United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER DISMISSING DEFENDANTS MCCARTHY,
FISHER, WASHINGTON, BREWER, AND STEWART
M. LAWSON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
March 25, 2019, plaintiff Aisha Kai Pope, a state prisoner at
the Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility (WHV) in
Ypsilanti, Michigan filed a pro se civil rights
complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and an application to
proceed without prepaying the fees and costs for this action.
She named the following defendants: Corizon Health
(“Corizon”), a medical provider for state
prisoners in Michigan; medical director Keith Papendick;
supervisor or director Robert Lacy; Drs. Claire Pei, Shanti
Gopal, and Mohammed Azimi; P.A. Donna Rohr; supervisors
McCarthy and Fisher; registered nurses Fiorini, Branch, and
Tinsley; Director of the Michigan Department of Corrections
(MDOC) Heidi Washington; warden Shawn Brewer; former warden
Anthony Stewart; and Ms. Robinson. Pope alleges in her
complaint that she was denied due process of law and
subjected to cruel and unusual punishment due to the
defendants' delay or denial of proper medical care. The
Court has completed the screening required by 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A, and now concludes that
defendants McCarthy, Fisher, Washington, Brewer, and Stewart
must be dismissed from the case because the plaintiff has not
state a cognizable federal claim against them.
case focuses on events that occurred while Pope was
incarcerated at WHV. She alleges that from approximately 2016
to 2018, she was severely sick, experienced excessive pain,
and began losing blood. Although she was given iron
supplements and over-the-counter medication, the medical
staff allegedly delayed testing to find the source of her
blood loss. Pope further alleges that the defendants ignored
her symptoms and refused to send her out of the correctional
facility to get medical help. She continued to experience
rectal bleeding and severe pain and was finally diagnosed
with invasive colon cancer.
claims that the delays and denial of proper medical care
amounted to cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth
Amendment to the Constitution. She further alleges that the
defendants deprived her of due process, subjected her to
retaliation for filing complaints against the defendants, and
discriminated against her. She seeks a preliminary and
permanent injunction against the defendants' practices
and omissions; remedial action concerning the defendants'
policies and practices; money damages, attorney fees, and
costs; and any other relief that the Court deems necessary.
plaintiff has asked the Court to waive fees and costs because
she cannot afford to pay them, the Court has an obligation to
screen the case for merit and dismiss the case if it
“(i) is frivolous or malicious; (ii) fails to state a
claim on which relief may be granted; or (iii) seeks monetary
relief against a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). In addition,
Congress mandated in the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA)
that the Court 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.”)
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). Dismissal on the Court's initiative is
appropriate if the complaint lacks an arguable basis when
filed. Goodell v. Anthony, 157 F.Supp.2d 796, 799
(E.D. Mich. 2001).
a pro se litigant's complaint must be construed
liberally, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007), “[t]he leniency granted to pro se [litigants] .
. . is not boundless.” Martin v. Overton, 391
F.3d 710, 714 (6th Cir. 2004). The screening mandated by
Congress in section 1915(e)(2) includes the obligation to
dismiss civil complaints filed by prospective pro se
filers if they “fail to state a claim on which relief
may be granted.” 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii);
McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 604 (6th Cir.
1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock,
549 U.S. 199 (2007).
avoid dismissal, a complaint must include “enough facts
to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “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.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “To state a claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must set forth facts
that, when construed favorably, establish (1) the deprivation
of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United
States (2) caused by a person acting under the color of state
law.” Dominguez v. Corr. Med. Servs., 555 F.3d
543, 549 (6th Cir. 2009) (quoting Sigley v. City of Parma
Heights, 437 F.3d 527, 533 (6th Cir. 2006)).
lengthy and detailed statement of facts fails to make any
allegations about Ms. McCarthy or Heidi Washington. That
omission is fatal to the claims against them, because some
factual basis for allegations of unconstitutional conduct by
persons acting under color of state law must be set forth in
a pleading. Chapman v. Detroit, 808 F.2d 459, 465
(6th Cir. 1986). Therefore, McCarthy and Washington will be
dismissed from this action for failure to state a claim.
also has not stated a plausible claim against Shawn Brewer
and Anthony Stewart. The only allegations about Brewer and
Stewart are that Pope sent letters to the warden's
office, complaining of being refused access to her medical
records and being ...