United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
L. Maloney United States District Judge.
a civil rights action brought by a pretrial detainee 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 City of Grand Rapids. The Court will stay
the action against Defendants Brown and Pierson.
is presently detained and awaiting trial at the Kent County
Correctional Facility (KCCF) on charge of
assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer, causing
injury, Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.81d(2). Plaintiff sues
the City of Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Police Department
(GRPD) Officers Kenneth Brown and Briana Pierson.
alleges that, on August 3, 2019, the GRPD received a 911
hang-up call. The dispatcher told police that a male and
female could be heard arguing on the call. Defendants Brown
and Pierson were dispatched to respond to the address from
which the call was made, 756 Richmond N.W. According to
Defendant Pierson's police report, when the officers
arrived, Pierson went to the back of the building while
Defendant Brown went to the front. The only unit with lights
visible was Unit 1A. Pierson stated that she “stood on
the porch and could hear a male arguing with someone inside
[but she] could not understand what exactly was being
said.” (Pierson Police Report, ECF No. 1-1, PageID.10;
see also Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.4.) Pierson began
knocking on the back door, in an attempt to get someone to
come to the door. (ECF No. 1-1, PageID.10.)
same time, Defendant Brown checked the front door and found
Plaintiff sleeping in the hallway. Defendant Pierson joined
Brown at some point. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Brown
kicked him awake and that he told the officers that he had
nothing to do with the 911 call and did not want to talk.
Plaintiff alleges that he then walked away. He claims that,
when he attempted to leave, Defendants used excessive force
against him and falsely charged him with the offense for
which he is in custody. (Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.4.)
contrast, Defendants reported that Plaintiff woke up when
they approached him. They asked Plaintiff to identify
himself, to which Plaintiff falsely responded,
“Mike.” (Pierson & Brown Police Reports, ECF
No. 1-1, PageID.10, 11.) Plaintiff, however, refused to
supply his full and truthful name and gave signs that he
intended to flee. Plaintiff then attempted to leave,
suggesting that he would wake up the people in Apartment 1A.
Brown instructed Plaintiff to sit back down and provide his
name first. Plaintiff again responded, “Mike.”
(Brown Police Report, ECF No. 1-1, Page.ID 11.) Defendant
Brown attempted to grab Plaintiff's wrist in order to
place him in handcuffs, but Plaintiff pulled away and fled.
Brown chased him and was able to grab Plaintiff outside the
front door, but Plaintiff again slipped away. Defendant Brown
repeatedly ordered Plaintiff to stop and continued chasing
him. Plaintiff ran across Alpine Avenue, and Defendant Brown
pursued Plaintiff. Brown eventually caught Plaintiff in an
alley, as Plaintiff was attempting to climb a chain-link
fence. Brown tackled Plaintiff, pulling him away from the
fence and onto the ground. Once Plaintiff had been handcuffed
by a newly arrived officer, Defendant Brown realized that he
had suffered a dislocated knuckle on his right pinky finger
and multiple abrasions during his attempts to stop and arrest
the takedown, Plaintiff suffered an abrasion to his left
knee. Plaintiff alleges Defendants denied him medical care.
He attaches his medical records showing that, both upon his
arrival at the jail on August 3, 2019, and at a medical
call-out on August 6, 2019, KCCF medical providers recorded
that Plaintiff had an abrasion on his knee. (Ex. to Compl.,
ECF No. 4, PageID.31, 34.) When he saw the KCCF medical
provider on August 6, Plaintiff received wound care and
information about self-care and follow-up. (Id.,
seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the physical and
emotional injuries he suffered during the use of excessive
force. He also seeks damages for his allegedly wrongful
arrest, prosecution, and pretrial detention.
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).