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Carter v. Washington

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

August 28, 2019

DWAYNE CARTER, Plaintiff,
v.
HEIDI WASHINGTON, ET AL., Defendants.

          ORDER OF SUMMARY DISMISSAL

          GEORGE CARAM STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. Introduction

         Michigan state prisoner Dwayne Carter has filed a pro se complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, naming four defendants. Plaintiff claims Defendants violated his rights under the First and Eighth Amendments. He seeks injunctive and monetary relief. The Court dismisses Plaintiff's complaint, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B) for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

         II. Standard

         Plaintiff has been granted leave to proceed without prepayment of the filing fee for this action due to his indigence. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), the Court is required to sua sponte dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint before service on a defendant if it determines that the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune from such relief. See 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a complaint set forth “a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief, ” as well as “a demand for the relief sought.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), (3). The purpose of this rule is 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) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2)). While this notice pleading standard does not require “detailed” factual allegations, Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555, it does require more than the bare assertion of legal conclusions or “an unadorned, the-defendant-unlawfully-harmed-me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “A pleading that offers ‘labels and conclusions' or ‘a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “Nor does a complaint suffice if it tenders ‘naked assertion[s]' devoid of ‘further factual enhancement.'” Id. (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).

         To state a federal civil rights claim, a plaintiff must allege that: (1) he was deprived of a right, privilege, or immunity secured by the federal Constitution or laws of the United States, and (2) the deprivation was caused by a person acting under color of state law. Flagg Bros. v. Brooks, 436 U.S. 149, 155-57 (1978). A pro se civil rights complaint is to be construed liberally. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972).

         III. Factual Allegations

         Plaintiff's claims arise from a December 6, 2017 incident occurring during his incarceration at the Saginaw Correctional Facility in Freeland, Michigan. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Cantu, a corrections officer, reached his hand into Plaintiff's back pocket to pull out some papers. In so doing, Defendant Cantu brushed his hand against Plaintiff's buttocks. Plaintiff informed Defendant Cantu that he was not permitted to touch his buttocks. Another corrections officer advised Plaintiff that Defendant Cantu could do so if he believed Plaintiff had something suspicious in his pocket.

         On December 11, 2017, Plaintiff filed a grievance against Defendant Cantu. Plaintiff believes that Defendant Cantu touched his buttocks with an intent to abuse, not for sexual gratification. Plaintiff alleges that he now suffers from an increased fear of being assaulted in prison, which has caused him great discomfort and mental anguish.

         Following an investigation, Plaintiff was informed that no evidence was found to support his claim. He alleges that Defendants later wrote him a misconduct ticket for interference with administrative rules by filing a false claim. He claims the misconduct ticket was issued in retaliation for his filing a grievance.

         III. Discussion

         A. Eighth Amendment Claim

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Cantu violated the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment when he ...


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