C. § 1997e©; 28 U.S.C. §
complaint concerns the high cost charged for goods and
services in the prison. He argues that defendants have
conspired to raise the cost of goods and services for their
own personal financial gain.
complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted because courts have consistently held that prisoners
have no constitutional right to purchase products at a
particular price or at a price comparable to that offered at
a non-prison store. See e.g. Griffin v. Doe, No.
1:10CV1987, 2011 WL 94563, at *1 (N.D. Ohio Jan.11, 2011);
Simpson v. Caruso, No. 1:09-cv-245, 2009 WL 1010973,
at * 3 (W.D. Mich. April. 14, 2009); Floyd v. Emmet
County Correctional Facility, No. 1:06-CV-283, 2006 WL
1429536, at * 4 (W.D. Mich. May 23, 2006) (prisoners have no
constitutionally guaranteed right to purchase commissary
items at the same or lower price than charged at regular
retail stores); McCall v. Keefe Supply Co., 71 Fed.
App'x 779, 780 (10th Cir.2003) (allegation that prisoner
was overcharged for goods at prison commissary failed to
state a constitutional claim).
the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) and the State
of Michigan are also subject to dismissal because Plaintiff
may not maintain a § 1983 action against them. The
states and their departments are immune under the Eleventh
Amendment from suit in the federal courts, unless the state
has waived immunity or Congress has expressly abrogated
Eleventh Amendment immunity by statute. See Pennhurst
State Sch. & Hosp. v. Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 98-101
(1984); Alabama v. Pugh, 438 U.S. 781, 782 (1978).
Eleventh Amendment immunity “bars all suits, whether
for injunctive, declaratory or monetary relief, against the
state and its departments by citizens of another state,
foreigners or its own citizens.” Thiokol Corp. v.
Dep't of Treasury, State of Mich., Revenue Div., 987
F.2d 376, 381 (6th Cir. 1993). Michigan has not consented to
civil rights suits in federal court. See Johnson v.
Dellatifia, 357 F.3d 539, 545 (6th Cir. 2004). The
Michigan Department of Corrections is an arm of the State of
Michigan and, therefore, both are immune from suit under the
Eleventh Amendment. See Harrison v. Michigan, 722
F.3d 768, 771 (6th Cir. 2013).
IT IS ORDERED that the complaint is
DISMISSED. The Court finds an appeal in this
case would be frivolous and not taken in good faith. 28
U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3); Coppedge v. United States,
369 U.S. 438, 445 (1962). Therefore, Plaintiff is not
certified to pursue an appeal from this judgment in forma
pauperis. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). Nevertheless,
should Plaintiff decide to file a notice of ...