United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ROBERT L. DYKES, Plaintiff,
UNKNOWN BENSON et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
L. Maloney, United States District Judge.
a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 21,
the Court is permitted to drop parties sua sponte
when the parties have been misjoined. Pursuant to that rule,
the Court will drop as misjoined Defendants Gainer, Austin,
Iverson, Davis, Thompson, Miseta, Thomas, Smith, Shiebner,
Goodspeed, and Burke, and dismiss Plaintiff's claims
against them without prejudice.
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at the Oaks Correctional Facility (ECF) in
Manistee, Michigan. The events about which he complains
occurred at that facility. Plaintiff sues ECF personnel
including Corrections Officers Unknown, Benson, Unknown
Gainer, Unknown Austin, Unknown Iverson, Unknown Davis, and
Unknown Thompson; Classification Director Unknown Haske;
Assistant Resident Unit Supervisor Unknown Miseta; Resident
Unit Manager J. Thomas, Assistant Deputy Warden Unknown
Smith; Deputy Warden Unknown Shiebner; Hearing Investigator
Unknown Goodspeed; and Hearing Officer Unknown Burke.
arrived at ECF during September of 2017. Plaintiff was
initially classified to work as a porter. (Program
Classification Report, ECF No. 1-1, PageID.78.) Plaintiff
alleges that he had previously earned a custodial maintenance
certificate. (Plaintiff's Declaration, ECF No. 4,
PageID.202.) He contends that a porter holding such a
certificate was entitled to earn, initially, $1.08 per day
and after 30 days $1.31 per day. (Id.) MDOC Policy
Directive 05.02.110 provides some support for Plaintiff's
claim. The MDOC pays working prisoners according to a
standard pay scale. Id. at ¶W. Where a prisoner
is assigned to a semi-skilled or skilled position, he may be
entitled to additional money. Id. at ¶X. The
policy directive offers as an example of circumstances
permitting additional payment the following: “prisoner
is assigned as a porter and has completed a
custodial maintenance technology program[.]”
Id. Moreover, where a prisoner is required to work
under unusually difficult conditions (the policy directive
offers the example of “bloodborne pathogen
cleanup”-a skill demonstrated by Plaintiff's
certificate), he is entitled to one and one-half times the
normal rate of pay.
was working as a general porter on October 21, 2017, when he
raised the issue of his pay with Defendant Benson. (Compl.,
ECF No. 1, PageID.16.) The role of general porter is
apparently not a semi-skilled or skilled position that might
warrant the additional pay. Plaintiff reports that Defendant
Benson told Plaintiff he would never receive the additional
pay, he would never receive a position higher than general
porter, and that he may not even hold that position for long.
(Id.) Benson told him that she would talk with
Defendant Haske to “make sure.” (Id.)
Plaintiff describes Benson's conduct as an egregious
abuse of authority. He filed a grievance against her that day
for harassment. (Grievance ECF 2017-10-3533-17A, ECF No. 1-1,
next day, Defendant Benson continued her harassment campaign.
She asked Plaintiff's bunkmate whether he was getting
along with Plaintiff. (Grievance ECF No. 2017-10-3546-27B,
ECF No. 1-1, PageID.45-52.) Plaintiff's bunkmate
indicated he would like to separate from Plaintiff.
(Id.) Rather than moving Plaintiff's bunkmate,
however, Defendant Benson moved Plaintiff. (Id.)
Plaintiff describes this action as an abuse of governmental
power. (Id.) He filed another grievance against
Defendant Benson that day.
later, Defendant Benson warned Plaintiff that he could not
close the window flap on his cell door. (Grievance, ECF No.
2017-10-3635-27B, ECF No. 1-1, PageID.53-63.) Previously she
had warned Plaintiff that he could not cover it with a piece
of paper. (Id.) Plaintiff wanted to cover the flap
so he could have privacy while urinating or while applying
lotion after a shower. (Id.) Defendant Benson told
Plaintiff to use his chair. (Id.) Plaintiff was
worried he might get in trouble for using his chair for such
a purpose, so he filed a grievance against Defendant Benson
makes no other allegations against Defendant
Benson. He no longer had much contact with her
because he was assigned to a floor porter position in another
unit during her shift. (Prisoner Kite, ECF No. 1-1,
PageID.113.) Indeed, Plaintiff acknowledges that Defendant
Benson “stopped her harassment, threats, and
unprofessional conduct towards [Plaintiff].” (Request
for Rehearing, ECF No. 1-1, PageID.122.)
Plaintiff's problems with Defendant Benson ended, he was
not able to resolve the pay rate issue with Defendant Haske.
He contacted Defendant Haske on November 19, 2017, and
November 28, 2017, at the suggestion of Corrections Officer
Lee, in the hopes of securing the increased pay rate. When
Plaintiff did not receive a response, he filed a grievance
against Defendant Haske on November 28, 2017. (Grievance
ECF-2017-12-3986-02C, ECF No. 1-1, PageID.68-71.)
grievance was resolved at the first step. His certificate was
verified by Defendant Haske, he was given a floor porter
position, and his pay was increased to $1.08 per day.
(Id., PageID.71.) There were no floor porter
positions in Plaintiff's housing unit, so he was put to
work on the segregation floor. (Id.) Plaintiff did
not want to work on the segregation floor because the
conditions and cleaning requirements were unpleasant. He
filed a grievance against Defendant Haske for giving him that
assignment. (Grievance ECF-2017-12-4067-27Z, ECF No. 1-1,
PageID.72-76.) The grievance was rejected.
weeks later, Plaintiff was found guilty of a major
misconduct. He was confined in segregation for nearly two
months. As a result, he was unable to perform his assignment,
he was ineligible for assignments, and he would have to be
reclassified. (Assignment Waiver Form, ECF No. 1-1,
PageID.90.) Plaintiff filed a grievance against Defendant
Haske for signing the Assignment Waiver Form. (Grievance
ECF-2018-02-0362-02Z, ECF No. 1-1, PageID.81-88.) Plaintiff
contended Haske's actions were inconsistent with the
relevant MDOC policy directive.
claims against the remaining Defendants relate to the major
misconduct report (which Plaintiff claims was in retaliation
for his filing of grievances against Defendant Benson), the
determination of his guilt, and the horrific conditions the
Defendants subjected him to in punitive segregation.
Plaintiff claims against the second group of Defendants first
arose on January 17, 2018. (Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.9.) On
that date, Defendant Gainer shook down Plaintiff's cell
and warned Plaintiff, “this is what happens when you
file grievances and threaten to file lawsuits.”
(Id.) Plaintiff sought Gainer out for further
explanation later that evening. Gainer told Plaintiff that
Gainer, Defendant Austin and Defendant Iverson ...