United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
L. MALONEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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 for failure to state a claim.
Raymond Harris, Jr., presently is incarcerated with the
Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Michigan
Reformatory (RMI) in Ionia, Ionia County, Michigan. The
events about which he complains occurred at that facility.
Plaintiff sues the following RMI officials: Sergeants Unknown
Ogle, Unknown Bleedlove, Unknown Miller, and Unknown Sisson;
Correctional Officer Unknown Corl; Lieutenant Unknown Bond;
Prison Counselor Unknown Wixson; and Warden Carmen Palmer.
alleges that, on August 2, 2017, between 8:30 and 9:55 a.m.,
he was cooking food in the unit microwave. Defendant Corl
walked through the door and stated, “[T]hat's a
D.D.O. (disobeying a direct order).” Plaintiff
responded, “[F]or what[?]” (Compl., ECF No. 1,
PageID.4.) Corl did not answer; she just walked out the door.
Plaintiff was confused, but he continued to prepare his food.
later, Defendant Ogle approached Plaintiff, asking what was
going on. Plaintiff replied that he was just cooking his
food. Ogle responded that he had heard something else, and he
asked Plaintiff to turn around and cuff up. Plaintiff
complied. Defendant Ogle then escorted Plaintiff to
segregation, advising Plaintiff that he was being placed in
segregation because he had refused to lock down. Plaintiff
denied causing any problems or disobeying any order to lock
down. Plaintiff asked for a hearing investigator, and Ogle
agreed to relay his request.
remained in segregation, but he did not hear anything about a
misconduct charge or a hearing on that charge. From his
review of legal materials, he learned that prison policy
required that a hearing be held on any Class-I or Class-II
misconduct within seven business days. After seven business
days had passed, on August 12, 2017, Plaintiff stopped
Defendant Bond during his round, advising Bond that Plaintiff
had been kept in segregation for seven days without receiving
a misconduct report or hearing. Defendant Bond assured
Plaintiff that he would look into it. A few hours later,
Defendant Bond returned to report that there was no
misconduct charge filed against Plaintiff. Plaintiff then
asked to be released from segregation immediately. Defendant
Bond advised Plaintiff that he needed to make some calls and
look into the situation. A few hours later, Plaintiff stopped
Defendant Bleedlove, again explaining his detention in
segregation without having received a misconduct charge or
hearing. Defendant Bleedlove advised Plaintiff that there was
nothing he could do. Plaintiff heard nothing more on August
August 13, Plaintiff asked his unit correctional officers to
tell the prisoner counselor or assistant resident unit
supervisor about the problem. Plaintiff later stopped
Defendant Sisso and repeated his complaint. Defendant Sisso
told Plaintiff that he would look into it. A few hours later,
Plaintiff stopped Defendant Miller and again repeated the
circumstances about which he complains. Defendant Miller also
promised to look into it. Between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.,
Plaintiff was told to pack his belongings, because he was
being released from segregation.
complains that he was kept in segregation for 12 days,
without being charged with a rule violation and without
receiving a hearing, in violation of prison policy and his
right to due process. For relief, Plaintiff seeks
compensatory and punitive damages.
Failure to state a claim
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)).
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege the violation of a right secured by the federal
Constitution or laws and must show that the deprivation was
committed by a person acting under color of state law.
West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Street
v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 102 F.3d 810, 814 (6th Cir.
1996). Because § 1983 is a method for vindicating
federal rights, not a source of substantive rights itself,
the first step in an action under § 1983 is to identify
the specific constitutional right allegedly infringed.
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994).
extent that Petitioner claims that his placement and
retention in segregation violated prison policy, he fails to
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendants'
alleged failures to comply with an administrative rule or
policy do not themselves rise to the level of a
constitutional violation. Laney v. Farley, 501 F.3d
577, 581 n.2 (6th Cir. 2007); Brody v. City of
Mason, 250 F.3d 432, 437 (6th Cir. 2001); Smith v.
Freland, 954 F.2d 343, 347-48 (6th Cir. 1992);
Barber v. City of Salem, 953 F.2d 232, 240 (6th Cir.
1992); McVeigh v. Bartlett, No. 94-23347, 1995 WL
236687, at *1 (6th Cir. Apr. 21, 1995) (failure to follow
policy directive does not rise to the level of a
constitutional violation because policy directive does not