Holloway #159258 v. Kinross Correctional Facility et al, No. 2:2014cv00083 - Document 5 (W.D. Mich. 2014)

Court Description: OPINION ; signed by Judge Robert Holmes Bell (Judge Robert Holmes Bell, kcb)
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Holloway #159258 v. Kinross Correctional Facility et al Doc. 5 UNITED STATES OF AMERICA UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN NORTHERN DIVISION RANDY HOLLOWAY, Plaintiff, Case No. 2:14-cv-83 v. Honorable Robert Holmes Bell KINROSS CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, Defendants. ____________________________________/ OPINION This is a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Court has granted Plaintiff leave to proceed in forma pauperis. Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act, PUB. L. NO . 104-134, 110 STAT . 1321 (1996), 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 Kinross Correctional Facility. The Court will serve the complaint against Defendants Duncan McLaren, L. Hough, and Unknown Hubbard. Dockets.Justia.com Discussion I. Factual allegations Plaintiff Randy Holloway, a state prisoner currently confined at the Alger Correctional Facility (LMF), filed this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants Kinross Correctional Facility (KCF), Warden Duncan McLaren, Internal Inspector L. Hough, and Outside Inspector Unknown Hubbard. In his complaint, Plaintiff alleges that beginning on March 13, 2013, for a period of approximately two months, he was confined in a high security six man segregation cell at KCF. Plaintiff claims that the cell lacked a fire sprinkler system, toilets, urinals, sinks, ventilation, sitting surfaces, writing surfaces, and waste receptacles. Plaintiff states that inmates often used garbage bags and empty milk containers to relieve themselves because of the unavailability of housing officers. Plaintiff states that during his time in the segregation cell, he became ill from holding his urine for long periods of time. Plaintiff states that he continues to require treatment for this condition at the present time. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants McLaren, Hough, and Hubbard have repeatedly falsified government inspection reports regarding conditions in the six man cell. Plaintiff states that Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights and seeks nominal, punitive and compensatory 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 -2- 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 U.S. 266, 271 (1994). As noted above, Plaintiff names KCF as a Defendant in this case. An express requirement of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is that the defendant be a person. See Monell v. Dep't of Social -3- Servs., 436 U.S. 658 (1978). KCF is an administrative unit of the Michigan Department of Corrections. Neither a prison nor a state corrections department is a person within the meaning of section 1983. Will v. Michigan Dep t of State Police, 491 U.S. 58 (1989). Furthermore, Plaintiff's claim against this Defendant is barred by the Eleventh Amendment. Alabama v. Pugh, 438 U.S. 781, 782 (1978). That amendment prohibits suits in federal court against the state or any of its agencies or departments. Pennhurst State School & Hosp. v. Haldermann, 465 U.S. 89, 100 (1984). A state s Eleventh Amendment immunity is in the nature of a jurisdictional defense and may be raised on the court s own motion. Estate of Ritter v. University of Michigan, 851 F.2d 846, 851 (6th Cir. 1988). The Supreme Court has squarely held that the Eleventh Amendment bars federal suits against state departments of corrections. Alabama v. Pugh, 438 U.S. 781, 782 (1978) (per curiam). KCF is therefore not subject to a section 1983 action. Plaintiff s Eighth Amendment claims against Defendants McLaren, Hough, and Hubbard appear to be nonfrivolous and may not be dismissed on initial review. Therefore, the court will order service on these Defendants. Conclusion Having conducted the review required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the Court determines that Defendant Kinross Correctional Facility (KCF) will be dismissed for failure to state a claim pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b), and 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c). The Court will serve the complaint against Defendants McLaren, Hough, and Hubbard. An Order consistent with this Opinion will be entered. Dated: October 17, 2014 /s/ Robert Holmes Bell ROBERT HOLMES BELL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE --4--