United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
T. Neff, United States District Judge.
a civil rights action brought by two state prisoners 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 Plaintiffs' pro se
complaint indulgently, see Haines v. Kerner, 404
U.S. 519, 520 (1972), and accept Plaintiffs' 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
Plaintiffs' complaint for failure to state a claim.
are presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility
(IBC) in Ionia, Ionia County, Michigan. The events Plaintiffs
describe in their complaint took place at that correctional
facility. Plaintiffs sue MDOC Director Heidi Washington, as
well as IBC personnel including Warden Matt Macauley,
Assistant Deputy Warden James McBride, RUM Unknown Hadden,
and Prison Counselor Craig A. Ritter.
allege that, upon being charged with respective misconducts,
they were each placed in punitive segregation for 10 days.
After the 10 days in punitive segregation, each
Plaintiff's misconduct was brought before the Security
Classification Committee (SCC), comprised of Defendants
Hadden, Ritter, and Macauley. The SCC required each Plaintiff
serve additional time in administrative segregation as
punishment for the same misconduct.
contend that these successive punishments were applied as
part of an unconstitutional process. First, prisoners who
commit a class I misconduct have a hearing held before an
administrative law judge. Those found guilty are placed in
punitive segregation. Following punitive segregation,
prisoners then receive a hearing before the SCC. The SCC
routinely places these prisoners in administrative
segregation. Following release from administrative
segregation, SCC applies a scoresheet to determine whether
the prisoner should have his security management level
raised. Plaintiffs allege that three of the criteria for
raising a prisoner's score are redundant, presumably
making it easier for authorities to justify raising a
prisoner's security level. Plaintiffs further contend
they were placed in a higher security level in violation of
conditions articulated on CSJ-481 (Prisoner Security
Classification Screen form).
seek compensatory and punitive damages.
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).
allege that Defendants have violated their Fifth Amendment
rights by subjecting each Plaintiff to successive punishments
on a single offense, and their Eighth Amendment rights by
punishing Plaintiffs cruelly and unusually.
allege that they have been subjected to punishment more than
once for the same offense in violation of Fifth Amendment to
the U.S. Constitution when they were subjected to successive