United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
SEAN W. QUIGLEY, Plaintiff,
TONY TREWILER et al., Defendants.
T. Neff United States District Judge.
a civil rights action brought by a 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), 1915A; 42 U.S.C. §
1997e(c). 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 complaint for failure to state a claim.
Sean W. Quigley is presently incarcerated with the Michigan
Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the St. Louis
Correctional Facility (SLF) in St. Louis, Michigan. The
events about which he complains, however, occurred at the
Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility (IBC) in Ionia, Michigan.
Plaintiff sues the following MDOC employees at IBC: former
Warden Tony Trewiler, Assistant Warden J. Davids, Resident Unit
Manager (RUM) R. Mote, and Prisoner Counselor (PC) J. Buchin.
alleges that he was confined in administrative segregation
from November 3 to December 9, 2015, when Defendants Davids,
Mote, and Buchin were members of the Security Classification
Committee (SCC). During that time, the SCC interviewed him
only once, on November 17, 2015. But according to MDOC Policy
Directive 04.05.120 ¶ BBB, the SCC should have
interviewed him every seven days for the first 60 days of his
confinement in segregation. After Plaintiff filed a grievance
about the issue, he allegedly received three
“falsified” SCC review forms claiming that he had
been interviewed by the SCC on November 10, November 24, and
December 9, 2015. (Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID. 3.) Defendant
Trewiler signed all of these reviews.
complained about the lack of reviews and the falsified
documents to the Office of Legislative Corrections Ombudsman.
Plaintiff asserts that the Ombudsman's office informed
him that the IBC wardens “admitted guilt.”
(Id.) According to a March 2017 letter to Plaintiff
from the Ombudsman's office, Plaintiff was confined in
segregation from October 29, 2015, to January 20, 2016, and
“it appears [he was] not seen at intervals of no more
than 7 calendar days twice during [his] first 2 months in
segregation[.]” (Letter, ECF No. 1-1, PageID.10.) In
other words, during the first 60 days of Plaintiff's
confinement in segregation, the SCC did not abide by its
seven-day review policy; on two occasions, more than seven
days passed between its reviews of Plaintiff's
confinement. As to Plaintiff's claim that the signatures
on the SCC's reviews were forged, the Ombudsman's
office did not find sufficient evidence to substantiate this
short, Plaintiff claims that Defendants are liable because
they did not follow prison policy. He also claims that they
falsified documents, which is a felony. Plaintiff also
alleges that, due to the “treatment” he received
from the SCC, he committed “self harm” in January
relief, Plaintiff seeks an injunction requiring the SCC to
abide by prison policy, as well as damages.
Failure to state a claim
complaint may be dismissed for failure to state a claim if it
fails “‘to give the defendant fair notice of what
the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it
rests.'” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355
U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). While a complaint need not contain
detailed factual allegations, a plaintiff's allegations
must include more than labels and conclusions.
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555; Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (“Threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”). The
court must determine whether the complaint contains
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at
570. “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.” Iqbal, 556 U.S.
at 679. Although the plausibility standard is not equivalent
to a “‘probability requirement,' . . . it
asks for more than a sheer possibility that a defendant has
acted unlawfully.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556). “[W]here
the well-pleaded facts do not permit the court to infer more
than the mere possibility of misconduct, the complaint has
alleged-but it has not ‘show[n]'-that the pleader
is entitled to relief.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 679
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)); see also Hill v.
Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470-71 (6th Cir. 2010) (holding
that the Twombly/Iqbal plausibility standard applies
to dismissals of prisoner cases on initial review under 28
U.S.C. §§ 1915A(b)(1) and 1915(e)(2)(B)(i)).
state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must
allege the violation of a right secured by the federal
Constitution or laws and must show that the deprivation was
committed by a person acting under color of state law.
West v. Atkins, 487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988); Street
v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 102 F.3d 810, 814 (6th Cir.
1996). Because § 1983 is a method for vindicating
federal rights, not a source of substantive rights itself,
the first step in an action under § 1983 is to identify
the specific constitutional right allegedly infringed.
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994).
alleged failure to comply with prison policy does not itself
rise to the level of a constitutional violation. Laney v.
Farley, 501 F.3d 577, 581 n.2 (6th Cir. 2007); Brody
v. City of Mason, 250 F.3d 432, 437 (6th Cir. 2001);
Smith v. Freland, 954 F.2d 343, 347-48 (6th Cir.
1992); Barber v. City of Salem, 953 F.2d 232, 240
(6th Cir. 1992); McVeigh v. Bartlett, No. 94-23347,
1995 WL 236687, at *1 (6th Cir. Apr. 21, 1995) (failure to
follow policy directive does not rise to the level of a
constitutional violation because policy directive does not
create a protectible liberty interest). ...