Williams v. Schuette et al
ORDER DISMISSING CASE without prejudice Signed by District Judge Robert H. Cleland. (LWag)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
DONNELL DEFRANCE WILLIAMS,
Case No. 16-14237
BILL SCHUETTE, et al.,
ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE
Plaintiff Donnell DeFrance Williams filed a pro se civil rights complaint under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. The complaint named forty-seven defendants. The court summarily
dismissed defendants Schuette, Heyns, Washington, Palette, Paterson, Van Hoek,
Berghuis, Rodrick, Flynn, Dobe, and Burt, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), because
Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted against these
Defendants, and directed Plaintiff to provide 35 service copies of the complaint by April
21, 2017. (See Dkt. #6.) On April 21, 2017, the court received an unnotarized affidavit
from Plaintiff responding to the court’s order. Plaintiff states in his affidavit that he lacks
funds in his institutional account to make the necessary copies of the complaint and that
the prison librarians therefore will not make the copies.
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(c)(3), if a plaintiff is authorized to
proceed in forma pauperis under 28 U.S.C. § 1915, the court must order a United
States marshal or deputy marshal to serve the complaint. Even so, “[t]he plaintiff . . .
must furnish the necessary copies to the person who makes service.” Fed. R. Civ. P.
Plaintiff was granted leave to proceed in forma pauperis under § 1915, but failed
to comply with the court’s order to submit copies of his complaint for service on the
Defendants. As noted above, he claims that he lacks the necessary funds to make
copies of his complaint. The Michigan Department of Corrections (“MDOC”), however,
has a policy directive which permits the MDOC to provide indigent prisoners with copies
of court documents. The policy directive reads in relevant part:
Prisoners shall be provided photocopying services . . . to obtain
copies of documents in their possession, . . . which are necessary
for the prisoner to file with a court or serve on a party to a lawsuit.
Prisoners shall use the Legal Photocopy Disbursement
Authorization form (CSJ-602) to request photocopying; the forms
shall be available to prisoners in the housing unit and institutional
law libraries. A fee of 10 cents shall be charged for each page
Prisoners who lack sufficient funds to pay for copies of documents
in their possession, ... which are necessary for the prisoner to file
with the court or serve on a party to a lawsuit shall be loaned funds
to pay for the copying.
A prisoner may be required to present documentation (e.g., court
rule, copy of the pleading) to show that requested copies are
necessary. . . . If a loan is approved, it shall be considered an
institutional debt and collected as set forth in PD 04.02.105
Michigan Department of Corrections, Policy Directive 05.03.116, page 3 (effective Oct.
In light of this policy directive, Plaintiff should have been able to acquire copies of
his complaint and mail them to the court. Other than his own unnotorized affidavit, he
provides no evidence that he sought to obtain copies in compliance with prison
procedures. The Court will dismiss the complaint without prejudice for failure to comply
with a court order. Link v. Wabash R. Co., 370 U.S. 626, 629-33 (1962); Erby v. Kula,
113 F. App’x 74, 76 (6th Cir. 2004).
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s complaint (Dkt. #1) is DISMISSED without
S/Robert H. Cleland
ROBERT H. CLELAND
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Dated: June 30, 2017
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was mailed to counsel of record
on this date, June 30, 2017, by electronic and/or ordinary mail.
Case Manager and Deputy Clerk
S:\Cleland\JUDGE'S DESK\C2 ORDERS\16-14237.WILLIAMS.dismiss without prejudice.mbc.bss.wpd
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