United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
L. Maloney, 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.
Umar Muhammad 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 occurred at that facility and the Chippewa
Correctional Facility (URF) in Kincheloe, Michigan.
has filed a motion to amend his complaint (ECF No. 12), along
with a proposed amended complaint. The Court will grant the
motion to amend because Plaintiff can amend his complaint
once as a matter of course before it has been served on the
defendants. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(1).
Plaintiff's complaint has not been served. Accordingly,
the Court will treat the proposed amended complaint (ECF No.
12-1) as the relevant pleading in this case.
amended complaint, Plaintiff sues the following current and
former MDOC employees from LCF: Warden Bonita Hoffner; Deputy
Warden Bryan Morrison; Assistant Residential Unit Supervisor
(ARUS) Unknown Marvin; Grievance Coordinator J. Rohrig; and
mailroom employees Torrie Strong, M. Stephens, J. Hutchins,
and A. Long. He also sues the following employees from URF:
Warden Jeffrey Woods; mailroom employee R. Valle; and
Inspector Unknown Hough.
alleges that, over the course of several years, he has had
problems sending mail. He contends that “most” of
his letters have not been delivered. (Am. Compl., ECF No.
12-1, PageID.61.) For instance, while he was incarcerated at
URF and LRF from May 2015 to August 2018, Plaintiff sent a
total of thirteen letters to an attorney, Sharon McPhail.
Five of those letters came back to him with a note stating
“no longer at this address returned to sender” or
“unable to deliver.” (Id.) In addition,
in April 2018, he sent a “Rule 22 motion” to
Justice Kagan at the United States Supreme Court, and two
follow-up letters about that motion, but he has received no
response. (Id.) Plaintiff also wrote three letters
Judge Denise Page Hood at the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Michigan in June and July 2018,
asking her to investigate his “stolen” mail.
(Id.) She finally responded to his third letter,
indicating that she received only two of the three letters
that he sent.
September 2015, Plaintiff sent a kite to Warden Woods and
Inspector Hough at URF, complaining that he was being denied
access to an attorney and, thus, access to the courts.
Neither of them responded. A few days later, he filed a
grievance about the matter. He received no response to the
grievance. The following month, he filed a “staff
corruption” grievance. (Id., PageID.62.) Still
Plaintiff transferred from URF to LCF in May 2016, he again
wrote to Ms. McPhail, believing that she would “take
[his] case, ” but he received no response.
August 5, 2016, ARUS Marvin called Plaintiff to her office
and informed him that Ms. McPhail had called the warden and
demanded that Plaintiff stop writing her because “she
doesn't do criminal appeals.” (Id.)
Plaintiff interpreted this as evidence of a “very cruel
and unusual plot against [a] most well behaved inmate,
” so he filed a grievance about the matter.
(Id.) The grievance was rejected because it raised
an issue that had nothing to do with the MDOC.
October 2016, Plaintiff found a “prisoner pass”
under his pillow that mentioned “legal mail.”
(Id.) On January 3, 2017, he found another one. A
few days later, he spoke to Defendant Marvin about the two
passes that were left on his bed. She recommended that he
send a kite to the inspector. Plaintiff decided to file a
grievance instead. He received no response to the grievance,
so he filed another one. Again, he received no response.
apparently claims that he is being denied access to the
courts and to an attorney “of choice, ” in
violation of his constitutional rights. (See Suppl.
to Pleadings, ECF No. 14, PageID.68 (describing the nature
Plaintiff's action).) He contends that Warden Hoffner is
liable because “her name was mentioned” in a
grievance and she must have known about his issues. (Am.
Compl., PageID.63.) He claims that ARUS Marvin is liable
because she “initiated [a] cruel falsehood, ” in
violation of Plaintiff's rights under the First, Eighth,
and Fourteenth Amendments. (Id.) He further contends
that Grievance Coordinator Rohrig is liable for “not
investigating the matter, ” and rejecting
Plaintiff's grievance. (Id.) Similarly, he
claims that Deputy Warden Morrison is liable because he
signed his name on Plaintiff's grievance. (In other
words, he denied one of Plaintiff's grievances.)
Plaintiff sues mailroom employees Strong, Stephens, Long,
Hutchins, and Valle because they all signed “mail
disbursement receipts” for outgoing mail to attorney
McPhail, but “that mail never made it out of the
institution.” (Id.) Plaintiff sues Inspector
Hough because Hough “did absolutely nothing” and
did not respond to Plaintiff's kite. (Id.,
PageID.64.) Finally, Plaintiff sues Warden Woods because
Woods received a copy of a kite that Plaintiff sent to the
inspector. Consequently, Woods “knew or should have
known” of the “constitutional violations”
against Plaintiff. (Id.)
relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages. In
addition, in a supplement to his complaint, Plaintiff asks
for habeas corpus relief under 28 U.S.C. § 2241. (Mot.
to Suppl. Pleading to Include Habeas Corpus Relief, ECF No.
14.) In support of his motion to supplement, Plaintiff
alleges that he prepared an application for habeas corpus
relief in the state courts and gave it to an official at the
prison for mailing. That was on ...