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Jones v. Michigan Department of Corrections

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

July 24, 2018

JIVONNIE JONES, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          ROBERT J. JONKER CHIEF 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, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff's complaint on grounds of immunity and failure to state a claim.

         Discussion

         I. Factual Allegations

         Plaintiff is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Woodland Correctional Facility (WCC) in Whitmore Lake, Livingston County, Michigan. The events about which he complains occurred principally at that facility. But, Plaintiff challenges the convictions that resulted in his incarceration as well as the conditions of confinement. Those convictions occurred in the Muskegon County Circuit Court.

         Plaintiff's complaint is not a model of clarity. It is a far cry from the short and plain statement of claim contemplated by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8.

         By local rule, prisoners filing complaints under the Civil Rights Act must bring their claims following the form specified by the Court. W.D. Mich. LCivR 5.6(a). Plaintiff submitted his complaint on the Court-approved form. The form asks the prisoner to identify the defendant(s) in two places in the complaint: in the caption and in a section titled “Parties.” See (Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.1-2.) In the caption, Plaintiff identifies only the State of Michigan as a defendant. (Id., PageID.1.) In the section titled “Parties” Plaintiff alleges again that Michigan is a defendant; then he references the Michigan Department of Corrections and “everyone involved.” (Id., PageID.2.)

         After the identification of parties, the form complaint invites the prisoner to submit a brief statement of claim recounting the facts of his or her case. (Id.) The prisoner is instructed to describe how each defendant is involved and to “[i]nclude also the names of other persons involved, dates and places.” (Id.)

         Plaintiff's statement of claim lists four separate claims. The first, titled “unlawful imprisonment, ” offers no facts. Instead, it simply includes a list of persons and entities Plaintiff apparently contends played some role in his imprisonment: the Muskegon Heights Police Department, the Muskegon Prosecutor's Office, the Muskegon Public Defender's Office, the Muskegon County Sheriff's Department, Muskegon County Community Mental Health, the Muskegon circuit and district court, judges from those courts, and Defendant Michigan Department of Corrections. (Id.)

         Plaintiff describes his second claim as deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. (Id.) He identifies Defendant MDOC and WCC as the entities involved. (Id.) The medical need is “some sort of infection.” (Id.)

         Plaintiff's third claim is a reiteration of his first claim. This time he describes it as “wrongful enslavement.” (Id.)

         Finally, Plaintiff claims he was unlawfully forced to take unnecessary medication by Defendant MDOC and Community Mental Health of Muskegon County. (Id.)

         Plaintiff supports his completed form complaint with a five-page handwritten statement (Id., PageID.7-11) and over two-hundred fifty pages of exhibits (Id., PageID.13-273). Plaintiff's exhibits provide a detailed, almost day-by-day picture of his incarceration and treatment at WCC, as well as insight into the Muskegon County criminal cases against him. (Id.) The exhibits include many more individuals and entities that bear some relationship to the claims Plaintiff has raised.

         Plaintiff seeks damages of $20, 000, 000.00 and “a complete change to the criminal justice ...


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