United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ROBERT D. SANGO, Plaintiff,
SHERRY L. BURT, 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
against Defendant Burt. Plaintiff's claims against
Defendants Maus, Brown, and Brock remain.
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at the Muskegon Correctional Facility
(MCF) in Muskegon, Michigan. The events about which he
complains occurred at that facility. Plaintiff sues MCF
Warden Sherry L. Burt; MCF Lieutenant Unknown Brown; and MCF
Corrections Officers Unknown Maus and Unknown Brock.
alleges that on August 9, 2019, Defendant Maus conducted a
search of Plaintiff's cell. When Plaintiff returned to
his cell, his religious literature had been thrown around the
cell and a racial slur and a swastika had been drawn on the
wall. Plaintiff wrote a grievance against Maus. Plaintiff
contends that Maus, in retaliation for the grievance,
threatened Plaintiff with violence, called him a “Black
Jew, ” and solicited violent white nationalists to stab
complained to shift command about Maus. Defendant Brown
“put the word out” that nothing should be done to
protect Plaintiff from the violence threatened by Maus.
complained to Defendant Brock who serves as the Security
Threat Coordinator at MCF. Specifically, Plaintiff believed
that Brock was not screening white nationalist prisoners who
were involved with white nationalist groups. In retaliation
for Plaintiff's complaint, Brock recruited white
nationalists to harm Plaintiff as well.
attempted to negotiate a peace treaty between religious
leaders and gang leaders to quell the increasing white
nationalist group violence. The stakeholders agreed they
would not resort to violence if they were rewarded. When
Plaintiff brought the matter to
Burt, however, she refused to consider that possibility.
seeks declaratory relief against Defendant Burt, injunctive
relief against Maus and Brock barring them from MCF, and
nominal, compensatory and punitive damages against all
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 ...