United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
Maloney 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 Marquette Branch Prison (MBP) in
Marquette County, Michigan. The events about which he
complains occurred at that facility. Plaintiff sues Derek
Falk, a nurse practitioner at MBP.
alleges he has an inguinal hernia. He saw Defendant Falk
regarding his condition during August of 2018. Eventually,
Plaintiff's case was submitted to the Corizon Healthcare
Utilization Department for approval of surgery, or at least a
surgical consult. On November 4, 2018, Defendant Falk saw
Plaintiff again and communicated the Utilization
Department's denial of that request. (Grievance MBP
1811-0144-12D1, ECF No. 1-1, PageID.13.) At least initially,
Plaintiff recognized that it was the Corizon Utilization
Department doctor, not any medical provider at MBP, that
denied his request. (Id., PageID.8.) Nonetheless,
Plaintiff alleges in his complaint that Defendant Falk
“denied the needed surgery.” (Compl., ECF No. 1,
Falk is not the only MBP medical provider that Plaintiff has
sued for the denial. In a separate suit, Daniels v.
Lamb, No. 2:19-cv-213 (W.D. Mich.), Plaintiff sued MBP
registered nurse Patricia Lamb. Nurse Lamb's involvement
was limited to responding to Plaintiff's grievance
regarding the surgery denial at the second step. She
responded as follows:
Investigation determined that grievant's issue was
appropriately addressed byt eh Step I Respondent and is
affirmed at the Step II Appeal. Review of the electronic
medical record confirms that the Utilization Manager, a
physician, had determined that medical necessity is not
demonstrated at this time for a surgical consultation re:
hernia repair. An alternate treatment plan was recommended
and has been implemented. Grievant continues to be monitored
re: this issue. Grievant is assured that those interventions
deemed medically necessary in the future will be provided.
Grievant is encouraged to follow the plan of care as
instructed and to promptly notify Health Care should any
adverse symptoms persist or worsen in [the] future.
(Grievance MBP-1811-1441-12D1, ECF No. 1-1, PageID.10.)
is nothing in Plaintiff's complaint that indicates
Defendant Falk had any role in the treatment of
Plaintiff's condition other than the instances described
in the grievance during August and November of 2018.
seeks $10, 000, 000 in damages for his pain and suffering.
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.