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King v. Horton

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

August 26, 2019

MARC ANTHONY KING, Plaintiff,
v.
CONNIE HORTON et al., Defendants.

          OPINION

          ROBERT J. JONKER CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This is 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 against Defendants Wallis and McLean. The Court will also dismiss, for failure to state a claim, Plaintiff's procedural due process claims against Defendants Harrison, Plumm, Spiker, and Horton.

         Discussion

         I. Factual Allegations

         Plaintiff is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Chippewa Correctional Facility (URF) in Kincheloe, Chippewa County, Michigan. The events about which he complains occurred at that facility. Plaintiff sues Warden Connie Horton, Resident Unit Manager T. Corey Spiker, Corrections Officer Unknown Harrison, Corrections Officer Unknown Wallis, Prison Counselor Unknown Plumm, and Grievance Coordinator Unknown McLean.

         Plaintiff alleges that on November 26, 2018, he was released from segregation to Level IV general population. Upon entering Round Unit, Plaintiff overheard Defendant Harrison tell another Corrections Officer that Plaintiff had a lot of property and that he was going to “take some big time.” Defendant Harrison subsequently ordered Plaintiff to unpack all his property and then repack it. After Plaintiff complied, Defendant Harrison stated that it was amazing how much property fit in a duffel bag, but he still wanted to take some of Plaintiff's property. Defendant Harrison then instructed Plaintiff to place his typewriter in his duffel bag. Plaintiff refused, citing Policy Directive 04.07.112, which provides that typewriters shall be packed separately in an appropriate container with adequate packing materials. Defendant Harrison then told Plaintiff to have a seat because he was going to send him back to segregation.

         A short time later, Defendant Harrison called a Sergeant. Plaintiff's hands were cuffed behind his back and he was told that he was going to the hole for disobeying a direct order. As they were approaching the exit, Defendant Harrison grabbed Plaintiff from behind and slammed his head into the metal door frame. Defendant Harrison stated:

You black mothaf#ckas don't run shit at this facility. This is URF, which means you are fucked. Black people don't have shi#t coming up here. For that you won't get any of your f#cking property.

(See Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.8.)

         Plaintiff was placed in segregation and received a Class II misconduct. Plaintiff received a contraband removal slip created by Defendant Wallis, which listed property items that were considered excess and had been confiscated. The contraband removal slip did not include Plaintiff's television, typewriter, or footlocker. Nor did it include Defendant Wallis' printed name, signature, badge number, or date. Therefore, the contraband removal slip was incomplete and deficient.

         On November 27, 2018, Plaintiff filed a grievance on Defendant Harrison for excessive force. On November 30, 2018, Plaintiff filed a grievance regarding the improper seizure of his property. Plaintiff was released from segregation on December 9, 2018, and returned to Round Unit. Upon entering the unit, Plaintiff looked in the open equipment closet and saw a plastic garbage bag containing property along with his typewriter and television.

         After the administrative hearing on December 11, 2018, the list was amended to include Plaintiff's television and typewriter. Defendant Plumm showed Plaintiff the amended contraband removal slip while reviewing Plaintiff's November 30, 2018, grievance with him. The amended slip was signed by Defendant Harrison. Plaintiff's television and typewriter were stored in an unsecured equipment closet. Plaintiff asked Defendant Plumm why he had not been given the opportunity to exchange a packed allowable item with either his television or typewriter in accordance with Policy Directive 04.07.112 ¶ EE. Defendant Plumm told Plaintiff that he did not have anything coming because he had filed grievances on staff.

         Defendant Plumm subsequently gave Plaintiff his typewriter, but told Plaintiff that his television was excess property and had to be destroyed. Defendant Plumm also stated that he was going to hold on to Plaintiff's footlocker. When Plaintiff questioned these actions, Defendant Plumm stated, “Because I want to, this is what happens when you write grievances on staff in Round Unit.” (Compl., ECF No. 1 at PageID.11.) As Plaintiff was leaving Defendant Plumm's office, he stated, “Don't worry about your tv, you will never see it again. You black assholes run around in gangs thinking you run something. You don't run shit here at URF.” Plaintiff told Defendant Plumm that he was going to file a grievance and Defendant Plumm stated, “That is why you are not getting the tv back, you think you're smarter than us. No crack baby is smarter than us.” Defendant Plumm asked Plaintiff if he really believed that “she” would go against URF staff, and noted that “she” hated “niggers” even more that Defendant Plumm. (Id. at PageID.11-12.) Plaintiff filed a grievance on Defendant Plumm. Later that evening, Corrections Officer Mehan returned Plaintiff's footlocker to him.

         On December 18, 2018, Plaintiff wrote another grievance regarding the seizure of his television. However, the grievance was rejected by Defendant McLean. On December 19, 2018, Plaintiff's cell was ransacked by corrections officers while Plaintiff was at chow. Plaintiff discovered that all of the paperwork he had completed regarding this lawsuit had been torn up and was in the toilet. When Plaintiff asked officers why they had ransacked his cell, they told him that until he learned how things worked at URF, he would continue to have problems with staff. On ...


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