United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
L. 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
against Defendants Hamel, Perttu, and Wilson. The Court will
also dismiss, for failure to state a claim, the following
claims against the remaining Defendants: Plaintiff's
retaliation claims against Defendants Holley and Peterson,
and his due process claim against Defendant Peterson.
is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at the Marquette Branch Prison (MBP) in
Marquette, Marquette County, Michigan. The events about which
he complains, however, occurred at the Baraga Correctional
Facility (AMF) in Baraga, Baraga County, Michigan. Plaintiff
sues Corrections Officers Unknown Holley, Unknown Frantti,
Unknown Meloszyk, and D. Loop, Grievance Coordinator T.
Hamel, Assistant Deputy Warden Dennis Peterson, Segregation
Resident Unit Manager T. Perttu, and Segregation Acting
Prison Counselor T. Wilson.
alleges that on March 23, 2019, Defendant Holley refused to
give Plaintiff his lunch tray, stating that Plaintiff had
“assaulted another officer the other day so [Plaintiff
was] not eating lunch.” (ECF No. 10, PageID.288.)
Plaintiff filed a grievance on Defendant Holley on March 27,
2019. (ECF No. 10, PageID.281; ECF No. 1-2, PageID.90.)
April 1, 2019, Defendant Frantti refused to give Plaintiff
his breakfast tray. On April 2, 2019, Defendant Frantti
denied Plaintiff's breakfast and lunch trays, calling
Plaintiff a snitch. On the same day, Defendant Meloszyk
denied Plaintiff's dinner tray and stated that Defendant
Frantti had told him that Plaintiff was a problem. Defendant
Frantti also denied Plaintiff his breakfast on April 3, 2019.
At that point Plaintiff was suffering from a headache,
stomach cramps, and weight loss. Plaintiff apparently
received his lunch and dinner trays on April 3, 2019.
Plaintiff filed a grievance on Defendant Frantti on April 3,
2019. (ECF No. 10, PageID.281; ECF No. 1-2, PageID.94.)
Plaintiff also filed grievances on Defendants Frantti,
Meloszyk, and Loop on April 5, 2019. (ECF No. 10,
PageID.281-283; ECF No. 1-2, PageID.98-106.)
April 6, 2019, Defendant Frantti denied Plaintiff his
breakfast and lunch trays and Defendant Loop denied Plaintiff
his dinner tray. Defendant Loop told Plaintiff that
“Sullivan said that you wrote a grievance on him so you
are not eating today.” (ECF No. 10, PageID.302.)
Plaintiff claims that Sullivan, who is not a party to this
action, previously promised Plaintiff that he was going to
have Defendant Loop take his tray. On both April 7 and 8,
2019, Defendant Frantti denied Plaintiff breakfast and lunch,
and Defendant Loop denied him dinner. On April 8, 2019,
Plaintiff filed a grievance on Defendants Frantti and Loop.
(ECF No. 10, PageID.283; ECF No. 1-2, PageID.110.) On April
10, 2019, Plaintiff filed numerous grievances regarding the
denial of his meal trays on April 6, 7, and 8, 2019. (ECF No.
10, PageID.284-286; ECF Nos. 1-2 and 1-3, PageID.114, 119,
132, 137, 143, 147, 151, 157.)
April 11, 2019, Plaintiff states that he filed two grievances
regarding the denial of his trays on April 8, 2019. (ECF No.
10, PageID.286; ECF No. 1-2, PageID.128.) On April 10, 2019,
Defendant Hamel sent Plaintiff five step I grievance
receipts. On April 12, 2019, Defendant Hamel sent Plaintiff
five rejected step I grievances. Later that day, Defendant
Peterson had Plaintiff placed on modified access to the
grievance procedure. On April 16, 2019, Plaintiff filed a
grievance on Defendant Hamel. (ECF No. 10, PageID.287; ECF
No. 1-3, PageID.161.)
21, 2019, Plaintiff told Defendant Perttu that Defendant
Frantti was threatening to continue retaliating against him.
Defendant Perttu replied that there was nothing he could do
about Defendant Frantti. On May 22, 2019, Plaintiff attempted
to tell Defendant Wilson about the threats by Defendant
Frantti. However, Defendant Wilson failed to help Plaintiff.
On May 29, 2019, Plaintiff filed a grievance, but does not
attach it to his original or amended complaint. (ECF No. 10,
claims that Defendants' conduct violated his rights under
the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiff seeks
compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive
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 ...