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Harris-Bey v. Hissong

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

July 16, 2019

CURTIS N. HARRIS-BEY Plaintiff,
v.
G. HISSONG, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER OF PARTIAL SUMMARY DISMISSAL

          NANCY G. EDMUNDS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Curtis N. Harris-Bey, formerly confined by the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) in Adrian, Michigan, [1] filed this pro se civil rights complaint against five MDOC employees in their individual capacities, seeking compensatory and punitive damages. Plaintiff alleges all five defendants violated his First Amendment rights by retaliating against him for his grievances and complaints. The Court granted Plaintiff's application to proceed without prepaying fees or costs on June 24, 2019. (ECF No. 5.) The Court now dismisses Defendant Baker.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Harris-Bey's complaint describes Defendants' objections to his grievances and complaints over several months. Defendants not only verbally objected to his grievances but acted on their disapproval variously by terminating two of his job assignments and filing a major misconduct ticket against him. Plaintiff asserts that these actions were retaliation for his grievances. A brief chronology of the events about which Harris-Bey complains follows:

A. July 10, 2018
Plaintiff filed a grievance over being forced to work two job assignments, laundry (his original assignment) and “backdock.” (Compl. at 5, ECF No. 1, PageID 5.) Plaintiff “kited” Defendant Harpst, but the situation was resolved by the facility warden in August.
B. September 15, 2018
Defendant Baker ordered Plaintiff to continue to do backdock work and threatened to fire him he did not follow orders. (Id.) Baker told Plaintiff he did not care about Plaintiff's past grievances. (Id.) Plaintiff claims “[t]his was an act of retaliation” by Baker and filed a grievance against him on the same day. (Id.)
C. October 5, 2018
Defendant Hissong threatened to fire Plaintiff during a grievance interview if he did not sign the grievance stating it had been resolved. (Id. at 5-6.) Hissong told Plaintiff “there is a problem filing grievances against his [Hissong's] co-workers.” (Id. at 6.)
D. October 19, 2018 Defendants Jones and Randle told Plaintiff he was going to get fired “and possibl[y] more” if he kept filing grievances. (Id.) Plaintiff attempted to talk to them, but then told them he was going to file a grievance against them for their “continuous threats.” (Id.) Jones and Randle told Plaintiff he was fired, and he was sent back to his housing unit. (Id.)
E. October 22, 2018
Plaintiff was assigned to a new work duty, sanitation, on his own request. (Id.) He responded to a “call-out” for the new work assignment, but on arrival, was ordered back to his housing unit by Defendants Jones and Hissong. (Id. at 6-7.) Both told him they were tired of his complaining and his grievances. (Id. at 7.) Hissong told Plaintiff he was going to contact Defendant Harpst to stop the work assignment immediately. Plaintiff sent a ...

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