United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER OF PARTIAL SUMMARY
MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Naseman, confined at the St. Louis Correctional Facility in
St. Louis, Michigan, has filed a pro se civil rights
complaint. For the reasons stated below, the Court will
dismiss the complaint with respect to defendants: (1) Trinity
Service Group, (2) Unknown Food Supplier Company, (3) S.
Campbell, Warden, (4) G. Hissong, Food Service Director, (5)
Unknown Randall, Food Service Supervisor, (6) Unknown
Bennett, Food Service Supervisor, and (7) Heidi Washington,
Director Michigan Department of Corrections, under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b) for Plaintiff's
failure to state an Eighth Amendment claim. The case may
proceed against defendant (8) Unknown Tanner, Inspector Gus
Harrison Correctional Facility, on Plaintiff's First
Amendment retaliation claim.
Standard of Review
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).
asserts that on October 18, 2018, while at the Gus Harrison
Correctional Facility in Adrian, Michigan, he bit down on
what he believed to be a human tooth during dinner. He
swallowed what he believed to be the tooth, but what he
believed to be a metal filling from the tooth lodged in the
roof of his mouth. He showed other inmates the filling.
reported the incident to defendant Randall, a food service
supervisor. Plaintiff claims that Randall acknowledged that
it appeared to be a filling. Plaintiff claims he was treated
by nurses and was tested for communicable diseases. Plaintiff
also saw a facility psychologist because he was upset at
eating “a piece of another human.” Dkt. 1, at 18.
filed a grievance the same day as the incident, but
defendants Hissong, Randall, Bennett, and Campbell all denied
that the incident occurred, asserting that the swallowed
object was likely a piece of gristle in the beef stew.
Plaintiff claims that he attempted to complain to the
American Friends Service Committee and Humanity for
Prisoners, but his phone calls were blocked or censored.
claims that on October 24, 2018, defendant Tanner called him
into the control center and threatened that “bad things
would happen” if he continued to “fuck with this
prison.” Id. Plaintiff claims that in
retaliation for his continued complaints he was moved on
October 25, 2018, from his security level 2 placement to the
more restrictive maximum-security level 4 St. Louis Facility.
Id. at 5, 15.
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. Eighth Amendment - Tooth in Food
Plaintiff's allegations concerning the presence of a
human tooth in his food fall short of stating a cognizable
claim under the Eighth Amendment. In order to prevail on an
Eighth Amendment claim, a prisoner must show that he faced a
sufficiently serious risk to his health or safety and that
the defendant state officials acted with
“‘deliberate indifference' to [his] health or
safety.” Mingus v. Butler, 591 F.3d 474,
479-80 (6th Cir. 2010) (citing Farmer v. Brennan,
511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994).
allegations concerning the tooth fail to allege deliberate
indifference on the part of any of the named defendants. At
best, he alleges that someone was negligent in preparing his
meal. Allegations of negligence fall short of the deliberate
indifference required to state an Eighth Amendment claim. See
Farmer, 511 U.S. at 835 (holding that an Eighth
Amendment violation requires a “state of mind more
blameworthy than negligence”).
Plaintiff has failed to state an Eighth Amendment claim
against defendants: (1) Trinity Service Group, (2) Unknown
Food Supplier Company, (3) S. Campbell, Warden, (4) G.
Hissong, Food Service Director, (5) Unknown Randall, Food
Service Supervisor, (6) Unknown Bennett, Food Service
Supervisor, and (7) Heidi Washington, Director Michigan
Department of Corrections. B. First Amendment -
Retaliation Construing the pro se complaint liberally,
Plaintiff asserts that defendant Unknown Tanner, an inspector
at the Gus Harrison Facility, had Petitioner transferred ...