Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Evans v. Cline

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

December 4, 2019

SCOTT CLINE, Defendant.


          Honorable Paul L. Maloney 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 complaint for failure to state a claim.


         I. Factual allegations

         Plaintiff is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) at the Lakeland Correctional Facility (LCF) in Branch County, Michigan. The events about which he complains occurred at that facility. Plaintiff sues LCF Classification Director Scott Cline.

         Plaintiff alleges that during April of 2016, LCF Deputy Warden L. Beckwith issued a memorandum to the LCF staff and inmates giving notice that a prisoner who has been terminated from an assignment may not request reclassification to that assignment until 120 days after the date of termination. (Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.6-7.) Additionally, the memorandum stated that “any prisoner found guilty of a misconduct for theft while on his Food Service Assignment will not be rehired in Food Service at LCF.” (Id., PageID.7.)

         Plaintiff was working at LCF Food Service when, on June 7, 2016, a misconduct ticket for theft was written against him. Plaintiff pleaded guilty to the charge. On April 17, 2017, Plaintiff made a written request for reclassification to food service, specifically a food service position in A unit. The classification department informed Plaintiff that no positions were available in A unit.

         Fifteen months later, Plaintiff spoke to his unit counselor about being reclassified to A unit food service. Counselor Stahly submitted the request for reclassification. On July 30, 2018, Defendant Cline denied the request based on Plaintiff's prior theft from the kitchen.

         On October 30, 2018, Plaintiff sent another written request to Cline to be reclassified to food service, claiming that Cline was biased in that he had reclassified prisoner Stephen Floyd to a food service position 90 days after prisoner Floyd pleaded guilty to theft. Cline stated to Plaintiff that under LCF policy, he would not place Plaintiff back into the food service pool.

         Plaintiff filed a grievance against Cline. The grievance was denied at all three steps of the administrative grievance process.

         Plaintiff claims that Cline's refusal to reclassify Plaintiff to a food service position, considered with his willingness to reclassify prisoner Floyd, and another prisoner, Carl Thomas, is a violation of Plaintiff's rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiff's complaint indicates that there are other prisoners who were fired for theft and then reclassified to food service. (Id., PageID.9.) Those prisoners, Plaintiff claims, are unwilling to step forward because they fear reprisals. Similarly, Plaintiff claims there are other prisoners in Plaintiff's position-prisoners who have been fired for theft and Defendant Cline refuses to reclassify them to food service. (Id., PageID.10.) Plaintiff seeks a declaration that Defendant Cline violated his rights as well as compensatory and punitive damages.

         II. Failure to state a claim

         A 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)).

         To 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 ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.