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Annabel v. Michigan Department of Corrections

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

July 18, 2018

ROBERT WAYNE ANNABEL, II, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          PAUL L. MALONEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This is 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, and relying on the Court's inherent authority under Fed.R.Civ.P. 21 to sua sponte dismiss parties and claims for misjoinder, the Court reviewed Plaintiff's 42-page complaint and issued a lengthy opinion on October 14, 2016. In that opinion, the Court concluded that Plaintiff had filed an omnibus complaint that attempted to link every action with which he disagreed over a one-year period with a conclusory allegation of conspiracy. The Court rejected the conspiracy claim. The Court next determined that Plaintiff's first claim - that the Michigan Department of Corrections or MDOC had violated his rights to adequate medical care under the Eighth Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Rehabilitation Act (RA) - was unrelated to any of Plaintiff's claims and Defendants and that those other claims and Defendants were misjoined. The Court held that Plaintiff's conspiracy claim and his claims against the MDOC were meritless or that the MDOC was immune. The Court therefore dismissed the MDOC with prejudice. In addition, although technically not properly joined, the Court also dismissed numerous claims that had previously been decided against Plaintiff in another action, holding that those claims were barred by the doctrine of res judicata and therefore were frivolous. Finally, the Court, exercising its authority under Fed.R.Civ.P. 21, concluded that the remaining misjoined claims and Defendants should be dismissed without prejudice.

         Plaintiff appealed the Court's decision to the Sixth Circuit. In an unpublished order issued on October 2, 2017, the Sixth Circuit upheld all of the Court's merits-based determinations: dismissal of the conspiracy claim; dismissal of the MDOC as a Defendant; dismissal of the ADA and RA claims; and the dismissal of numerous claims on grounds of res judicata. The court of appeals concluded, however, that the misjoined claims were not subject to dismissal under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2), 1915A; 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c).[1] The court also concluded that Fed.R.Civ.P. 21 did not permit dismissal of a complaint for misjoinder. Concluding that, because the properly joined claims were addressed first, the dismissal of the misjoined claims and Defendants amounted to an improper dismissal of the complaint under Rule 21.

         The Sixth Circuit has remanded the case to this Court to take action consistent with its appellate decision. This Court must now consider whether any further claims raised by Plaintiff may be dismissed on the merits in order to determine which of the previously misjoined claims should go forward. In order to properly ground the Court's consideration in the lengthy facts of the case, the Court will substantially reiterate the factual allegations set forth in the Court's October 14, 2016, opinion.

         I. Factual allegations

         Plaintiff Robert Wayne Annabel, II presently is incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Ionia Correctional Facility (ICF). He sues the MDOC, its former Director Daniel Heyns, and its former food service provider Aramark Corporation, Inc. He also sues the following ICF officials: Warden Willie Smith; Deputy Wardens Nannette Norwood, Erica Huss, and John Christiansen; Captain Kevin Woods; Lieutenants Christopher King, (unknown) Zwiker, and S. Rykse; Resident Unit Manager (RUM) E. Smith; Sergeant Dennis Grandy; Correctional Officers J. VanNortrick, (unknown) Scott, (unknown) Berrington, (unknown) Bennett, (unknown) Burns, (unknown) Eyer, D. Christiansen, and Joseph Novak; Social Workers James Apol and Robert Davis; Psychiatrist Dr. W. Yee; Nurse Practitioner (unknown) Sleight; Nurse Kronk; Food Service Manager J. Daugherty; and Chaplain C. Cheney.

         In his lengthy complaint, Plaintiff lists the many hardships he allegedly has suffered while housed with the MDOC since 2008. Plaintiff has filed numerous prior lawsuits, in which he complained about being inadequately medicated for his bipolar disorder; being retaliated against for his many grievances and lawsuits; being defamed; being denied his Kosher diet; having his food poisoned; being subjected to the use of excessive force; having his property and mail stolen; being denied due process; and having prison officials interfere with his access to the courts. He has alleged that all prior defendants have been engaged in a conspiracy to deny him his rights. The first ten pages of the instant complaint describe incidents that occurred prior to the stated period of the complaint (March 24, 2014, through April 24, 2015) and recite the lawsuits previously filed by Plaintiff. The remainder of the complaint consists of allegations about a litany of disparate events between March 24, 2014 and April 24, 2015, ostensibly linked by a conclusory claim that all events were part of a single, global conspiracy headed by Defendant Heyns, the then-Director of the MDOC; claims involving retaliation against Plaintiff; denial of Plaintiff's access to the courts; interference with Plaintiff's mail; violations of Plaintiff's rights under the Eighth Amendment; violations of the Equal Protection Clause, the ADA and the RA; interference with Plaintiff's legal mail; violations of RICO; and deprivations of Plaintiff's property without due process. A substantial number of Plaintiff's allegations and the Defendants he names overlap with allegations he previously raised in Annabel v. Mich. Dep't of Corr. et al., No. 1:14-cv-756 (W.D. Mich.). Many of those claims previously were dismissed with prejudice, though a few were subsequently dismissed without prejudice after Plaintiff failed to comply with the Court's orders.[1]

         The following is a summary of Plaintiff's allegations that fall within the time-frame Plaintiff purports to cover in his complaint. On March 24, 2014, a magistrate judge from Eastern District of Michigan issued a report and recommendation (R&R) to grant one defendant's motion for summary judgment and to deny Plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order. See Annabel v. Heyns et al., No. 2:12-cv-13590 (E.D. Mich.) (R&R Mar. 24, 2014) (ECF No. 85). Plaintiff alleged in Annabel v. Mich. Dep't of Corr. et al., No. 1:14-cv-756 (W.D. Mich.), that interference with his mail prevented him from receiving the R&R. Also on that date, three other events allegedly occurred: (1) MI-CURE sent Plaintiff a letter declining to investigate corruption in the grievance process; (2) two of Plaintiff's grievances were rejected; and (3) Plaintiff was placed on modified grievance access. Plaintiff contends that all of these actions were retaliatory and designed to prevent him from making additional filings.

         On April 30, 2014, three additional events occurred, which Plaintiff alleges were related, in some unexplained fashion, to one another and to Plaintiff's allegations. First, in the absence of objections from him, the district judge adopted the R&R in Annabel v. Heyns et al., No. 2:12-cv-13590 (E.D. Mich. Apr. 20, 2014) (ECF No. 89). Second, prisoner Abkedya Boyd apparently committed suicide at the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility (ARF). Third, the defendants in Annabel v. Frost et al., No. 2:14-v-10244 (E.D. Mich.) (none of whom are Defendants in this action) allegedly transferred the only prisoner representative in Unit 4 to Unit 5. Plaintiff alleges that Prisoner Boyd was housed near Plaintiff and that Plaintiff had assisted prisoner Boyd to file a Step-II grievance and to prepare for litigation of an incident at Macomb Correctional Facility. Plaintiff previously raised these allegations in Annabel v. Mich. Dep't of Corr. et al., No. 1:14-cv-756 (W.D. Mich.), and the Court concluded the allegations failed to state a claim. Id. (Op. & Ord. Aug. 21, 2014).

         On May 1, 2014, Officer Pigg (who is not a defendant in the instant action) mocked Plaintiff for assisting other prisoners in preparing affidavits for a potential suit by Boyd's estate. Plaintiff contends that Boyd's suicide was induced by staff harassment. Plaintiff complains that the same pattern had occurred with another suicide in 2013, which involved another prisoner who was engaged in protected activity with Plaintiff.

         On May 13, 2014, Plaintiff told his therapist, James Dickson (not a Defendant) that he wanted to be discharged from his mental health program at ARF, ostensibly to avoid further retaliation by ARF employees. According to Plaintiff, in response to his request, “[D]efendants transferred him to the MDOC's most notoriously brutal Maximum Security, at Ionia Correctional Facility, where Plaintiff had previously suffered substantial staff abuse.” (Compl., ECF No.1, PageID.13.) Plaintiff alleges that, although he had been scored since 2008 to a Level-V security classification, he had spent nearly six consecutive years waived down to a Level-IV residential treatment program (RTP) or a Level-IV Outpatient Treatment Facility. He suggests that he was transferred to Level V at ICF in retaliation for filing several lawsuits. Plaintiff also alleges that the transfer to Level V reduced his parole likelihood from “average probability” to “low probability.” (Id., PageID.14.) Again, Plaintiff raised these allegations in Annabel v. Mich. Dep't of Corr. et al., No. 1:14-cv-756 (W.D. Mich.), and the Court dismissed the claim for failure to state a claim. (1:14-cv-756, ECF No. 17, PageID.176-181.)

         On May 16, 2014, shortly after Plaintiff arrived at ICF, Defendant Social Worker Apol interviewed Plaintiff. Plaintiff complains that Apol was hostile, critical and aggressive in his demeanor. Apol told Plaintiff, “Spell my name right when you sue me.” (Id., PageID.15.) When Plaintiff expressed concerns about eating or taking medication at the facility because of his fear of staff tampering, Apol vowed to keep Plaintiff at ICF, on forced medication, if necessary. Plaintiff told Apol to be sure to get a psychiatrist's signature on the forced-medication order, and Apol assured him that he understood his job. Plaintiff raised these allegations in Annabel v. Mich. Dep't of Corr. et al., No. 1:14-cv-756 (W.D. Mich.). The issues were not fully litigated before the remainder of the complaint was dismissed for lack of prosecution.

         Defendant Dr. Yee interviewed Plaintiff on May 19, 2014. Plaintiff explained his long history of bipolar disorder, but Yee allegedly disregarded the proven effectiveness of the psychotropic medications listed in Plaintiff's file. When Plaintiff explained his concerns about eating and taking medication, Yee told him that a hunger strike would not get him transferred. Plaintiff indicated that he would resume eating and taking his medications. Despite Plaintiff's subsequent compliance in taking the medication, Defendant Yee discontinued that medication on May 24, 2014. On May 27, Plaintiff was interviewed by Defendant Apol, an unknown female, and an older male social worker. Apol reviewed Plaintiff's kite complaining about Yee's discontinuation of his medication. Apol was dismissive and told him that his medications would not be resumed until Plaintiff seriously self-injured. An unknown male social worker told Plaintiff that he remembered Plaintiff from 2008 and that he saw that Plaintiff's mental health condition had significantly improved since 2008. The unknown social worker therefore recommended resuming Plaintiff's medication. Defendant Apol rejected the recommendation. These allegations were raised in Annabel v. Mich. Dep't of Corr. et al., No. 1:14-cv-756 (W.D. Mich.), and the claims were ultimately dismissed without prejudice.

         On July 14, 2014, Plaintiff sent three articles of expedited legal mail to Defendant D. Christiansen. Christiansen allegedly signed and pre-dated the receipts as of July 12, 2014, and then allegedly destroyed the documents. On August 4, 2014, an individual mailed to Plaintiff a copy of the complaint in Annabel v. MDOC et al., No. 1:14-cv-756 (W.D. Mich.), but Defendant D. Christiansen did not deliver the mail until October 20, 2014, after unspecified other Defendants had read the complaint and after a first-shift sergeant had interrogated Plaintiff about the complaint.

         Plaintiff complains that he has invested much time and money developing his paralegal skills, which he believes could provide a respectable income upon his release. He contends that he invested thousands of dollars in filing fees, legal texts, photocopies, postage, stationery and footlockers. Notwithstanding his alleged property interest in the materials, in March or April 2015, unspecified Defendants ordered the segregation porter to destroy some of Plaintiff's legal property, including paperwork related to one of Plaintiff's prior lawsuits against ICF staff, Annabel v. Caruso et al., 1:09-cv-176 (W.D. Mich.).[2] Plaintiff ultimately filed a claim seeking compensation for his property with the State Administrative Board. He subsequently sent a letter to the board explaining that the MDOC was not acknowledging or processing such claims. He claims that he also received no satisfaction through the grievance process. Plaintiff suggests that he therefore was without a post-deprivation remedy. This claim was raised in Annabel v. Mich. Dep't of Corr. et al., No. 1:14-cv-756 (W.D. Mich.), and the claim was dismissed with prejudice.

         Plaintiff next sweepingly alleges that, between June 17, 2014, and April 24, 2015, “defendants often withheld or damaged Plaintiff's property.” During that same time and with an allegedly retaliatory motive, Defendants Apol and Yee allegedly denied Plaintiff psychotropic medication, ostensibly in order to induce mental destabilization. Defendants Apol and Yee allegedly placed him on suicide restrictions, in order to prevent him from accessing his legal property. Plaintiff claims that being held in the stressful environment had caused him to become depressed, unable to have restful sleep, and to be unable to litigate and acquire career skills as effectively as he would like. He asserts that Defendants collectively continue to engage in unfair litigation tactics, as did the defendants in Annabel v. Armstrong et al., No. 1:14-cv-796 (W.D. Mich.), Annabel v. Caruso et al., No. 1:09-cv-176 (W.D. Mich.), and Annabel v. Heyns et al., No. 2:12-cv-13590 (E.D. Mich.).

         Plaintiff complains that Defendants Yee and Apol also have demonstrated that their actions are retaliatory, because they have referenced his litigation efforts in his psychiatric medical file, stating on August 29, 2014:

He is quite litigious, and seems to take pleasure in announcing various lawsuits that he files. He seems to use these legal actions as a way to manipulate placement, with the reasoning that it would be ‘unethical' for a provider to continue to provide services if he/she is named as a defendant in his legal action. He has shown himself to be very calculating in this regard.

(Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.19-20.) On December 29, 2014, Dr. Yee wrote:

Summary of Progress to Dated: Prisoner is resistant to treatment. He remains highly litigious, and uses insults to try to evoke a response that he feels is grievable.

(Id., PageID.20.) Plaintiff contends that the placement of such references in his medical file violates prison policy, and he contends that unnamed officers are able misuse the MDOC database and communications system to view such statements. He argues that this potential for abuse demonstrates that supervisory officials are well aware of his litigation.

         Plaintiff next alleges that, on August 4, 2014, a woman named Zoe Keller mailed Plaintiff a copy of his complaint in Annabel v. Mich. Dep't of Corr. et al., No. 1:14-cv-756 (W.D. Mich.). According to the instant complaint, Defendant D. Christiansen allegedly withheld the mail until October 20, 2014, and, during the intervening period, unspecified Defendants read the mail. On August 8, 2014, a first-shift sergeant told Plaintiff that the inspector was investigating Plaintiff for using the mail to smuggle drugs. On August 14, 2014, Plaintiff attempted to mail an expedited discovery request to the attorney in Annabel v. Heyns et al., No. 2:12-cv-13590 (E.D. Mich.), but it was discarded. Plaintiff sent the request again in November, at which time the attorney informed Plaintiff that he had not received the original August mailing.

         Plaintiff alleges that, on October 20, 2014, unspecified Defendants destroyed without delivering an order denying leave to amend in Annabel v. Frost et al., No. 2:14-cv-10244 (E.D. Mich.). On February 17, 2015, unspecified Defendants allegedly destroyed without delivering a report and recommendation issued in the same case. The case was dismissed on March 30, 2015, after Plaintiff failed to file objections to the report and recommendation.[3] Plaintiff asserts that the repeated interferences with his mail demonstrate that Defendants participated in a common plan organized by a central agent, such as Defendant Heyns.

         Plaintiff alleges that, between June 9, 2014, and June 17, 2014, Defendants W. Smith, Norwood and Huss employed prisoner Joseph Halton to harass and threaten Plaintiff by instructing their subordinates to give immunity to Halton for any harassment. Plaintiff recites the following examples of the alleged scheme to allow harassment: Halton screamed vulgarities at Plaintiff on Halton's first morning in the yard and threatened to attack Plaintiff, but staff did not issue a misconduct; Halton made attempts to incite gangs against Plaintiff; on June 17, 2014, Halton made more threats against Plaintiff as Halton left the unit that were condoned by an unnamed African-American officer, causing Plaintiff to “preemptively str[ike] Halton with a bare ink pen” (ECF No. 1, PageID.23). Halton was moved to Segregation Unit 2 on August 4, 2014, where he continued to harass Plaintiff with false statements and allegations. On August 4, 2014, Halton returned from an interview with a sergeant, bragging that he had testified against Plaintiff. Plaintiff contends that Defendants Smith, Norwood and Huss were the only officials who could authorize Halton's new cell assignment. Plaintiff raised all but the last of these allegations about Halton in Annabel v. Mich. Dep't of Corr. et al., No. 1:14-cv-756 (W.D. Mich.), and the Court dismissed the issue against these Defendants on the grounds that the allegations failed to state a claim.

         Plaintiff alleges that he arrived in Segregation Unit 2 on the afternoon of June 17, 2014. On June 18, 2014, at 9:30 p.m., Plaintiff damaged a sprinkler to protest staff's failure to provide him bedding and his legal material within the time period required by MDOC policy. Plaintiff contends that Defendants denied his psychotropic medications to destabilize him and cause him harm and to cause him to be placed in segregation. This issue was raised in Annabel v. Mich. Dep't of Corr. et al., No. 1:14-cv-756 (W.D. Mich.), and the claim was dismissed for failure to state a claim.

         Plaintiff next alleges that Defendants W. Smith, Norwood and Huss frequently acted in concert with Defendant Novak to deny Plaintiff's requests for law library materials and photocopies. He alleges that the denial of photocopies resulted in the dismissal of his complaint in Annabel v. Mich. Dep't of Corr., No. 1:14-cv-756 (W.D. Mich.). Plaintiff contends that Defendants use prisoner law clerks to retaliate, having them provide only a few cases, marking those cases with “pitchfork gang signs, ” and marking most requests as “Out: Re-Order.” (ECF No. 1, PageID.25.) Plaintiff alleges that, after he confronted unspecified Defendants and Defendant Christiansen (presumably D. Christiansen) in December 2014 and January 2015, the allegedly retaliation increased. Defendant Norwood placed Plaintiff on a law book restriction, allegedly without adequate proof of the misuse of books. Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants used prisoner-porter Jason to attempt to extort fees and sexual favors. Plaintiff complained to Defendant Novak on February 10, 2015. In April 2015, Plaintiff received a misconduct ticket for making false allegations that interfered with the administration of rules. Plaintiff claims that unspecified Defendants frequently used prisoner Jason to enter cells in Segregation Unit 1, so that Jason could pack up or destroy other prisoners' property.

         Plaintiff alleges that, on July 9, 2012, he engaged in discussions to settle a civil action, Annabel v. Caruso et al., No. 1:09-cv-176 (W.D. Mich.). Plaintiff signed the settlement agreement on July 18, 2012, in which he obtained a small cash amount and an agreement to provide him a Kosher diet. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants have all acted to impede his rights under that settlement agreement. Between June 17 and July 2, 2014, Plaintiff became afraid of food tampering and refused to accept all meals. During that time, Defendant Kronk allegedly failed to ensure that Plaintiff received medical evaluations at intervals required by prison policies, and Defendants Yee and Apol allegedly examined him for only a few minutes on a date later than required under prison policy. On June 18, Plaintiff was threatened with foodloaf, followed by one week in which Defendant Zwiker brought him “special delivery duty” meals, consisting of unsealed Kosher meal trays. (ECF No. 1, PageID.26.) Zwiker allegedly denigrated Plaintiff's religion and mockingly described the delicious food. Defendant Zwiker also allegedly withheld legal mail from Plaintiff on three occasions during this period. Plaintiff discovered a staple in his scalloped potatoes on July 7, 2014. Plaintiff also complained about the uncovered food trays. Defendant RUM E. Smith advised Plaintiff in a memorandum that the Kosher trays were never wrapped in cellophane, as it presented a security concern. Plaintiff disputes the truth of that response. On June 24, 2014, Defendants Yee and Apol began forcibly medicating Plaintiff with Thorazine, allegedly in order to prevent Plaintiff from effectively litigating his claims.

         On July 9, 2014, Plaintiff's hot tray was mockingly marked with the name “Adiline.” Plaintiff demanded to speak with Sergeant Zwiker and took his food tray hostage. Defendant Vannortrick wrote a misconduct against Plaintiff, in which he allegedly defamed Plaintiff by saying that Plaintiff had stated that his “‘hemorr[h]oids were inflamed and felt like they were about to set his cell on fire!!'” (ECF No. 1, PageID.27.) Plaintiff alleges that Vannortrick thereby intentionally revealed Plaintiff's embarassing health condition, which, Plaintiff alleges, implied that Plaintiff was a homosexual. Defendant Vannortrick read aloud the statement to an audience of nearly 40 prisoners. Defendant Rykse found Plaintiff guilty of the misconduct on July 21, 2014.

         On July 10, 2014, Plaintiff's food tray was mockingly labeled “Alleshia.” (Id., PageID.28.) On July 13, 2014, Plaintiff received ketchup packets with his breakfast, instead of jelly. On July 30, 2014, Plaintiff's breakfast tray was missing the powdered soy milk. Plaintiff complained to Defendants Scott and Norwood, neither of whom corrected the problems. On August 12, 2014, his dinner tray held only a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a half-cup of potatoes.

         Plaintiff told Defendant Apol on August 19, 2014, that he had filed a lawsuit against Apol. In response, Apol allegedly berated Plaintiff.

         On August 27, 2014, after allegedly being denied photocopies and expedited legal mail by Defendants Grandy, Zwiker, and E. Smith, Plaintiff held his food slot hostage. He was sprayed with chemical agents, and he was hogtied. Defendants left a noose hanging inside his rear window, low enough for Plaintiff to put the noose around his neck. Defendants Zwiker, Berrington, Bennett, and Scott all observed the noose around Plaintiff's neck for five hours, but they refused to release him, simply writing him false misconduct tickets for disobeying a direct order. At about 10:15 p.m., Officer Braman called the third-shift lieutenant to remove both the noose and the chains.

         The following day, Plaintiff held his food slot hostage to protest alleged tampering with his breakfast tray and denial of legal access. Defendants Grandy, Eyer, Burns, and Jensen hogtied Plaintiff again. Later that day, Plaintiff asked King to loosen the belly chain, but King refused, hissing, “You're a piece of shit. In three days I hope you die in those chains.” (Id., PageID.32.) Defendants Zwiker, Berrington, Bennett, and Kronk also denied pleas to loosen the chains and denied Plaintiff's requests for water. Plaintiff alleges that he was hogtied in his cell for seven days, from August 28 to September 4, 2014, during which time Defendants Grandy, Eyer, Burns, Zwiker, Bennett, Scott, Berrington, and King all denied Plaintiff meals. Grandy told Plaintiff that Defendant Willie Smith said that Plaintiff needed to stop filing grievances and lawsuits so that he would not have the problems. When the chains were finally removed on September 4, 2014, Plaintiff dropped to the floor screaming, because the removal of the belly chain tore off skin and scabs. Plaintiff also had sores on his ankles, wrists, and knees. All requests for medical care were denied, and no Defendant documented Plaintiff's injuries. Plaintiff eventually showed his scars to Defendants Sleight and Davis, but they refused to report that Plaintiff had been abused.

         Plaintiff was placed on suicide observation status from August 28 through October 10, 2014, and most of the meals he received were non-Kosher finger food or foodloaf. Plaintiff alleges that the deprivations violated his settlement agreement. Plaintiff was told that Defendant Cheney had removed him from the Kosher menu. Cheney did not respond to Plaintiff's complaints. On September 25, 2014, Defendant Scott allegedly forced Plaintiff to accept a non-Kosher foodloaf, and Scott told Plaintiff that he did not care about the Jews. Defendant Zwiker made derogatory remarks about Plaintiff being a child molester and denigrated Plaintiff's mother and his religion. On October 29, 2014, Plaintiff discovered a pea-size stone in his Kosher dinner, and the Islamic crescent moon was marked on his dinner tray. Plaintiff complained to Daugherty, who found Plaintiff's grievances to be factually unsupported.

         On November 6, 2014, Plaintiff concluded that Defendants would not be honest, so he sent Defendant Cheney “an accusing kite to end Kosher trays.” (Id., PageID.31.) On November 17, 2014, Defendant Daugherty “scorned” Plaintiff in a notice that Plaintiff was being removed from Kosher meals. (Id.)

         Plaintiff contends that his poor mental health treatment and the poor treatment of others, as evidenced by the four suicides, demonstrate that Defendant Heyns is deliberately indifferent to the quality of prisoner medical care, that Heyns wrongfully diverts funds from medical care to weapons, and that Heyns orchestrated the retaliatory punishment of mentally ill prisoners. Plaintiff also alleges that the long history of staff abuse is well known and condoned by Defendants Heyns, Willie Smith, Norwood and Huss. In addition, he contends that Heyns, W. Smith, Norwood and Huss maintain their corrupt system by promoting the worst offenders: Defendants Christiansen, Woods, King, Zwiker, Rykse and Grandy.

         Further, Plaintiff alleges that all Defendants conspired to deny Plaintiff grievance forms and Step-II appeals, refused to deliver or process those grievances, or placed Plaintiff on modified grievance access.

         Plaintiff contends that all Defendants have violated his rights under the First Amendment by denying him access to the courts, interfering with his mail, interfering with his religious exercise, and retaliating against him for filing grievances and lawsuits. In addition, Plaintiff contends that Defendants violated his rights under the Fourteenth Amendment (as well as the First Amendment) by repeatedly harassing him on the basis of his religion and coercing him to forfeit his religion and religious diet. He also contends that all Defendants have been deliberately indifferent to his serious medical and mental health needs and to his risks of harm from known staff and prisoner attacks. Further, he argues that the MDOC has denied him the benefits of mental health programs and legal research materials because of his mental illness, ostensibly in violation of the ADA, the RA, and the Fourteenth Amendment. Moreover, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants have violated RICO by their multiple illegal actions taken against Plaintiff. Finally, Plaintiff complains that Defendants have violated a variety of state laws.

         Plaintiff seeks declaratory and injunctive relief and specific performance of his settlement agreement, together with compensatory and punitive damages.

         II. Previously Dismissed Claims

         As earlier discussed, the Sixth Circuit has affirmed this Court's dismissal of numerous claims and Defendants: dismissal of the conspiracy claims against all Defendants; dismissal of the MDOC as a Defendant; dismissal of the ADA and RA claims against all Defendants; and the dismissal of numerous claims on grounds of res judicata, which this Court summarized as follows in its October 14, 2016, opinion:

As a consequence, the following issues were frivolously brought in this action, because they are barred by res judicata: Plaintiff's conspiracy claim preceding July 2014[;] Plaintiff's claims involving his transfer to ICF on May 16, 2014; the claims involving Plaintiff's inability to practice his “business” as a prison paralegal; Plaintiff's claims that Defendant Heyns and two ARF officials interfered with his legal mail between March 24, 2014[, ] and April 10, 2014, and that Defendant Zwiker interfered with delivery of his incoming mail between June 17 and July 2, 2014; Plaintiff's claim that Defendant MDOC violated his rights under the ADA and the RA by not adequately treating his mental illness and forcibly medicating him; Plaintiff's RICO claims; Plaintiff's allegations that Defendants Smith, Norwood, and Huss retaliated against him for filing suit by having Prisoner Halton harass Plaintiff; Plaintiff's claim that Defendant Zwiker violated Plaintiff's First Amendment religious rights by mocking his Kosher diet by regularly uncovering his food tray and saying how delicious the food looked[4]; Plaintiff's claim [that] Defendant Heyns participated in the denial of medical care to Plaintiff by Defendants Apol and Yee; and Plaintiff's claims that Defendants denied him grievance forms and placed him on modified grievance access in retaliation for his exercise of his First Amendment rights.

(Op., ECF No. 9, PageID.203; see also 6th Cir. Ord., ECF No. 19, PageID.297-298.) As a consequence, this Court's October 14, 2016, determinations on these issues remain the law of this case.

         III. Merits Review of Remaining Claims

         In light of the Sixth Circuit's remand, which held that this Court may not dismiss Plaintiff's misjoined claims, the Court will now consider whether any of the remaining claims may be properly dismissed as frivolous or for failure to state a claim.

         A 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)).

         Moreover, a claim may be dismissed as frivolous if “it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact.” Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989); Brown v. Bargery, 207 F.3d 863, 866 (2000); Lawler v. Marshall, 898 F.2d 1196, 1198 (6th Cir. 1990). Claims that lack an arguable or rational basis in law include claims for which the defendants are clearly entitled to immunity and claims of infringement of a legal interest which clearly does not exist; claims that lack an arguable or rational basis in fact describe fantastic or delusional scenarios. Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28; Lawler, 898 F.2d at 1199. The Court has the “unusual power to pierce the veil of the complaint's factual allegations and dismiss those claims whose factual contentions are clearly baseless.” Id., 490 U.S. at 327. “A finding of factual frivolousness is appropriate when the facts alleged rise to the level of the irrational or the wholly incredible, whether or not there are judicially noticeable facts available to contradict them.” Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 32 (1992). Examples of claims lacking rational facts include a prisoner's assertion that Robin Hood and his Merry Men deprived prisoners of their access to mail or that a genie granted a warden's wish to deny prisoners any access to legal texts. See Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28; Lawler, 898 F.2d at 1198-99. An in forma pauperis complaint may not be dismissed, however, merely because the court believes that the plaintiff's allegations are unlikely. Id.

         A. Allegations Unattributed to Individual Defendants

         Among the litany of Plaintiff's allegations about individual Defendants, Plaintiff alleges a series of ostensible violations that he conclusorily attributes to Defendants generally. First, he alleges that “defendants authorized a prisoner segregation porter to pack and destroy some of Plaintiff's legal property . . . .” (Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.18.) He argues that such authorization was barred by prison policy. (Id., PageID.25-26.) Plaintiff next alleges that “defendants often withheld or damaged Plaintiff's property without a legitimate penological objective to deprive him of use and equitable title thereof and to diminish the principle investment.” (Id., PagedID.18) At another point, Plaintiff alleges that “defendants destroyed without delivery a Report & Recommendation [R&R], ” which resulted in the dismissal of Plaintiff's complaint on the grounds of Plaintiff's failure to file objections to the R&R. (Id., PageID.22.) And he alleges generally that, between June 17, 2014, and April 24, 2015, he has suffered recurrent interference with his ingoing and outgoing mail by unnamed persons, though ostensibly orchestrated by Defendant Heyns. (Id., PageID.18.) Further, Plaintiff contends that Defendants generally have mishandled his grievances. (Id., PageID.35.) Plaintiff also alleges that unknown Defendants marked his meals with the names of “Alleshia” and “Adiline, ” to retaliate against Plaintiff for his religious views. Finally, Plaintiff complains about certain problems with his food trays. he alleges that unknown Defendants provided him meal trays that were deficient in one or more ways: on July 13, 2014, Plaintiff's breakfast tray contained ketchup instead of jelly; on July 30, 2014, his breakfast tray was missing the powdered soy milk; on August 12, 2014, his dinner tray included only a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a half-cup of potatoes. He also claims that unspecified Defendants are responsible for the presence of a staple in his scalloped potatoes on July 7, 2014, and a pea-sized stone in his Kosher dinner on October 29, 2014.

         1. allowing prisoner to pack and destroy legal property

         Plaintiff's allegations respecting the packing and destroying of his legal property are without merit for numerous reasons. First, Plaintiff utterly fails to name an individual Defendant who was responsible for the alleged violations, and his claim is wholly conclusory, containing no facts concerning the what, where, or when of the alleged takings. Conclusory allegations of unconstitutional conduct without specific factual allegations fail to state a claim under § 1983. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678-79; Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

         Second, Plaintiff's due process claim is barred by the doctrine of Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527 (1981), overruled in part by Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327 (1986). Under Parratt, a person deprived of property by a “random and unauthorized act” of a state employee has no federal due process claim unless the state fails to afford an adequate post-deprivation remedy. If an adequate post-deprivation remedy exists, the deprivation, although real, is not “without due process of law.” Parratt, 451 U.S. at 537. This rule applies to both negligent and intentional deprivation of property, as long as the deprivation was not done pursuant to an established state procedure. See Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 530-36 (1984). Because Plaintiff's claim is premised upon allegedly unauthorized acts of a state official, he must plead and prove the inadequacy of state post-deprivation remedies. See Copeland v. Machulis, 57 F.3d 476, 479-80 (6th Cir. 1995); Gibbs v. Hopkins, 10 F.3d 373, 378 (6th Cir. 1993). Under settled Sixth Circuit authority, a prisoner's failure to sustain this burden requires dismissal of his § 1983 due-process action. See Brooks v. Dutton, 751 F.2d 197 (6th Cir. 1985).

         Plaintiff has not sustained his burden in this case. Plaintiff has not alleged that state post-deprivation remedies are inadequate. Moreover, numerous state post-deprivation remedies are available to him. First, a prisoner who incurs a loss through no fault of his own may petition the institution's Prisoner Benefit Fund for compensation. Mich. Dep't of Corr., Policy Directive 04.07.112, ¶ B (effective Dec. 12, 2013). Aggrieved prisoners may also submit claims for property loss of less than $1, 000 to the State Administrative Board. Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.6419; MDOC Policy Directive 03.02.131 (effective Oct. 21, 2013). Alternatively, Michigan law authorizes actions in the Court of Claims asserting tort or contract claims “against the state and any of its departments, commissions, boards, institutions, arms, or agencies.” Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.6419(1)(a). The Sixth Circuit specifically has held that Michigan provides adequate ...


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