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Glenn v. Lamp

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

October 16, 2019

MYRON GLENN, Plaintiff,
v.
TANYA LAMP, Defendant.

          OPINION

          Honorable Janet T. Neff 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 Eighth Amendment and due process claims.

         Discussion

         I. Factual Allegations

         Plaintiff presently is incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Carson City Correctional Facility (DRF) in Carson City, Montcalm County, Michigan. The events about which he complains, however, occurred at the Lakeland Correctional Facility (LCF) in Coldwater, Branch County, Michigan.[1] Plaintiff sues LCF Food Service Supervisor Tanya Lamp.

         Plaintiff worked as an LCF food service worker from April 13, 2016, through November 8, 2016. During his first week of employment, Plaintiff asked Defendant Lamp to not scream at him or call him derogatory names. Lamp advised Plaintiff that she would do what she wanted, saying, “Start acting like a man and I will treat you like one; I cannot stand crybabies.” (Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.3.) Defendant Lamp continued to make disparaging remarks, despite Plaintiff's repeated requests to stop.

         Plaintiff eventually spoke to Food Service Director Torrey, a lieutenant, a sergeant, and the warden, complaining that Lamp had repeatedly passed over him for lead food service positions, despite his superior skill, seniority, and good work reports. Torrey told Plaintiff that Lamp had worked in food service longer than Torrey and that Torrey therefore allowed her to make decisions on inmate promotions. Torrey advised Plaintiff not to be bothered by the way Lamp talked, as she was just making sure that male employees took her seriously.

         In mid-July 2016, Defendant Lamp approached Plaintiff, saying “You really don[']t know who you are f**king with, but you are going to find out the hard way. I run this kitch[e]n, not Torrey or anybody else you have been crying to.” (Id., PageID.4.) On August 15, 2016, Defendant Lamp issued a false work evaluation on Plaintiff and requested that the classification director terminate Plaintiff from his job, ostensibly because he had missed three unexcused work shifts. Plaintiff was then terminated. On August 24, 2016, Plaintiff wrote the classification director, claiming that he had not missed three days of unexcused work, because he had told her he had medical issues on two days and she had refused to allow him to work on the third day. On August 31, 2016, the classification director informed Plaintiff that he could return to work, once he was cleared by medical.

         On October 10, 2016, a few days after receiving medical clearance, Defendant Lamp accused him of over-scooping servings. However, Food Steward Goodman told the corrections officer on duty that Plaintiff only over-scooped a few times at the beginning and, once instructed, he did a good job. Plaintiff filed a grievance against Defendant Lamp on October 11, 2016. He completed the grievance process at Step III on March 28, 2017.

         Plaintiff finally was promoted to a lead job on October 30, 2016. On the first day, he thanked Defendant Lamp for the promotion and expressed his hope that their differences were now resolved. Lamp responded, “Trust me I am not the one you need to be thanking. You can thank me when your crybaby snitching a** is fired for good. Trust me it will be soon.” (Id., PageID.6.) Plaintiff asked if she would give him a clean slate if he signed off on his grievance and promised to defer only to her in matters relating to food service. She answered, “No, you can ask all the guys, once an inmate decides to front me off by writing grievances and going over my head for petty sh*t I consider him a rat and he ain[']t got nothing coming from me. . . . What you need to do is sign off of your foodservice detail before it[']s something worse than that.” (Id.) According to Plaintiff, in late September 2016, a prisoner overheard Defendant Lamp make multiple similar comments to Food Service Supervisor Covey, indicating her intent to find another way to fire Plaintiff for succeeding in overturning her recommendation to fire him.

         On December 6, 2016, Defendant Lamp approached Plaintiff and asked where he had been. Plaintiff responded that he had been in the restroom. Defendant demanded that Plaintiff leave work, since he was sick, despite Plaintiff saying he was not sick, but just using the restroom.

         Plaintiff told Defendant Lamp that he would be filing another grievance. She responded, “[W]e will see what that gets you.” (Id., PageID.7.)

         Plaintiff spoke to Lieutenant Nogueros on December 7, 2016, about Defendant Lamp's continuing harassment and threats. He filed a grievance that same day and pursued it through Step III. On December 9, 2016, Defendant Lamp pulled a large bag of vegetables out of the toaster on the opposite side of the food service area from where Plaintiff was working. She then came up to Plaintiff and ordered him to punch out for stealing. When Plaintiff responded that he did not steal anything, Lamp stated. “Who do you think the[y]'re going to believe, me or you? . . . Be happy is was[n']t worse than this because you really have pissed me off.” (Id.) The following day, Defendant Lamp wrote a false Class-II misconduct ticket against Plaintiff, alleging that she saw Plaintiff remove something from the crotch of his pants and shove it down the toaster. When she looked she found a bread bag filled with four peppers, three onions, and four tomatoes. Defendant Lamp claimed that Plaintiff had stolen the items.

         Plaintiff was heard on the grievance on December 17, 2016. Plaintiff claimed he was innocent, asked to have a review of the camera footage, and asked to have the hearing officer interview Lt. Nogueros about Defendant Lamp's ongoing threats to get Plaintiff removed from his job. Plaintiff also asked the hearing officer to interview another inmate, a lead line worker on the side where the toaster was located, who would testify that he told Defendant Lamp that the vegetables were in the toaster as least 15 minutes before the time ...


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