Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Robinson v. Michigan Department of Corrections

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 8, 2019

JAMEL LEON ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS MEDICAL HEALTH PROVIDERS, HANNA SAAD, ALEKSANDRA WILANOWSKI, LAURA FRY, LAURA HOGAN, RICHARD D. RUSSELL, R. HARBOUGH, J. BROWN, JOSHUA A. BUSKIRK, KATHLEEN M. LEFFINGWELL, CHRISTINE BLEECHER, CHANDLER CHEEKS, A. SWISHER, CRESENBERRY, RN, OFFICER MULLIGAN, OFFICER MYER, SGT. SCHAFEAR, PC HOWE, OFFICER ADAMS, OFFICER JACKSON, OFFICER MIMS, OFFICER WILLIAMSON, WARDEN BUSH, RUM PIERON, OFFICER DUNCAN, OFFICER BALMES, DEP. WARDEN B. CARL, RUM WALWORTH, KIM CARGOR, OFFICER BREWSO, DEREK ROSEN, JILL LAWRENCE, MARY CLOSSER, RICHARD BAISH, MICHAEL BENNETT, LINDA BRESETTE, J. BAKER, HENDRICK, NP, MARY A. GRATZ, RN, JENNIFER LNU, IRINA FILKSMAN, TANISHA SMITH-ALLEN, NICHOLAS MITCHELL, AMY M. LUCHTMAN, ALISON GIRORD, SUSAN G. SMITH, MARJORIE NICHOLS, ANGELA CHILDS, MELISSA M. BERRY, PAIGE E. HILLIER, RN, DIANE J. MCCREODIE, DA, A. HAWKINS, HUTCHINSON, CARLA GROWS, RUMBUS, RAYMOND BARNES, C. OZUKISE, SCOTT KERSTEHER, OFFICER UNDERWOOD, A. WAHTOLA, WARDEN ALLEN A., J. RHOADES, D. ADAMS, MARGIE NICHOLS, CURTINA J. JONES, DEPUTY WARDEN W. FOY, M. ANDERSON, N. CULBERSON, WARDEN TOM O'BELL WINN, CLOCK, and WITMAN, Defendants

          OPINION AND ORDER OF PARTIAL DISMISSAL

          DAVID M. LAWSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is the plaintiff's pro se civil rights complaint filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Jamel Leon Robinson is a state prisoner currently confined at the Saginaw Correctional Facility in Freeland, Michigan. In his complaint, the plaintiff names over eighty defendants at four different Michigan Department of Corrections locations, all of whom are employed by the MDOC or provide medical or mental health care under contract. The complaint alleges a variety of constitutional injuries. Construed liberally, these claims include coerced and unwanted medical treatment, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and denial of access to the courts.

         Having reviewed the complaint, the Court now dismisses the following defendants, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b), for failure to state a claim for which relief may be granted: (5) Richard D. Russell; (6) R. Harbough, RN; (8) Joshua A. Buskirk, PA; (9) Kathleen M. Leffingwell, RN; (13) Cresenberry, RN; (14) Officer Mulligan; (16) Sergeant Schafear; (17) Howe, PC; (23) Pieron, RUM; (25) Officer Duncan; (26) Officer Balmes; (27) Deputy Warden B. Carl; (28) Walworth, RUM; (29) Kim Cargor; (36) Linda Bresette; (37) J. Baker; (41) Irina Filksman; (42) Tanisha Smith-Allen; (43) Nicholas Mitchell; (48) Angela Childs; (49) Melissa M. Berry; (51) Diane J. McCreodie, DA; (58) Scott Kersteher; (59) Officer Underwood; (60) Inspector A. Wahtola; (61) Warden A. Allen; (62) Inspector J. Rhoades; (66) Deputy Warden W. Foy; (67) M. Anderson; (68) N. Culberson, RUM; (69) Warden Tom O'Bell Winn; (70) Clock; (71) Classification Director Witman; (15) Officer Myer, (20) Officer Mims; (21) Officer Williamson; (19) Officer Jackson; (30) Officer Brewso; (38) Nurse Practitioner Hendrick; (39) Mary A. Gratz; (54) Carla Grows; (78) Officer Kalpesh; (79) Officer Martinez; (81) Officer Dameh; (82) Officer Klinco; (80) Tommy Robbins, LPN; (10) PC Christine Bleecher; (11) Inspector Chandler Cheeks; (56) Raymond Barnes; (57) C. Ozukise; (7) Sergeant J. Brown; (22) Warden Bush; (12) Officer A. Swisher; (4) Laura Hogan; (52) A. Hawkins; (76) Librarian Lousous; (77) Librarian Bell; (44) Amy M. Luchtman; (47) Marjorie Nichols; (64) Margie Nichols (64); (63) D. Adams; (45) Alison Girard; (46) Susan G. Smith; (50) Paige E. Hillier, RN; (65) Curtina J. Jones; and (55) Mr. Watson. The complaint also names as John Does the following unknown persons identified only by their titles: Quartermaster, Medical Health Providers, or “Staff, ” as well as “Michigan Department of Corrections Medical Health Providers.” All of those pseudonymously named defendants also will be dismissed.

         The following defendants survive initial screening: (1) Hanna Saad, (2) Aleksandra Wilanowski, (3) Laura Fry, (31) Derek Rosen, (32) Jill Lawrence; (33) Mary Closser, (34) Richard Baish; (35) Michael Bennett, (40) Mental Health Director Designee Jennifer LNU, (53) Disease Specialist Hutchinson, and (55) Instructor Rumbus.

         I.

         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). A 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). “A complaint lacks an arguable basis in law or fact if it . . . is based on legal theories that are indisputably meritless.” Brown v. Bargery, 207 F.3d 863, 866 (6th Cir. 2000) (citing Neitzke, 490 U.S. at 327-28).

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act requires the Court to screen for colorable merit every prisoner complaint filed against a state or governmental entity. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a) (“The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.”); Wershe v. Combs, 763 F.3d 500, 504 (6th Cir. 2014) (citation omitted).

         To 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). A private entity which performs a traditional state function under contract to the state, “such as providing medical care to prison inmates[, ]” also “may be sued under § 1983 as one acting ‘under color of state law.'” Hicks v. Frey, 992 F.2d 1450, 1458 (6th Cir. 1993) (citing West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 54 (1988)).

         The plaintiff must establish the liability of each individual defendant by that person's own conduct. “Because vicarious liability is inapplicable to . . . § 1983 suits, a plaintiff must plead that each Government-official defendant, through the official's own individual actions, has violated the Constitution.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676 (2009).

         While a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's allegations must include more than labels and legal conclusions. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007); Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (“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 Twiqbal 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)).

         A pro se civil rights complaint is to be construed liberally. Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam); Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972). The Court must also accept plaintiff's allegations as true, unless they are clearly irrational or wholly incredible. Denton, 504 U.S. at 33. Consistent with Twombly and Iqbal, the Sixth Circuit has observed that “[d]espite the leniency afforded to . . . pro se litigant[s], however, our standard of review requires more than the bare assertion of legal conclusions, and thus the complaint ‘must contain either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the material elements' to recover under some viable legal theory.” Barhite v. Caruso, 377 Fed.Appx. 508, 510 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Mezibov v. Allen, 411 F.3d 712, 716 (6th Cir. 2005)). Neither the Supreme Court nor other courts “have been willing to abrogate basic pleading essentials in pro se suits.” Wells v. Brown, 891 F.2d 591, 594 (6th Cir. 1989) (citing, inter alia, Haines, 404 U.S. at 521).

         II.

         Of the individuals named as defendants in the caption to the Complaint, the plaintiff asserts no allegations against thirty-three of them. While a pro se litigant receives “indulgent treatment, ” Hill, 630 F.3d at 471, courts are not obligated to “conjure up unplead allegations.” Wells, 891 F.2d at 594 (6th Cir. 1989) (citing Merritt v. Faulkner, 697 F.2d 761 (7th Cir.) cert. denied, 464 U.S. 986 (1983)); see also Brown v. Matauszak, 415 Fed.Appx. 608, 613 (6th Cir. 2011) (“it is still necessary to include some ‘well-pleaded factual allegations' to support the claim.”) (quoting Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. at 1950).

         A. Defendants With No Allegations of Personal Involvement

         Because the plaintiff fails to allege any facts against the following defendants to demonstrate liability, the claims against them must be dismissed: (5) Richard D. Russell; (6) R. Harbough, RN; (8) Joshua A. Buskirk, PA; (9) Kathleen M. Leffingwell, RN; (13) Cresenberry, RN; (14) Officer Mulligan; (16) Sergeant Schafear; (17) Howe, PC; (23) Pieron, RUM; (25) Officer Duncan; (26) Officer Balmes; (27) Deputy Warden B. Carl; (28) Walworth, RUM; (29) Kim Cargor; (36) Linda Bresette; (37) J. Baker; (41) Irina Filksman; (42) Tanisha Smith-Allen; (43) Nicholas Mitchell; (48) Angela Childs; (49) Melissa M. Berry; (51) Diane J. McCreodie, DA; (58) Scott Kersteher; (59) Officer Underwood; (60) Inspector A. Wahtola; (61) Warden A. Allen; (62) Inspector J. Rhoades; (66) Deputy Warden W. Foy; (67) M. Anderson; (68) N. Culberson, RUM; (69) Warden Tom O'Bell Winn; (70) Clock; (71) Classification Director Witman. Similarly, the complaint pleads no specific facts suggesting any personal involvement in any unconstitutional acts by the John Doe defendants named by their titles only as Quartermaster, Medical Health Providers, or “Staff, ” and they must be dismissed as well. The complaint also contains no specific factual allegations relating to the collective entity named as “Michigan Department of Corrections Medical Health Providers.”

         B. Conduct That Does Not Comprise Any Constitutional Violations

         Section 1983 “merely provides a ‘method for vindicating federal rights elsewhere conferred.'” Johnson v. Ward, 43 Fed.Appx. 779, 781-82 (6th Cir. 2002) (citing Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994). “The first step in any such claim is to identify the specific constitutional right allegedly infringed.” Albright, 510 U.S. at 270 (citations omitted). Accordingly, any claimed constitutional violation must be based upon actively unconstitutional behavior. Greene v. Barber, 310 F.3d 889, 899 (6th Cir. 2002). The allegations against the defendants listed below do not plausibly suggest any constitutional violations or unconstitutional behavior, and thus fail to state a claim upon which relief may be granted:

• Officer Myer (15), Officer Mims (20), and Officer Williamson (21), who are alleged merely to have placed the plaintiff in his cell. (Compl. at 20.)
• Officer Jackson (19), about whom the plaintiff alleges only that he informed Jackson about a grievance and later submitted a grievance form to him. (Id. at 15, 25.)
• Officer Brewso (30), about whom the plaintiff only alleges that the the plaintiff told Brewso he wanted to ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.