United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER DISMISSING COMPLAINT
TERRENCE G. BERG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Kumar,  a citizen of India, is being held in
immigration detention at the Chippewa County Jail in Sault
Ste. Marie, Michigan. He has been detained since August 22,
2018 and recently ordered removed from the United States.
Kumar's complaint concerns the conditions of his
confinement. Kumar seeks monetary damages.
defendants, United States Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) and Immigration and Custom Enforcement Agency (ICE),
enjoy sovereign immunity for constitutional violations under
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of
Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). The complaint will
therefore be dismissed.
is a citizen of India. He came to the United States in 2011
as a non-immigrant, B-1 Visitor for Business. See ECF No. 1,
PageID.24. He was authorized to remain in the United States
until January 20, 2012. Id. He remained well past
that date and, in 2018, the United States Citizenship and
Immigration Services (“USCIS”) initiated removal
proceedings. Kumar was taken into custody by ICE in August
2018. Kumar remains in the custody of ICE awaiting a decision
by the Board of Immigration Appeals on his appeal from a
final order of removal. Kumar was originally detained at the
Calhoun County Jail and, in May 2019, transferred to the
Chippewa County Jail in Sault Ste. Marie.
states that, while incarcerated at the Calhoun County Jail,
he was kept in high security and shackled. Id.
PageID.6-7. He alleges this security classification was based
upon erroneous information provided to the Sheriff's
Department by ICE officials. Id. Kumar alleges that
the security classification caused him to suffer “great
harm and humiliation and mental torture.” Id.
at PageID.6. He was transferred to the Chippewa County Jail
in May 2019. Kumar alleges the deplorable conditions at the
Chippewa County Jail, including a cell with a cement floor
and no mat or blanket, no heat, and the presence of dangerous
inmates humiliate him and cause great distress and mental
anguish. Id. Finally, Kumar alleges that he suffers
several mental problems because of these conditions.
seeks monetary relief of $500, 000.
Court granted Kumar leave to proceed in forma pauperis.
Federal district courts are required under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915(e)(2)(B) to screen and dismiss before
service any in forma pauperis action that is frivolous or
malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief. Pro se pleadings are liberally
construed and held to less stringent standards than formal
pleadings drafted by lawyers. Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519, 520 (1972). Even construing the complaint
liberally, Kumar fails to state a claim upon which relief may
names two defendants: Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Where a
person alleges that a “federal” actor has
violated his or her federal constitutional rights, the claim
arises under the doctrine set forth in Bivens v. Six
Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bur. of Narcotics, 403 U.S.
388 (1971). Bivens “established that the
victims of a constitutional violation by an individual
federal agent have a right to recover damages against the
official in federal court despite the absence of any statute
conferring such a right.” Carlson v. Green,
446 U.S. 14, 18 (1980). Bivens, however, does not
waive the sovereign immunity enjoyed by the United States and
its agencies. Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Inc. v.
Napolitano, 648 F.3d 365, 370 (6th Cir. 2011)
(Bivens claims may be asserted against federal
officials only in their individual capacities). A
Bivens action may not be brought against agencies of
the United States because “'the purpose of
Bivens is to deter the officer,' not the
agency.” Corr. Services Corp v. Malesko, 534
U.S. 61, 69-70, 72 (2001) (quoting FDIC v. Meyer,
510 U.S. 471, 485 (1994)) (emphasis in original). If a
Bivens action was allowed against federal agencies,
the “deterrent effects of the Bivens remedy
would be lost.” Meyer, 510 U.S. at 485.
a waiver of sovereign immunity, a court is without subject
matter jurisdiction over claims against federal agencies or
officials in their official capacities. Reed v.
Reno, 146 F.3d 392, 397-98 (6th Cir. 1998). The United
States has not waived sovereign immunity for itself or its
agencies for a Bivens action. See Meyer, 510 U.S. at 484-86.
Defendants ICE and DHS are both agencies of the United States
and, as such, enjoy sovereign immunity against Bivens suits.
Therefore, this Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over
these claims and the complaint will be dismissed with
foregoing reasons, (1) The complaint is DISMISSED FOR
FAILING TO STATE A CLAIM ...