United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
ORDER OF SUMMARY DISMISSAL
HONORABLE THOMAS L. LUDINGTON, JUDGE
Cole, a state prisoner currently confined at the Cooper
Street Correctional Facility in Jackson, Michigan, has filed
a pro se civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Plaintiff names three defendants: Patricia Rice,
Paws With a Cause, and Michael Sapp, Jr. PlaintiffD alleges
he was wrongfully excluded from the Paws With a Cause
program. He seeks injunctive and monetary relief. Plaintiff
has been granted leave to proceed without prepayment of the
fees for this action. See 28 U.S.C. §
1915(a)(1). For the reasons set forth, the Court dismisses
the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted.
alleges that, on October 24, 2017, he signed a contract with
Paws With a Cause, a dog program which allows prisoners to
train future assistance dogs. The contract provided that, if
a prisoner is found guilty of a class I or II misconduct, the
prisoner “will come before the review of the Warden,
Deputy Warden, and Program Coordinator as to their
continuance in the program.” See Cooper Street
Correctional Facility Dog Program Rules, ¶ 23, ECF No.
1, Pg. ID 18. Sometime after signing the contract, Plaintiff
was found guilty of a class I misconduct. Defendant Rice
removed Plaintiff from the program, without first providing
him with review before the Warden, Deputy Warden, and Program
Coordinator. Plaintiff claims the failure to provide him with
review in accordance with the contract denied him due
filed a grievance regarding his exclusion from the program. A
short time later, Defendant Rice revised the contract to
remove the review language from the contract. Plaintiff
argues that she did so in retaliation for his filing a
Plaintiff argues that defendants' actions may impact the
length of his confinement because participation in a prison
program or job may positively impact his eligibility for
the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996
(“PLRA”), the Court is required to sua
sponte dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint
before service if it determines the action is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is
immune from such relief. See 42 U.S.C. §
1997e(c); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The Court is
similarly required to dismiss a complaint seeking redress
against government entities, officers, and employees that it
finds to be frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief
from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See
28 U.S.C. § 1915A. A complaint is frivolous if it lacks
an arguable basis in law or in fact. Denton v.
Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).
Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a complaint set
forth “a short and plain statement of the claim showing
that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” as well as
“a demand for the relief sought.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2), (3). The purpose of this rule is to “give the
defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic Corp.
v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007), quoting Conley
v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957) and Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a)(2). While such notice pleading does not require detailed
factual allegations, it does require more than the bare
assertion of legal conclusions. Twombly, 550 U.S. at
555. Rule 8 “demands more than an unadorned, the
defendant-unlawfully-harmed me accusation.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
claims arise from his dismissal from the prison dog-training
program. He names as defendants Patricia Rice, an MDOC
employee who terminated Plaintiff from the program, the Paws
With a Cause organization, and Michael Sapp, Jr., a
supervisor with Paws With a Cause. Plaintiff fails to state a
claim upon which relief may be granted.
the Due Process Clause protects individuals against the
deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due
process. “[T]hose who seek to invoke its procedural
protection must establish that one of these interests is at
stake.” Wilkinson v. Austin, 545 U.S. 209, 221
(2005). A prisoner has no constitutionally protected right to
a prison job or a particular prison wage. See Newsom v.
Norris, 888 F.2d 371, 374 (6th Cir. 1989) (holding that
an inmate has no constitutionally protected property or
liberty interest in prison employment); Dellis v.
Corrections Corporation of America, 257 F.3d 508, 511
(6th Cir. 2001) (holding that district court properly
dismissed as frivolous the plaintiff's claim that he was
fired from his prison job). Plaintiff, therefore, fails to
state a due process claim arising from his termination from
the dog-training program.
also alleges that the program termination violated his right
to due process because it negatively impacted his parole
eligibility. He claims that he was entitled to due process
before being terminated because holding a prison job or
participating in a prison program is required for parole
is no right under the United States Constitution for a person
lawfully convicted to be conditionally released before the
expiration of a valid sentence. Greenholtz v. Inmates of
Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex,442 U.S. 1, 7
(1979). A claim of entitlement to parole “can be
created only by the operation of state law.” Crump
v. Lafler,657 F.3d 393, 397 (6th Cir. 2011). A state
has no constitutional duty to establish a parole system, and
the establishment of a parole system does not, by itself,
give rise to a constitutionally-protected liberty interest in
parole. Greenholtz, 442 U.S. at 7, 11. Rather, a
protected liberty interest exists only if state law entitles
a prisoner to release on parole. The Sixth Circuit Court of
Appeals has held that Michigan law does not create a ...