United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
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.
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at the Muskegon Correctional Facility
(MCF) in Muskegon County, Michigan. The events about which he
complains occurred at that facility. Plaintiff sues food
service server Unknown Knop and Lieutenant Unknown Quinn.
alleges that on October 9, 2018, Defendant Knop wrote a false
misconduct against Plaintiff for possession of stolen
property. The misconduct hearing was conducted by Defendant
Quinn. Plaintiff was found guilty and, as a result, lost his
job, was sanctioned with 30 days' loss of privileges, and
lost “good time.” Plaintiff claims that defendant
Quinn had prepared a written disposition of the misconduct
charge before the hearing started. He complains that Quinn
refused to look at the video recording of the alleged
incident, refused to interview Plaintiff's exculpatory
witness, and refused to look at written statements obtained
by Plaintiff. Defendant Quinn reported that he had watched
the video and saw Plaintiff go through the breakfast line
twice. Plaintiff claims that is an obvious lie because the
alleged violation occurred at 12:55-lunch-not breakfast.
claims that the false misconduct report by Knop and the sham
hearing by Quinn violated Plaintiff's due process rights.
He asks the Court to declare that Plaintiff's Fourteenth
Amendment due process rights were violated; to compel
Defendants to follow department rules; to discipline
Defendants; to compel a new hearing where Plaintiff's
evidence and the proper video are considered; to compel
Plaintiff's rehiring; and to award compensatory and
punitive damages in the amount of $140, 000.
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 under § 1983 is to identify
the specific constitutional right allegedly infringed.
Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 271 (1994).
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated his Fourteenth
Amendment due process rights.
Fourteenth Amendment protects an individual from deprivation
of life, liberty or property, without due process of
law.” Bazetta v. McGinnis, 430 F.3d 795, 801
(6th Cir. 2005). To establish a Fourteenth Amendment
procedural due process violation, a plaintiff must show that
one of these interests is at stake. Wilkinson v.
Austin, 545 U.S. 209, 221 (2005). Analysis of a
procedural due process claim involves two steps: “[T]he
first asks whether there exists a liberty or property
interest which has been interfered with by the State; the
second examines whether the procedures attendant upon that
deprivation were constitutionally sufficient.” Ky.
Dep't of Corr. v. Thompson, 490 U.S. 454, 460
complains that he lost his job. But, the Sixth Circuit has
consistently found that prisoners have no constitutionally
protected liberty or property interest in prison employment
under the Fourteenth Amendment. See, e.g.,
Dellis v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 257 F.3d 508, 511 (6th
Cir. 2001) (district court properly dismissed as frivolous
the plaintiff's claim that he was fired from his prison
job); Newsom v. Norris, 888 F.2d 371, 374 (6th Cir.
1989) (no constitutional right to prison employment);
Ivey v. Wilson, 832 F.2d 950, 955 (6th Cir. 1987)
(“[N]o prisoner has a constitutional right to a
particular job or to any job”); Carter v.
Tucker, 69 Fed.Appx. 678, 680 (6th Cir. 2003) (same).
Moreover, “as the Constitution and federal law do not
create a property right for inmates in a job, they likewise
do not create a property right to wages for work performed by
inmates.” Carter, 69 Fed.Appx. at 680 (citing
Williams v. Meese, 926 F.2d 994, 997 (10th Cir.
1991), and James v. Quinlan, 866 F.2d 627, 629-30
(3d Cir. 1989)). Under these authorities, Plaintiff's
loss of employment or the loss of wages does not rise to the
level of the deprivation of a protected interest.
indicates that, in addition to losing his job, he lost
“good time.” To the extent a disciplinary
sanction affects the duration of the prisoner's sentence,
he is entitled to the protections of due process. Sandin
v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472, 484, 487 (1995).