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Jenkins v. Access Securepak, Co.

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

September 12, 2019

VAN JENKINS, Plaintiff,
v.
ACCESS SECUREPAK, CO., ET AL., Defendants.

          ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT (ECF NO. 2) WITHOUT PREJUDICE AND GRANTING PLAINTIFF LEAVE TO AMEND

          MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I

         Plaintiff Van Jenkins is an inmate at the Parnall Correctional Facility in Jackson, Michigan. Jenkins filed this action on January 29, 2019. (See Transfer Order, ECF No. 3, PageID.66.) The Court thereafter waived Jenkins' prepayment of the filing fee under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(1). (See Order Waiving Prepayment, ECF No. 5.)

         Jenkins' Complaint appears to name four Defendants: (1) Pam Mueller, Manager for Access Securepak Company, (2) Access Securepak Company (“Securepak”), (3) the Michigan Department of Corrections (“MDOC”), and (4) Melody A.P. Wallace, Litigation Coordinator for the Michigan Department of Corrections. (See Compl., ECF No. 2.) Jenkins asserts that Securepak is a private contractor that provides a means for friends or family members to send packages to inmates in the MDOC. (See id.) Jenkins claims that an unidentified friend or family member purchased an $86.93 care package for him through Securepak on August 29, 2018. (See Id. at PageID.26.) Jenkins says that on September 7, 2018, his correctional facility returned the package to Securepak for an unknown reason. (See ECF No. 2-1, PageID.45.) Jenkins contends that Securepak then issued the sender a refund of the purchase price on September 14, 2018. (See id.) Jenkins alleges that the Defendants deprived him of property without due process of law when they returned the package to sender without giving him notice or an opportunity to be heard. (See Compl., ECF No. 2, PageID.24.) Jenkins seeks an award of money damages against the Defendants. (See id. at PageID.25, 27, 35.[1])

         II

         On March 21, 2019, the Court conducted an initial screening of Jenkins' Complaint and entered an order requiring Jenkins to show cause why the Complaint should not be summarily dismissed (the “Show Cause Order”). (Show Cause Order, ECF No. 6.) The Show Cause Order identified two apparent flaws in Jenkins' claim.

         First, the Court noted that Jenkins failed to allege that Defendants Mueller and Securepak were involved in the alleged deprivation of his constitutional rights. (Id. at PageID.75.) Accordingly, the Court directed Jenkins to show cause why Mueller and Securepak “should not be dismissed for [Jenkins'] failure to allege that they were actively engaged in unconstitutional conduct.” (Id.)

         Second, the Court noted that Jenkins did not allege what may be an essential element of his due process claim: namely, that the MDOC did not afford Jenkins an adequate post-deprivation remedy. The Court explained that such an allegation may be required by the Supreme Court's decision in Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527 (1981), overruled in part by Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327 (1986), and by several decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit interpreting Parratt. (See Id. at PageID.75-76.) The Court ordered Jenkins to show cause why his Complaint should not be dismissed for failing to satisfy the Parratt doctrine. (See id.)

         III

         Jenkins has submitted several filings since the Court's Show Cause Order. (See ECF Nos. 9-13.) Jenkins' filings are difficult to follow and generally unresponsive to the Show Cause Order. The Court has carefully review the filings and has reviewed Jenkins' Complaint again. For the reasons explained below, Jenkins' Complaint is DIMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE.

         First, upon additional review of the matter (and although not mentioned in the Show Cause Order), the Court has concluded that Jenkins' Complaint against the MDOC must be dismissed. The MDOC is “immune from suit under the Eleventh Amendment.” Harrison v. Michigan, 722 F.3d 768, 771 (6th Cir. 2013). “The Eleventh Amendment generally bars a suit for money damages brought in federal court against a state . . . . Because sovereign immunity extends to ‘state instrumentalities,' and the MDOC is ‘an arm of the State of Michigan,' the MDOC is entitled to sovereign immunity” against a § 1983 claim for money damages. McCoy v. Michigan, 369 Fed.Appx. 646, 653 (6th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted). Jenkins therefore may not sue the MDOC for money damages.

         Second, Jenkins' Complaint against Defendants Mueller and Securepak must be dismissed. Jenkins' filings in response to the Show Cause Order do not demonstrate or contend that Mueller and Securepak “were actively engaged in unconstitutional conduct.” (Show Cause Order, ECF No. 6, PageID.75.)

         Third, upon additional review of the matter (and although not mentioned in the Show Cause Order), the Court concludes that Jenkins' Complaint against Defendant Wallace must be dismissed. Jenkins has not sufficiently alleged that Wallace participated in the allegedly unconstitutional conduct - i.e., the return of the package to Securepak without due process.

         For all of the reasons explained above, Jenkins has not stated viable claims against any of the Defendants. Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Jenkins' ...


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