United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER OF PARTIAL DISMISSAL
A. GOLDSMITH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT
a pro se prisoner civil rights case. Bruce Parker is
incarcerated at the Macomb Correctional Facility in New
Haven, Michigan. He names five employees of the Michigan
Department of Corrections as Defendants, and alleges that
Defendants Hildreth, Frangedakis, Loxton, and Churchill, all
of whom are corrections officers, retaliated against him for
exercising his First Amendment right to file grievances. He
also alleges that Defendant Warner failed to adequately
supervise the other named Defendants. He seeks declaratory
and monetary relief. For the reasons discussed below, the
Court dismisses Defendant Warner.
claims arise from grievances filed in relation to a March 30,
2019 incident at the Macomb Correctional Facility. Plaintiff
states that, on that date, Defendant Hildreth directed an
offensive, sexually explicit remark at Plaintiff. Pl.'s
Compl. at 4. The following day, Plaintiff filed a grievance
against Defendant Hildreth. See id. Plaintiff
alleges that, shortly after he filed a grievance, Defendant
Hildreth entered Plaintiff's cell and destroyed much of
his property, including legal mail and religious materials,
in retaliation for the filing of a grievance. See
id. at 4-5. Defendant Hildreth also wrote Plaintiff a
misconduct ticket. See id. at 5.
alleges that, in the several weeks after he filed a
grievance, Defendants Frangedakis, Loxton, and Churchill
each, separately and on different dates, performed shakedowns
of Plaintiff's cell, destroying Plaintiff's legal
materials and much of his religious materials, including the
Quran. See id. at 5-7. After destroying
Plaintiff's religious materials, Defendant Frangedakis
warned Plaintiff, “maybe you should think twice about
filing … grievances.” See id. at 6.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Loxton and Churchill
repeated similar warnings after their destructive shakedowns
of his cell. See id. at 6-7. Plaintiff further
claims that Defendant Churchill stated that his actions were
authorized by Defendant Warner. See id. at 7.
Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 requires federal
district courts to screen a prisoner's complaint and to
dismiss the complaint if it is frivolous, malicious, fails to
state a claim for which relief can be granted, or seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A(b);
Flanory v. Bonn, 604 F.3d 249, 252 (6th Cir. 2010).
“In determining whether a prisoner has failed to state
a claim, [courts] construe his complaint in the light most
favorable to him, accept his factual allegations as true, and
determine whether he can prove any set of facts that would
entitle him to relief.” Harbin-Bey v. Rutter,
420 F.3d 571, 575 (6th Cir. 2005). While a complaint
“does not need detailed factual allegations, ”
the “[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a
right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption
that all the allegations in the complaint are true (even if
doubtful in fact).” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-556 (2007). In other words,
“a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter,
accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “A claim has facial plausibility
when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the
court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is
liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
set forth facts that, when construed favorably, establish (1)
the deprivation of a right secured by the Constitution or
laws of the United States (2) caused by a person acting under
the color of state law.” Dominguez v. Corr. Med.
Servs., 555 F.3d 543, 549 (6th Cir. 2009) (quoting
Sigley v. City of Parma Heights, 437 F.3d 527, 533
(6th Cir. 2006)). The plaintiff must establish the liability
of each individual defendant by that person's own
conduct. “Because vicarious liability is inapplicable
[in] § 1983 suits, a plaintiff must plead that each
Government-official defendant, through the official's own
individual actions, has violated the Constitution.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 676 (2009).
fails to state a plausible claim against Defendant Warner. He
states that Defendant Warner was “endowed with the
responsibility concerning the supervision of correction
officers and maintaining prison security.” Pl.'s
Compl. at 4. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Warner
authorized Defendant Churchill's retaliatory shakedown of
Plaintiff's cell. Id. at 7.
doctrine of respondeat superior does not apply in
§ 1983 lawsuits to impute liability onto supervisory
personnel, see Monell v. Department of Social Services of
New York, 436 U.S. 658, 691-95 (1978), unless it is
shown “that the supervisor encouraged the specific
incident of misconduct or in some other way directly
participated in it.” Bellamy v. Bradley, 729
F.2d 416, 421 (6th Cir. 1984). A supervisor's failure to
supervise, train or control an employee is not actionable
under § 1983, unless the plaintiff shows “the
official at least implicitly authorized, approved, or
knowingly acquiesced in the unconstitutional conduct . .
.” Hays v. Jefferson County, Ky., 668 F.2d
869, 874 (6th Cir. 1982); see also Shehee v.
Luttrell, 199 F.3d 295, 300 (6th Cir. 1999) (“[A]
supervisory official's failure to supervise, control or
train the offending individual is not actionable unless the
supervisor either encouraged the specific incident of
misconduct or in some other way directly participated in
it.”) (internal quotation marks omitted).
than a single conclusory allegation and a recitation of
Defendant Warner's supervisory authority, Plaintiff fails
to allege that Defendant Warner had any direct involvement in
the alleged retaliatory conduct or engaged in any
“‘active unconstitutional behavior'”
rather than a “‘mere failure to act.'”
Shehee, 199 F.3d at 200 (quoting Salehpour v.
Univ. of Tenn., 159 F.3d 199, 206 (6th Cir. 1998)). Even
if Defendant Warner was aware of the alleged unconstitutional
conduct, “simple awareness of employees' misconduct
does not lead to supervisor liability.” Leary v.
Daeschner, 349 F.3d 888, 903 (6th Cir. 2003). Therefore,
Plaintiff fails to state a claim against Defendant Warner.
Court concludes that Plaintiff fails to state a claim upon
which relief may be granted under 42 U.S.C. § 1983