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Wilson v. Michigan Department of Corrections

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

August 9, 2019

RAYMOND MARTIN WILSON, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.

          OMNIBUS ORDER

          STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On January 2, 2018, Plaintiff Raymond Martin Wilson filed his pro se prisoner complaint alleging that Defendants violated his constitutional rights and the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). ECF 1. Wilson identified the following parties as Defendants: Michigan Department of Corrections ("MDOC"), Corizon Incorporated Collectively Corizon Corporations ("Corizon"), Sonya Forbes, [1] Richard Dase, K. Hamblin, Connie J. Ives, Mick Roberts, and C. Whitford. The Court referred all pretrial matters to Magistrate Judge Stephanie Dawkins Davis. ECF 6.

         On September 12, 2018, Corizon filed a motion to dismiss. ECF 15. On October 24, 2018, MDOC, Dase, and Roberts filed a motion for summary judgment. ECF 27. On January 7, 2019, Hamblin, Ives, and Whitford filed a motion for summary judgment. ECF 44.

         On June 6, 2019, Magistrate Judge Davis submitted her report and recommendation ("Report") and recommended that the Court grant Corizon's motion to dismiss and deny the MDOC Defendants'[2] motions for summary judgment. ECF 50. The MDOC Defendants timely objected. ECF 52. For the reasons below, the Court will adopt in part and reject in part the Report, will grant Corizon's motion to dismiss, and will grant the MDOC Defendants' motions for summary judgment.

         BACKGROUND

         The Report adequately recounts the facts of the case. ECF 50, PgID 317-19. The Court fully adopts the recitation here.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Civil Rule 72(b) governs the review of a magistrate judge's report. A district court's standard of review depends on whether a party files objections. The Court need not review portions of a Report to which no party objected. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 153 (1985). The Civil Rules require de novo review, however, if the parties "serve and file specific written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations." Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). In conducting a de novo review, "[t]he district judge may accept, reject, or modify the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions." Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Screening the Complaint

         The Court must review "a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). The Court "shall . . . dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint . . . fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted." 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2) (statute governing complaints filed by in forma pauperis plaintiffs).

         The Report explains that MDOC Defendants did not offer "an analysis under the dismissal standard" for Rule 12(b)(6) motions and did not provide "notice to the opposing pro se plaintiff that they may be seeking such relief." ECF 50, PgID 339-40. Thus, the Report "makes no finding" on whether Plaintiff's complaint fails to state a claim for relief. Id. at 340. But, as noted, the Court has a statutory obligation to review each civil complaint filed against a governmental employee-or by an in forma pauperis prisoner-to determine whether it states a claim. Based on the Report's language, it appears that the magistrate judge did not screen the complaint. The Court therefore will screen the complaint.

         A. Applicable Standards.

         In the context of a prisoner's civil rights complaint, two broad standards guide the Court's review of the complaint. First, the standard for whether a complaint states a claim on which relief can be granted, as articulated in the context of Rule 12(b)(6). Second, the standards related to § 1983 liability.

         1. Failure to state a claim.

         When deciding whether a complaint fails to state a claim on which relief can be granted, the Court views the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, presumes the truth of all well-pleaded factual allegations, and draws every reasonable inference in favor of the non-moving party. Bassett v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 528 F.3d 426, 430 (6th Cir. 2008). "[T]he complaint must contain either direct or inferential allegations respecting all the material elements to sustain a recovery under some viable legal theory." Nat'l Hockey League Players Ass'n v. Plymouth Whalers Hockey Club, 419 F.3d 462, 468 (6th Cir. 2005) (citation omitted). Plaintiff must allege facts "sufficient 'to raise a right to relief above the speculative level,' and to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Hensley Mfg. v. ProPride, Inc., 579 F.3d 603, 609 (6th Cir. 2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555, 570 (2007)). If "a cause of action fails as a matter of law, regardless of whether the plaintiff's factual allegations are true," then it fails to state a claim. Winnett v. Caterpillar, Inc., 553 F.3d 1000, 1005 (6th Cir. 2009).

         2. Liability under § 1983.

         To establish a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must provide factually-supported allegations that a particular defendant "(1) deprived him of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of the United States, (2) while acting under color of state law." Doe v. Wigginton, 21 F.3d 733, 738 (6th Cir. 1994) (internal citations and marks omitted).

         B. Wilson's Claims Against Forbes, Hamblin, Whitford, and Ives.

         Wilson's claims against Forbes, Hamblin, Whitford, and Ives fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The Court addresses the insufficiency of Wilson's allegations.

         1. Claims against Sonya Forbes.

         Wilson alleges that Forbes served as his "medical provider" and was responsible for "caring for the prisoners, insuring that disabled prisoners were not discriminated against, harassed, disrespected, degraded, or humiliated." ECF 1, PgID 2. He claims that Forbes violated Title II of the ADA and that she acted discriminatorily, disrespected him, degraded him sexually, and degraded him for his medical conditions. ECF 1, PgID 8. Wilson fails to allege any facts that are "sufficient 'to raise a right to relief above the speculative level,' and to 'state a claim to relief that is ...


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