United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
J. JONKER CHIEF 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 against Defendants Ricardi and
Russell for failure to state a claim.
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at the Lakeland Correctional Facility
(LCF) in Coldwater, Michigan. The events about which he
complains, however, occurred at the Oaks Correctional
Facility (ECF) in Manistee, Michigan. Plaintiff sues ECF
Quartermaster Unknown Ricardi and ECF Nurse Practitioner
is serving a life sentence with the MDOC. The MDOC has housed
him since 1994. Plaintiff has asthma, eczema, and a host of
allergies. Plaintiff had several allergic reactions. Around
1997, the reactions were attributed to the state issued
blankets. Those blankets are made of wool. MDOC medical staff
issued Plaintiff a special accommodations detail allowing
Plaintiff to use cotton blankets. Even 20 years later, in
2016, while Plaintiff was housed at the Chippewa Correctional
Facility (URF), the medical staff informed Plaintiff that his
special accommodations detail remained valid. Shortly
thereafter, Plaintiff was transferred to ECF.
Plaintiff arrived at ECF, the intake nurse informed him that
his special accommodations detail was still valid. On
February 23, 2016, Plaintiff informed Defendant Ricardi of
the special accommodation and requested cotton blankets.
Ricardi told Plaintiff he would check with healthcare. Two
weeks passed with no cotton blankets. Plaintiff took matters
into his own hands and contacted healthcare. Plaintiff
received a copy of the special accommodations detail on March
3, 2016, and sent it on to Defendant Ricardi.
March 7, 2016, Ricardi provided Plaintiff one cotton blanket.
Plaintiff asked for another one because “everyone gets
two blankets.” (Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.3.) Ricardi
said at ECF, Plaintiff would only get one cotton blanket and
that he should raise the issue with healthcare. The next day,
Plaintiff wrote a grievance against Ricardi for treating
Plaintiff differently than other prisoners.
March 18, 2016, Defendant Russell called Plaintiff to
healthcare. She did not examine Plaintiff at all. She simply
informed Plaintiff that she had been told to cancel the
special accommodations detail. Russell also told Plaintiff
that the decision was not up to her and that it was the
product of a new policy that requires an allergic reaction to
continue the detail. When Plaintiff explained that he had
suffered such reactions years before, Defendant Russell told
him that it had to happen again. Plaintiff's cotton
blanket was confiscated.
abandoned his initial grievance against Ricardi for only
providing one blanket. In its place, Plaintiff filed a
grievance against Ricardi and Russell for retaliation.
December 19, 2016, Plaintiff was transferred to LCF. LCF did
not issue a cotton blanket detail. Instead, the healthcare
staff there gave Plaintiff a detail for two extra cotton
contends that Ricardi and Russell conspired to violate
Plaintiff's First Amendment rights by cancelling his
special accommodations detail in retaliation for Plaintiff
filing the grievance against Ricardi. Plaintiff also argues
that the cancellation of the detail demonstrates deliberate
indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical needs in
violation of the Eighth Amendment. Finally, Plaintiff claims
that Defendants denied him equal protection of the laws in
violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
seeks a judgment declaring that Defendants violated his
rights, injunctive relief reinstating the special
accommodation detail, and compensatory and punitive damages
in the amount of $350, 000.00.