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Brown v. Beaudry

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division

August 20, 2019

DARRYL BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
TYNNE BEAUDRY et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          Janet T. Neff, United States District Judge.

         This is a civil rights action brought by a former 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). 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 federal claims against Defendant Thompson for failure to state a claim. The Court will dismiss Plaintiff's state-law claims against Defendant Thompson without prejudice. The Court also will dismiss Plaintiff's conspiracy claim against all Defendants. Plaintiff's retaliation and Eighth Amendment claims against Defendants Beaudry, Menard, Bradley, and Veau remain in the case.

         Discussion

         I. Factual Allegations

         Plaintiff presently is on parole. The events about which he complains, however, occurred when he was incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) and housed at the Chippewa Correctional Facility (URF) in Kincheloe, Chippewa County, Michigan. Plaintiff sues the following URF officials: Correctional Officers Tynne Beaudry, (unknown) Menard, and (unknown) Veau; Custody Officer Colin Bradley; and Resident Unit Manager S. Thompson.

         Plaintiff alleges that, in early 2019, he injured his back while lifting weights. He was medically bed-ridden and scheduled to have surgery. During this time, health care had to hand-deliver his medications, due to his limited capacity to walk. Specifically, Plaintiff had to use a walker to get to the bathroom or shower, but he took a long time to get to his destination and could not walk longer distances. Plaintiff also was provided a medical detail for meals-in, and food service delivered his meals to his housing unit and bunk area. Plaintiff had no difficulties with first-shift officers ensuring that his food and medications were properly delivered to his bunk.

         On March 23, 2019, Defendants Beaudry and Menard, who were officers on second shift, began to force Plaintiff to walk to the unit lobby to get his pain medications and food trays. At about 5:00 p.m. on March 23, Defendant Menard went to Plaintiff's bunk and told him that he needed to come to the lobby to get his food tray if he wanted to eat. When Plaintiff did not show up in the lobby, Defendant Menard returned to Plaintiff's cell and advised Plaintiff that Defendant Beaudry said that, if Plaintiff did not come to get his tray, the food tray would be sent back. Plaintiff tried to explain that he was in too much pain and could not walk that far until he had his medications. Menard repeated that Plaintiff had to go to the lobby.

         Plaintiff wrote a note to the chow-hall sergeant, Sergeant Bawks, explaining that Defendants Beaudry and Menard were refusing to deliver Plaintiff's food tray. Plaintiff gave the note to another prisoner to deliver. After receiving the note, Sergeant Bawks went to the housing unit and talked to Menard and Beaudry, after which they arranged for a prisoner to deliver the food tray to Plaintiff. When Bawks left the unit, Defendant Menard went to Plaintiff's cell and stated in a threatening tone, “So that's the wa[y] you want to play it huh?” (Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.5.)

         At about 8:30 p.m., when Nurse Maria (not a Defendant) came to deliver Plaintiff's pain medication, Defendants Beaudry and Menard prevented her from bringing Plaintiff's medication to his cell. Defendant Menard came to Plaintiff and told him that, if he wanted his medication, he must report to the lobby. Plaintiff was in severe pain, so he forced himself to walk to the lobby, which is much further away than the bathroom or shower. Plaintiff took a long time to get there, and his injury and pain were exacerbated. When he arrived, Plaintiff asked Nurse Maria if Defendants Beaudry and Menard were the ones who prevented her from delivering his medications. She responded that they were. Beaudry overheard the question and answer and became verbally abusive, ordering Plaintiff to leave the lobby. However, Nurse Maria stopped Plaintiff from leaving while she attempted to address the problem.

         Plaintiff filed a Step-I grievance on March 24, 2019. The following day, he learned that Defendant Beaudry had issued a Class-II misconduct charge against him for disobeying a direct order. Defendant Thompson held an administrative hearing on the misconduct charge on March 27, 2019. Plaintiff submitted a written defense, alleging retaliation, and he asked to have the video reviewed. Thompson refused to accept the defense, stating that it was only a Class-II hearing and the defense was unnecessary. Plaintiff was found guilty of the misconduct charge and given sanctions. A few days later, Defendants Beaudry and Menard had Plaintiff moved to a worse housing unit (A-Unit), instead of to a medical unit (E-Unit), which housed disabled prisoners.

         In the interim, on March 25, 2019, at about 8:30 p.m., Nurse Maria came again to deliver Plaintiff's medications. Defendants Beaudry and Menard again refused to allow the nurse to deliver them. Defendant Menard came to Plaintiff's bunk and told him that he needed to walk to the lobby, because Menard was not bringing the nurse to Plaintiff. Plaintiff explained that he was in severe pain and could not walk to the lobby. Menard again told Plaintiff that, if he wanted his medications, he had to go to the lobby. A bit later, Defendant Veau came to Plaintiff's cell and told him the same thing. Defendants Menard and Veau then told the nurse to leave the unit without delivering Plaintiff's pain medications. Plaintiff suffered extreme pain all night and could not sleep. He filed a grievance the next day.

         On March 26, at about 8:30 p.m., Defendant Bradley came to Plaintiff's bunk and ordered him to come to the lobby for his medications. Plaintiff tried to explain his problem and asked Bradley to escort the nurse to the unit. Bradley responded, “No, Menard already warned me about you[.”] (Id., PageID.8.) Bradley walked away. Bradley returned a few minutes later, advising Plaintiff that, if he did not come to the lobby, Bradley would inform the nurse that Plaintiff had refused his medications. Plaintiff again requested the medications be delivered, and Bradley again refused. Bradley returned for a third time a few minutes later to inform Plaintiff that the next time the nurse came to the unit and Plaintiff did not appear in the lobby, he would be issued a ticket for disobeying a direct order. Plaintiff again experienced a sleepless night due to the pain. He filed a grievance on March 27, 2019.

         On April 11, 2019, Plaintiff wrote a complaint to the Deputy Warden of Housing, complaining that the hearing investigator had refused to provide him a copy of the hearing packet so that he could appeal. Around this time, Plaintiff also wrote a complaint to the Warden's administrative assistant about his medical condition and about being moved to A-Unit in retaliation for his complaints. Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff was moved to E-Unit, where he remained until he was transferred to another facility in late April and subsequently released on parole on May 7, 2019.

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Menard, Beaudry, Veau, and Bradley conspired to retaliate and retaliated against him for filing grievances or making complaints, in violation of the First Amendment. He also claims that these Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, in violation of the Eighth Amendment. In addition, Plaintiff contends that Defendant Thompson deprived him of due process in his misconduct hearing. Plaintiff ...


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