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Salami v. Chippewa Correctional Facility

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

April 26, 2019

MICHAEL SALAMI, Plaintiff,
v.
CHIPPEWA CORRECTIONAL FACILITY et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          JANET T. NEFF, 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 for failure to state a claim against Defendant Chippewa Correctional Facility.

         Discussion

         I. Factual Allegations

         Plaintiff is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Saginaw County Correctional Facility (SRF) in Freeland, Michigan. The events about which he complains, however, occurred at the Chippewa Correctional Facility (URF) in Kincheloe, Michigan. In his amended complaint, Plaintiff sues URF and the following URF employees: Assistant Residential Unit Supervisor (ARUS) Jeffrey A. Clark, an unknown ARUS in the Marquette Unit, and an unknown sergeant.

         Plaintiff alleges that he is a “white, male, Romanian, muslim, []homosexual” weighing 130 pounds. (Am. Compl., ECF No. 24, PageID.81.) In January 2018, he was housed in the same cell with John Warner Jensen, a 200-pound prisoner with a history of convictions for criminal sexual conduct. Jensen is currently serving a life sentence for assault with intent to inflict great bodily harm, armed robbery, and three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Jensen allegedly threatened Plaintiff, telling him, “If you pass out you'll wake up with a[] sore ass.” (Id.)

         On January 24, 2018, Plaintiff sent kites to the URF warden, to ARUS Clark, and to the ARUS of Marquette Unit, asking to be moved to another cell because of the threats he received from his cellmate. Plaintiff received no response to his kites. The following day, Plaintiff approached the unknown sergeant and asked to be moved out of his cell because he feared being raped. The sergeant laughed at Plaintiff, telling him, “No one will rape you; beside[s] you can't rape the willing, right camel jockey?” (Id., PageID.82.) Plaintiff responded, “Who the fuck are you talking to, you Nazi?” (Id.) The sergeant told Plaintiff, “You have 5 seconds to leave before I lie and say you threatened me; I will Taser you, and then I will put a[] knife in your property and write you (2) tickets; how you like that ISIS?” (Id.)

         Jensen allegedly raped Plaintiff on January 26. Plaintiff subsequently reported the rape and he was then taken to a hospital where he was given a rape kit and “preventatives” for HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases. (See Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.5.) Plaintiff alleges that he has suffered significant “physical difficulties” and mental health problems as a result of the rape. (Am. Compl., PageID.23.)

         Plaintiff contends that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to a substantial risk that he would be sexually assaulted by his cellmate, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Plaintiff also contends that “prison officials” failed to comply with 28 C.F.R. § 115.41 because they did not screen him for a risk of sexual victimization within 72 hours of his arrival at URF. (Id., PageID.88.)

         Plaintiff seeks damages and injunctive relief.

         II. 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)).

         III. PREA

         Plaintiff contends that prison officials at URF did not follow the screening regulations in 28 C.F.R. § 115.41, which implement part of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA), Pub. L. No. 108-79, 117 ...


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