Rhoads #504915 v. Keller

Filing 10

OPINION ; signed by Chief Judge Robert J. Jonker (Chief Judge Robert J. Jonker, ymc)

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Case 1:20-cv-00398-RJJ-SJB ECF No. 10 filed 09/10/20 PageID.39 Page 1 of 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN SOUTHERN DIVISION ______ BILLY LEE RHOADS, Plaintiff, v. Case No. 1:20-cv-398 Honorable Robert J. Jonker JILL KELLER, Defendant. ____________________________/ OPINION This is a civil rights action brought by a county jail inmate under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Pub. L. 104.191 110 Stat. 1936 (1996). 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 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. Discussion I. Factual allegations Plaintiff is presently incarcerated in the Mecosta County Jail in Big Rapids, Michigan. Plaintiff sues Jill Keller, a nurse at the jail. Plaintiff claim that during April, he was in Case 1:20-cv-00398-RJJ-SJB ECF No. 10 filed 09/10/20 PageID.40 Page 2 of 3 the medication room. Nurse Keller was discussing someone else’s medications with a deputy. When Plaintiff walked in, she began discussing Plaintiff’s medications, right in front of the deputy. Plaintiff claims that violates his HIPAA rights. Plaintiff seeks “a little justice and maybe some compensation for this matter.” (Am. Compl., ECF No. 7, PageID.23). 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 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. Plaintiff’s complaint falls short. There is no private cause of action for a HIPAA violation. Burley v. Rider, No. 1:17-cv-88, 2018 WL 6033531, at *5 (W.D. Mich. Aug. 27, 2018) report and recommendation adopted 2018 WL 4443071 (W.D. Mich. Sept. 18, 2018); see also Faber v. Ciox Health, LLC, 944 F. 3d 593, 596 (6th Cir. 2019) (“HIPAA doesn’t authorize a private cause of action.”). Petitioner, therefore, has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Conclusion Having conducted the review required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the Court determines that Plaintiff’s complaint will be dismissed for failure to state a claim, under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2) and 1915A(b), and 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(c). The Court must next decide whether an appeal of this action would be in good faith within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. 2 Case 1:20-cv-00398-RJJ-SJB ECF No. 10 filed 09/10/20 PageID.41 Page 3 of 3 § 1915(a)(3). See McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 611 (6th Cir. 1997). For the same reasons the Court concludes that Plaintiff’s claims are properly dismissed, the Court also concludes that any issue Plaintiff might raise on appeal would be frivolous. Coppedge v. United States, 369 U.S. 438, 445 (1962). Accordingly, the Court certifies that an appeal would not be taken in good faith. This is a dismissal as described by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). A judgment consistent with this opinion will be entered. Dated: September 10, 2020 /s/ Robert J. Jonker ROBERT J. JONKER CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 3

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