Juide v. Michigan Department of Corrections et al
OPINION AND ORDER of Partial Dismissal. Signed by District Judge Sean F. Cox. (JMcC)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
MACK JUIDE, # 441625,
Case Number: 2:19-12029
Honorable Sean F. Cox
MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF
CORRECTIONS, ET AL.,
OPINION AND ORDER OF PARTIAL DISMISSAL
Mack Juide is a Michigan state prisoner currently incarcerated at the Oaks
Correctional Facility in Manistee, Michigan. Juide, who is proceeding pro se and
in forma pauperis, alleges violations of the First and Eighth Amendments, the
Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12131, et seq. (ADA), Section 504
of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794(a) (Rehabilitation Act), and the
Michigan Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act, Mich. Comp. Laws §
37.1101, et seq. (PDCRA).
Juide names seven defendants: the Michigan Department of Corrections
(MDOC) and six MDOC employees. He seeks monetary and injunctive relief.
For the reasons discussed below, the Court dismisses Juide’s claims filed under the
PDCRA, his claims under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act against Defendants
Klee, Chapman, White, Martin, Tanner, and Donaghy in their individual capacities,
and his Eighth Amendment claims against the MDOC and against Defendants
Klee, Chapman, White, Martin, Tanner, and Donaghy in their official capacities.
II. Factual Allegations
Juide states that he is paralyzed from the chest down, and confined to a
wheelchair. (Compl. at 4.) According to the complaint, the occurrences giving rise
to this lawsuit took place while Juide was incarcerated at the Gus Harrison
Correctional Facility (ARF) in 2016.
Juide claims that while at ARF, he was housed in 3-Unit, “which is
ostensibly equipped” to accommodate physically handicapped prisoners. (Comp.
at 4.) The handicapped accommodations include a wheelchair lift “to facilitate
movement for wheelchair-bound prisoners who are stationed on the lower level of
the housing unit.” (Id.) But, Juide asserts, the wheelchair lift was subject to
“routine and protracted episodes of disrepair, dilapidation and being out of
service.” (Id.) When the wheelchair lift was not functioning, Juide was confined
to the lower level of 3-Unit. His confinement to the lower level meant Juide was
deprived of access to fresh air and exercise, telephone usage, electronic mail, legal
materials and the ability conduct research, healthcare, and medically necessary
equipment for hygienic elimination of bodily wastes. (Id. at 4-5.)
On July 14, 2016, Juide filed a grievance naming defendants Klee,
Chapman, Martin, Tanner, and Donaghy, alleging that their failure to maintain the
wheelchair lift in working condition violated the ADA. (Id. at 5.) Juide claims
that, the day after he filed this grievance, defendants placed him in segregation.
(Id. at 5.) The segregation cell was not handicap accessible, forcing Juide to “sit
upright in his wheelchair for over 13 hours without accessible toilet facilities and
languishing in his own bodily waste.” (Id.) The next day, Juide was transferred to
a different, level IV, housing unit that also lacked an operable wheelchair lift and
accessible toilet facilities. (Id.) Juide alleges that he “wallow[ed] in his own waste
for nearly 72 hours.” (Id.)
II. Legal Standard
Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 (“PLRA”), the Court is
required to sua sponte dismiss an in forma pauperis complaint before service if it
determines the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted, or seeks monetary relief against a defendant who is immune
from such relief. See 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c); 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The Court
is similarly required to dismiss a complaint seeking redress against government
entities, officers, and employees that it finds to be 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. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A. A complaint
is frivolous if it lacks an arguable basis in law or in fact. Denton v. Hernandez, 504
U.S. 25, 31 (1992); Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989).
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a) requires that a complaint set forth “a
short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,”
as well as “a demand for the relief sought.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), (3). The
purpose of this rule is to “give the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and
the grounds upon which it rests.” Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957) and Fed. R. Civ. P.
8(a)(2)). While such notice pleading does not require detailed factual allegations,
it does require more than the bare assertion of legal conclusions. Twombly, 550
U.S. at 555. Rule 8 “demands more than an unadorned, the defendant-unlawfullyharmed me accusation.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
Michigan Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act
Michigan’s Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act (PDCRA) provides
that a person may not “[d]eny an individual the full and equal enjoyment of the
goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place
of public accommodation or public service because of a disability that is unrelated
to the individual’s ability to utilize and benefit from the goods, services, facilities,
privileges, advantages, or accommodations or because of the use by an individual
of adaptive devices or aids.” Mich. Comp. Laws § 37.1302(a). The statute
specifically excludes application to actions or decisions regarding an individual
serving a sentence of imprisonment. See Mich. Comp. Laws § 37.1301(b);
Uhrynowksi v. County of Macomb, No. 06-15483, 2007 WL 2984001, at *9 (E.D.
Mich. Oct. 12, 2007). Accordingly, Plaintiff’s claims under PDCRA will be
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act
The ADA prohibits public entities from discriminating against a qualified
individual with a disability on account of that disability in the operation of
services, programs, or activities. 42 U.S.C. § 1983; Pennsylvania Dep’t of
Corrections v. Yeskey, 524 U.S. 206, 210 (1998). The ADA is applicable to state
and local government entities, including prisons and county jail facilities. Yeskey,
524 U.S. at 210. The proper defendant to a suit under the ADA is the public entity
or an official acting in his or her official capacity. Everson v. Leis, 556 F.3d 484,
501 n.7 (6th Cir. 2009).
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 provides that “[n]o otherwise qualified
individual with a disability ... shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be
excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to
discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial
assistance.” 29 U.S.C. § 794(a). Like the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act does not
impose personal liability upon individuals. Hiler v. Brown, 177 F.2d 542, 546 (6th
Plaintiff names the six individual defendants, all employees of the MDOC,
in their individual and official capacities. Plaintiff’s claims under the ADA and
Rehabilitation Act fail to state a claim against these defendants in their individual
capacities. Accordingly, these claims will be dismissed.
C. Eighth Amendment Claims
Plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment claims against the MDOC and the individual
defendants in their official capacities are barred by Eleventh Amendment
immunity. The Eleventh Amendment bars suits in federal court against a state and
its departments or agencies unless the state has waived its sovereign immunity or
unequivocally consented to be sued. See Pennhurst State Sch. & Hosp. v.
Halderman, 465 U.S. 89, 100 (1984). Michigan has not consented to civil rights
suits in federal court. See Johnson v. Dellatifia, 357 F.3d 539, 545 (6th Cir. 2004).
Suits against state officials in their official capacities are deemed to be suits against
the state because a damage award would run against the state treasury, exactly the
relief barred by the Eleventh Amendment. Kentucky v. Graham, 473 U.S. 159
(1985). Plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment claims for monetary relief against the
MDOC and the other defendants in their official capacities must be dismissed
under the Eleventh Amendment. Further, to the extent that Plaintiff asserts a claim
for injunctive relief against any defendants in their official capacities, such a claim
would be moot because Plaintiff is no longer confined at the facility where the
complained-of conduct occurred. See Kensu v. Haigh, 87 F.3d 172, 175 (6th Cir.
The Court dismisses Plaintiff’s ADA and Rehabilitation Act claims against
Defendants Klee, Chapman, White, Martin, Tanner, and Donaghy in their personal
capacities for failure to state a claim.
The Court dismisses Plaintiff’s claims filed under the Michigan Persons With
Disabilities Act with respect to all defendants.
The Court dismisses Plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment claims against the
Michigan Department of Corrections and Defendants Klee, Chapman, White,
Martin, Tanner, and Donaghy in their official capacities because they are entitled to
Eleventh Amendment immunity.
Plaintiff’s remaining claims and defendants survive the Court’s initial
screening under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: October 10, 2019
s/Sean F. Cox
Sean F. Cox
United States District Judge
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