United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
J. QUIST 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
against Defendant Freeman.
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at the Chippewa Correctional Facility
(URF) in Kincheloe, Michigan. The events about which he
complains, however, occurred at the Alger Correctional
Facility (LMF) in Munising, Michigan. Plaintiff sues the
following employees of the MDOC: Special Activities
Coordinator David Leach and LMF Corrections Officer (unknown)
alleges that he requested a religious diet in December 2016
because he is a Muslim, and his religion requires him to
consume only “Halal” food. (Compl., ECF No. 1,
PageID.3.) Chaplain Lindholm interviewed Plaintiff and
submitted Plaintiff's request to Defendant Leach.
Defendant Leach denied the request with little explanation.
In a memo, Leach stated, “Based on a careful review of
all the information available to me at this time, Mr.
Ismail's request for religious meal accommodation is
denied. He should not be provided access to the religious
menu.” (12/28/2016 Mem., ECF No. 1-1, PageID.11.)
further alleges that in June 2017, Officer Freeman came to
Plaintiff's cell while Plaintiff was performing his
afternoon prayer. Freeman stood at Plaintiff's cell door
and stated, “What are you praying for? Your God (SWT)
does not hear you. In fact, that is what is wrong with this
Country now, as President Obama was a Muslim, and that's
why the last eight years devastated the U.S.'s economy.
People are too busy praying.” (Compl., PageID.4.)
Freeman proceeded to kick Plaintiff's cell door and knock
on Plaintiff's window to disturb Plaintiff and prevent
him from praying.
asked Freeman, “What is wrong with being a
Muslim?” and Freeman allegedly stated, “All
Muslims do is chop off heads and hands and teach to kill . .
. . [T]he [Qu'ran] only teaches to kill, kill, kill, and
‘My book the Bible teaches to love and spread
peace.'” (Id., PageID.5.) Plaintiff told
him “that is not true.” (Id.) Freeman
left and then returned with some papers from an
“anti-Islamic” website. (Id.) Freeman
threw the papers into Plaintiff's cell, stating,
“Here is your fucking Islam.” (Id.)
claims that Defendants deprived him of his right under the
First Amendment to exercise his religion.
relief, Plaintiff seeks “compensatory” 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).