United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER PARTIALLY DISMISSING COMPLAINT AND TRANSFERRING
THE REMAINDER OF THE COMPLAINT TO THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT
COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
L. LUDINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Muhammad, (“Plaintiff”), incarcerated at the
Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, Michigan, filed
a civil rights complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983
and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau
of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 395 (1971). The Lakeland
Correctional Facility is in Coldwater, Michigan, located in
the United States District Court for the Western District of
names as defendants the Michigan Department of Corrections,
four prison officials at the Lakeland Correctional Facility
(Bonita Hoffner, Ms. Marvin, J. Rohrig, and Bryan Morrison),
and the U.S. Postal Service. He alleges that the prison
officials failed to send his legal mail to attorneys and
opened legal mail that had been returned to him. He also
alleges that the U.S. Postal Service and its employees failed
to deliver his legal mail.
has been allowed to proceed without prepayment of fees. See
28 § U.S.C. 1915(a); McGore v. Wrigglesworth,
114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir. 1997). However, 28 U.S.C. §
Notwithstanding any filing fee, or any portion thereof, that
may have been paid, the court shall dismiss the case at any
time if the court determines that:
(B) the action or appeal:
(i) is frivolous or malicious;
(ii) fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted;
(iii) seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief.
complaint is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law
or fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325
(1989); see also Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25,
32 (1992). Sua sponte dismissal is appropriate if
the complaint lacks an arguable basis when filed.
McGore, 114 F.3d at 612.
alleges that the U.S. Postal Service or its employees failed
to deliver his legal mail to several attorneys. Absent a
waiver, sovereign immunity shields the Federal Government and
its agencies from being sued. See F.D.I.C. v. Meyer,
510 U.S. 471, 475 (1996). Accordingly, the United States
Postal Service, as an independent establishment of the
executive branch of the United States Government, enjoys
federal sovereignty absent a waiver. See Dolan v. U.S.
Postal Serv., 546 U.S. 481, 483-84 (2006). Although the
Postal Reorganization Act, 39 U.S.C. § 101 et
seq., in general “waives the immunity of the
Postal Service from suit by giving it the power ‘to sue
and be sued in its official name, '” Id.
(quoting Postal Service v. Flamingo Industries (USA)
Ltd., 540 U.S. 736, 741 (2004)(quoting 39 U.S.C. §
401(1)), the statute also provides that the Federal Tort
Claims Act (“FTCA”) “shall apply to tort
claims arising out of activities of the Postal
Service.” Id. (citing 39 U.S.C. §
the FTCA lists thirteen categories of claims within 28 U.S.C.
§ 2680 which are exempt from the FTCA and for which
sovereign immunity remains. 28 U.S.C. § 2680(b) provides
that “The provisions of this chapter and section
1346(b) of this title shall not apply to…[a]ny claim
arising out of the loss, miscarriage, or negligent
transmission of letters or postal matter.” Accordingly,
Plaintiff's claim alleging the negligent failure to
deliver his mail is barred by sovereign immunity under §
2680(b) of the FTCA. See Livingston v. Martin, 28
Fed.Appx. 434, 435 (6th Cir. 2002).
the Michigan Department of Corrections will be dismissed as a
defendant because it is not a “person” subject to
suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Harrison v.
Michigan, 722 F.3d 768, 771 (6th Cir. 2013); Diaz v.
Mich. Dep't of Corr., 703 F.3d 956, 962 (6th Cir.