Hailey #575198 v. Cieply et al
OPINION; signed by District Judge Paul L. Maloney (Judge Paul L. Maloney, cmc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
JEROME MENDELL HAILEY,
Case No. 1:20-cv-1248
Honorable Paul L. Maloney
LARRY CIEPLY et al.,
This is a civil rights action brought by a state prisoner under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101–12213. Under Rule 21 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a court at any time, with or without motion, either may add or
drop a party for misjoinder or nonjoinder or may sever claims against a party into a new action.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 21. Additionally, 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.
§§ 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 drop Defendants Stewart, Yokom, Reed, and
Daughtery under Rule 21 because they are misjoined. The Court will further sever Plaintiff’s
claims against Defendants Davis, Holmes, and McConnell into a new action. The Court will also
dismiss, for failure to state a claim, Plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, and
ADA claims against the remaining Defendants. Additionally, the Court will deny Plaintiff’s
pending motion for a preliminary injunction. (ECF No. 5.)
Plaintiff is presently incarcerated with the Michigan Department of Corrections
(MDOC) at the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility (ARF) in Adrian, Lenawee County, Michigan.
The events about which he complains occurred at that facility and at the Richard A. Handlon
Correctional Facility (MTU) in Ionia, Ionia County, Michigan. Plaintiff sues the following MTU
employees: Unit Chief Larry Cieply; Psychologist Unknown Williams; Deputy Warden Unknown
Yokom; Lieutenant Unknown Stewart; Resident Unit Manager Unknown Daughtery; and Prisoner
Counselor Unknown Reed. Plaintiff further sues the following ARF employees: Unit Chief
Unknown Holmes; Psychologist or Social Worker Unknown Davis; and Captain Unknown
Plaintiff alleges that he has several issues that affect his mental health. On
October 15, 2020, he transferred to MTU. When Plaintiff arrived, Defendant Williams allegedly
told him that he would be sent to administrative segregation because he had filed complaints and
grievances on MTU staff three years earlier while incarcerated there. Plaintiff alleges that
Defendant Williams further directed a corrections officer to take Plaintiff to administrative
segregation and explained that Defendant Cieply had ordered the placement “to protect the staff
and prisoners from [Plaintiff].”
(Compl., ECF No. 1, PageID.5.)
On October 16, 2020,
psychologist Chattah (not a defendant) allegedly apologized to Plaintiff and provided further
Psychologist Chattah allegedly told Plaintiff, “Defendant Cieply is talking of
fabricating a SPON1 against you. It is likely you’re going to a [security] level 4 facility.” (Id.)
Several days later, Defendant Reed allegedly told Plaintiff and Defendant Yokom that Defendant
Cieply had initiated a SPON. Plaintiff alleges that he had no pending or recent misconduct reports
against him at that time.
The remainder of Plaintiff’s allegations describe a series of discrete events that
occurred during the subsequent two months at MTU and ARF. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants
Reed, Steward, and Yokom kept Plaintiff from his personal property and fresh clothes. Defendant
Daughtery allegedly said that he would get answers for Plaintiff’s questions but never did.
On November 12, 2020, MDOC transferred Plaintiff to ARF where he again was
placed in administrative segregation, and the remainder of Plaintiff’s allegations relate to that
facility. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant McConnell deprived Plaintiff of his personal property.
Defendant Davis allegedly sexually harassed and retaliated against Plaintiff. Plaintiff also alleges
that he sent complaints to Defendant Holmes, but Defendant Holmes never responded.
For relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages, fees, and costs.
Plaintiff joins nine Defendants connecting a series of discrete claims at two prisons.
At this juncture, the Court reviews whether Plaintiff’s claims are misjoined.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20(a) limits the joinder of parties in a single
lawsuit, whereas Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 18(a) limits the joinder of claims. Rule 20(a)(2)
A “SPON” is a “Special Problem Offender Notice.” See MDOC Policy Directive (PD) 03.03.110 (eff. Nov. 1, 2018)
(defining SPON), https://www.michigan.gov/documents/corrections/03_03_110_637560_7.pdf. MDOC staff may
initiate a SPON when, based on “specific reliable information[,] . . . an offender is believed likely to present a genuine
threat to the safety of an identified offender, volunteer, or employee . . . or to the order or security of a correctional
facility.” Id., ¶ D.
governs when multiple defendants may be joined in one action: “[p]ersons . . . may be joined in
one action as defendants if: (A) any right to relief is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in
the alternative with respect to or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of
transactions or occurrences; and (B) any question of law or fact common to all defendants will
arise in the action.” Rule 18(a) states: “A party asserting a claim . . . may join, as independent or
alternative claims, as many claims as it has against an opposing party.”
Courts have recognized that, where multiple parties are named, as in this case, the
analysis under Rule 20 precedes that under Rule 18:
Rule 20 deals solely with joinder of parties and becomes relevant only when there
is more than one party on one or both sides of the action. It is not concerned with
joinder of claims, which is governed by Rule 18. Therefore, in actions involving
multiple defendants Rule 20 operates independently of Rule 18. . . .
Despite the broad language of Rule 18(a), plaintiff may join multiple defendants in
a single action only if plaintiff asserts at least one claim to relief against each of
them that arises out of the same transaction or occurrence and presents questions of
law or fact common to all.
7 Charles Allen Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1655 (3d ed. 2001),
quoted in Proctor v. Applegate, 661 F. Supp. 2d 743, 778 (E.D. Mich. 2009), and Garcia v. Munoz,
No. 08-1648, 2008 WL 2064476, at *3 (D.N.J. May 14, 2008); see also United States v.
Mississippi, 380 U.S. 128, 142–43 (1965) (joinder of defendants is permitted by Rule 20 if both
commonality and same transaction requirements are satisfied).
Therefore, “a civil plaintiff may not name more than one defendant in his original
or amended complaint unless one claim against each additional defendant is transactionally related
to the claim against the first defendant and involves a common question of law or fact.” Proctor,
661 F. Supp. 2d at 778 (internal quotation omitted). When determining if civil rights claims arise
from the same transaction or occurrence, a court may consider a variety of factors, including, “‘the
time period during which the alleged acts occurred; whether the acts . . . are related; whether more
than one act . . . is alleged; whether the same supervisors were involved, and whether the
defendants were at different geographical locations.’” Id. (quoting Nali v. Mich. Dep’t of Corr.,
No. 07-10831, 2007 WL 4465247, at *3 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 18, 2007)).
Permitting the improper joinder in a prisoner civil rights action also undermines the
purpose of the PLRA, which was to reduce the large number of frivolous prisoner lawsuits that
were being filed in the federal courts. See Riley v. Kurtz, 361 F.3d 906, 917 (6th Cir. 2004). Under
the PLRA, a prisoner may not commence an action without prepayment of the filing fee in some
form. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(1). These “new fee provisions of the PLRA were designed to deter
frivolous prisoner litigation . . . ‘by making all prisoner [litigants] . . . feel the deterrent effect
created by liability for filing fees.’” Williams v. Roberts, 116 F.3d 1126, 1127–28 (5th Cir. 1997)
(quoting Jackson v. Stinnett, 102 F.3d 132, 136–37 (5th Cir. 1996)). The PLRA also contains a
“three-strikes” provision requiring the collection of the entire filing fee after the dismissal for
frivolousness, etc., of three actions or appeals brought by a prisoner proceeding in forma pauperis,
unless the statutory exception is satisfied. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). The “three strikes” provision was
also an attempt by Congress to curb frivolous prisoner litigation. See Wilson v. Yaklich, 148 F.3d
596, 603 (6th Cir. 1998).
The Seventh Circuit has explained that a prisoner like plaintiff may not join in one
complaint all of the defendants against whom he may have a claim, unless the prisoner satisfies
the dual requirements of Rule 20(a)(2):
Thus multiple claims against a single party are fine, but Claim A against
Defendant 1 should not be joined with unrelated Claim B against Defendant 2.
Unrelated claims against different defendants belong in different suits, not only to
prevent the sort of morass that [a multi]-claim, [multi]-defendant suit produce[s]
but also to ensure that prisoners pay the required filing fees—for the Prison
Litigation Reform Act limits to 3 the number of frivolous suits or appeals that any
prisoner may file without prepayment of the required fees. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g) . . . .
A buckshot complaint that would be rejected if filed by a free person—say, a suit
complaining that A defrauded the plaintiff, B defamed him, C punched him, D
failed to pay a debt, and E infringed his copyright, all in different transactions—
should be rejected if filed by a prisoner.
George v. Smith, 507 F.3d 605, 607 (7th Cir. 2007); see also Brown v. Blaine, 185 F. App’x 166,
168–69 (3d Cir. 2006) (allowing an inmate to assert unrelated claims against new defendants based
on actions taken after the filing of his original complaint would have defeated the purpose of the
three strikes provision of PLRA); Patton v. Jefferson Corr. Ctr., 136 F.3d 458, 464 (5th Cir. 1998)
(declining to allow “litigious prisoners to immunize frivolous lawsuits from the ‘three strikes’
barrier by the simple expedient of pleading unexhausted habeas claims as components of § 1983
suits”); Shephard v. Edwards, No. C2-01-563, 2001 WL 1681145, at *1 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 30, 2001)
(declining to consolidate prisoner’s unrelated various actions so as to allow him to pay one filing
fee, because it “would improperly circumvent the express language and clear intent of the ‘three
strikes’ provision”); Scott v. Kelly, 107 F. Supp. 2d 706, 711 (E.D. Va. 2000) (denying prisoner’s
request to add new, unrelated claims to an ongoing civil rights action as an improper attempt to
circumvent the PLRA’s filing fee requirements and an attempt to escape the possibility of
obtaining a “strike” under the “three strikes” rule).
Under these circumstances, to allow Plaintiff to proceed with improperly joined
claims and Defendants in a single action would permit him to circumvent the PLRA’s filing fee
provisions. Furthermore, he would avoid the consequences of filing at least three actions with all
claims dismissed as meritless, frivolous, or for failure to state a claim.
Therefore, the Court will look to the first listed Defendant and the first set of clear
factual allegations to determine which portion of the action should be considered related. Plaintiff
lists Defendant Cieply first in the complaint’s caption (id., PageID.1) and in the list of Defendants
(id., PageID.3). Plaintiff’s earliest factual allegations assert that Defendants Cieply and Williams
directed that Plaintiff be placed in administrative segregation. The earliest allegations further
assert that Defendant Cieply intended to initiate a SPON on Plaintiff. Plaintiff’s only allegations
involving Defendant Cieply relate to his placement in administrative segregation and the initiation
of a SPON. As a result, none of the Defendants other than Defendant Williams is transactionally
related to Plaintiff’s earliest allegations involving Defendant Cieply. Moreover, it is clear that no
question of law or fact is common to all Defendants. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 20(a)(2)(B). Plaintiff
has, therefore, improperly joined Defendants Stewart, Yokom, Reed, Daughtery, Davis, Holmes,
Under Rule 21 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “[m]isjoinder of parties is
not a ground for dismissing an action.” Id. Instead, Rule 21 provides two remedial options:
(1) misjoined parties may be dropped on such terms as are just; or (2) any claims against misjoined
parties may be severed and proceeded with separately. See Grupo Dataflux v. Atlas Glob. Grp.,
L.P., 541 U.S. 567, 572–73 (2004) (“By now, ‘it is well settled that Rule 21 invests district courts
with authority to allow a dispensable nondiverse party to be dropped at any time . . . .’”) (quoting
Newman-Green, Inc. v. Alfonzo-Larrain, 490 U.S. 826, 832 (1989)); DirecTV, Inc. v. Leto, 467
F.3d 842, 845 (3d Cir. 2006); Carney v. Treadeau, No. 2:07-cv-83, 2008 WL 485204, at *2 (W.D.
Mich. Feb. 19, 2008); Coal. to Defend Affirmative Action v. Regents of Univ. of Mich., 539 F.
Supp. 2d 924, 940 (E.D. Mich. 2008); see also Michaels Bldg. Co. v. Ameritrust Co., N.A., 848
F.2d 674, 682 (6th Cir. 1988) (“[D]ismissal of claims against misjoined parties is appropriate.”).
“Because a district court’s decision to remedy misjoinder by dropping and dismissing a party,
rather than severing the relevant claim, may have important and potentially adverse statute-oflimitations consequences, the discretion delegated to the trial judge to dismiss under Rule 21 is
restricted to what is ‘just.’” DirecTV, 467 F.3d at 845.
At least three judicial circuits have interpreted “on such terms as are just” to mean
without “gratuitous harm to the parties.” Strandlund v. Hawley, 532 F.3d 741, 745 (8th Cir. 2008)
(quoting Elmore v. Henderson, 227 F.3d 1009, 1012 (7th Cir. 2000)); see also DirecTV, 467 F.3d
at 845. Such gratuitous harm exists if the dismissed parties lose the ability to prosecute an
otherwise timely claim, such as where the applicable statute of limitations has lapsed, or the
dismissal is with prejudice. Strandlund, 532 F.3d at 746; DirecTV, 467 F.3d at 846–47.
In this case, Plaintiff brings a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the
ADA. For civil rights suits filed in Michigan, the statute of limitations is three years. See Mich.
Comp. Laws § 600.5805(2); Carroll v. Wilkerson, 782 F.2d 44 (6th Cir. 1986) (per curiam);
Stafford v. Vaughn, No. 97-2239, 1999 WL 96990, at *1 (6th Cir. Feb. 2, 1999). The statute of
limitations begins to run when the aggrieved party knows or has reason to know of the injury that
is the basis of his action. Collyer v. Darling, 98 F.3d 211, 220 (6th Cir. 1996).
Plaintiff’s misjoined claims involve conduct that has occurred since October 2020,
well within the three-year period of limitations. Those claims are not at risk of being time-barred.
Accordingly, the Court will exercise its discretion under Rule 21 and drop Plaintiff’s claims against
Defendants Stewart, Yokom, Reed, and Daughtery under Rule 21 because they are misjoined.2
Plaintiff has also alleged claims against three Defendants at ARF—Defendants Davis, Holmes,
and McConnell—which is in the Eastern District of Michigan. The Court will sever Plaintiff’s
claims against Defendants Davis, Holmes, and McConnell into a new action.
Should Plaintiff elect to file a new action against one or more of the dropped Defendants, he is cautioned that he
must limit such future actions to defendants and claims that are transactionally related to one another. The Court may,
in its discretion and without further warning, dismiss any future complaint, or part thereof, filed by Plaintiff that
contains claims that are misjoined.
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. “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
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Cieply and Williams placed him in administrative
segregation in retaliation for filing grievances and complaints.
Retaliation based upon a prisoner’s exercise of his or her constitutional rights
violates the Constitution. See Thaddeus-X v. Blatter, 175 F.3d 378, 394 (6th Cir. 1999) (en banc).
In order to set forth a First Amendment retaliation claim, a plaintiff must establish three elements:
(1) he was engaged in protected conduct; (2) an adverse action was taken against him that would
deter a person of ordinary firmness from engaging in that conduct; and (3) the adverse action was
motivated, at least in part, by the protected conduct. Id. Moreover, a plaintiff must be able to
prove that the exercise of the protected right was a substantial or motivating factor in the
defendant’s alleged retaliatory conduct. See Smith v. Campbell, 250 F.3d 1032, 1037 (6th Cir.
2001) (citing Mount Healthy City Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ. v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274, 287 (1977)).
On initial review, the Court concludes that Plaintiff has alleged facts sufficient to
state a First Amendment retaliation claim against Defendants Cieply and Williams.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Cieply and Williams violated his Eighth
Amendment rights, presumably because they purportedly directed Plaintiff’s placement into
The Eighth Amendment prohibits punishments that are not only physically
barbaric, but also those which are incompatible with “the evolving standards of decency that mark
the progress of a maturing society,” or which “involve the unnecessary and wanton infliction of
pain.” Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 102–03 (1976) (internal quotations omitted). To establish
an Eighth Amendment claim, the prisoner must show that he was deprived of the “minimal
civilized measure of life’s necessities.”
Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347 (1981).
Conditions that are restrictive or even harsh, but are not cruel and unusual under contemporary
standards, are not unconstitutional. Id. Thus, federal courts may not intervene to remedy
conditions that are merely unpleasant or undesirable.
Placement in segregation is a routine discomfort that is “‘part of the penalty that
criminal offenders pay for their offenses against society.’” Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 9
(1992) (quoting Rhodes, 452 U.S. at 347). Although it is clear that Plaintiff is denied certain
privileges as a result of his administrative segregation, he does not allege or show that he is being
denied basic human needs and requirements. The Sixth Circuit has held that without a showing
that basic human needs were not met, the denial of privileges as a result of administrative
segregation cannot establish an Eighth Amendment violation. See Evans v. Vinson, 427 F. App’x
437, 443 (6th Cir. 2011); Harden-Bey v. Rutter, 524 F.3d 789, 795 (6th Cir. 2008). Moreover,
Plaintiff cannot bring an Eighth Amendment claim for emotional or mental damages because he
does not allege a physical injury. See 42 U.S.C. §1997e(e); see also Hudson, 503 U.S. at 5;
Harden-Bey, 524 F.3d at 795. As a result, Plaintiff fails to state an Eighth Amendment claim
against Defendants Cieply and Williams for his placement in administrative segregation.
Furthermore, to the extent Plaintiff implies that Defendants violated the Eighth
Amendment because Plaintiff allegedly suffers from mental health problems, he again fails to state
a claim. Deliberate indifference may be manifested by a doctor’s failure to respond to the medical
needs of a prisoner, or by “prison guards in intentionally denying or delaying access to medical
care or intentionally interfering with the treatment once prescribed. Regardless of how evidenced,
deliberate indifference to a prisoner’s serious illness or injury states a cause of action under
§ 1983.” Estelle, 429 U.S. at 104–05. Plaintiff does not allege that Defendants Cieply and
Williams delayed or denied him any mental health care. Consequently, he fails to state an Eighth
Plaintiff also alleges that Defendants Cieply and Williams violated the Fourteenth
Amendment, but he fails to specify which provision. Presumably, Plaintiff intends to allege that,
without due process, Defendants either deprived him of his personal property or placed him in
Plaintiff alleges that he was separated from his personal property while he was
placed in administrative segregation, which he contends violated his due process rights.
“The Fourteenth Amendment protects an individual from deprivation of life, liberty
or property, without due process of law.” Bazzetta v. McGinnis (Bazzetta II), 430 F.3d 795, 801
(6th Cir. 2005). To establish a Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process violation, a plaintiff
must show that one of these interests is at stake. Wilkinson v. Austin, 545 U.S. 209, 221 (2005).
Analysis of a procedural due process claims involves two steps: “[T]he first asks whether there
exists a liberty or property interest which has been interfered with by the State; the second
examines whether the procedures attendant upon that deprivation were constitutionally sufficient.”
K’y Dep’t of Corr. v. Thompson, 490 U.S. 454, 460 (1989) (citations omitted).
Courts routinely have recognized such restrictions and have concluded that
prisoners do not have a constitutional right to maintain an unlimited amount of property in their
cells. See Friend v. Chapleau, No. 95-5628, 1995 WL 607835, at *2 (6th Cir. Oct. 13, 1995)
(holding that the defendant did not have a constitutional right to possess unlimited amounts of
legal property); see also Smith v. Ortiz, No. 05-1211, 2006 WL 620871, at *2 (10th Cir. Mar. 14,
2006) (recognizing the distinction between the right to own property and the right to possess it
while in prison and holding that, when a prisoner was allowed to send his property to another
location, he was not deprived of property); Cosco v. Uphoff, 195 F.3d 1221, 1224 (10th Cir. 1999)
(“The regulation of type and quantity of individual possession in cells is typical of the kinds of
prison conditions that the Court has declared to be subject to the . . . analysis set forth in Sandin.”);
see also Hinds v. Lewis, No. 1:19-cv-279, 2019 WL 2223253, at *5 (W.D. Mich. May 23, 2019)
(recognizing that a prisoner has no right to possess unlimited property in his cell); Blanton v.
Caruso, No. 1:10-cv-1187, 2011 WL 202094, at *3 (W.D. Mich. Jan. 19, 2011) (limitation on incell property is not atypical and significant).
Because Plaintiff has no property interest in keeping his unspecified personal
property in his cell, Defendants have not deprived him of his personal property without due
process. He therefore fails to state a due process claim for the deprivation of his personal property.
Generally, courts will consider the nature and duration of a stay in segregation in
determining whether it imposes an “atypical and significant hardship.” Harden-Bey, 524 F.3d at
793. In Sandin, the Supreme Court concluded that disciplinary segregation for thirty days “did not
present the type of atypical, significant deprivation in which a State might conceivably create a
liberty interest.” 515 U.S. at 486. Likewise, the Sixth Circuit has often held that administrative
segregation alone does not involve an “atypical and significant” hardship implicating a protected
liberty interest. See e.g., Jones v. Baker, 155 F.3d 810, 812–13 (6th Cir. 1998); Rimmer-Bey v.
Brown, 62 F.3d 789, 790–91 (6th Cir. 1995) (holding a Michigan prisoner’s complaint about his
placement in administrative segregation without a hearing did not rise to the level of an “atypical
and significant hardship”). The Sixth Circuit has held that a prisoner may present a § 1983 claim
alleging that placement in administrative segregation is “atypical and significant in relation to the
ordinary incidents of prison life” only in extreme circumstances. See Harden-Bey, 524 F.3d at
795. Plaintiff has not alleged facts showing an atypical and significant hardship. Consequently,
the court concludes that no liberty interest is implicated by his placement. Therefore, he fails to
state a Fourteenth Amendment claim.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Plaintiff claims that Defendants violated the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101–12213. Presumably, Plaintiff intends to allege that Defendants
specifically violated Title II of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131–12165, which applies to public
Title II of the ADA provides that “no qualified individual with a disability shall, by
reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services,
programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any such entity.”
42 U.S.C. § 12132. Therefore, to state a claim under the ADA, a plaintiff must show that he is a
“qualified person,” that he has a “disability,” and that he has been denied a “service, program, or
activity” of the state or subjected to discrimination. In the ADA, the term “disability” is defined
as follows: “ a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major
life activities of such individual;  a record of such an impairment; or  being regarded as
having such an impairment . . . .” 42 U.S.C. § 12102(2).
Plaintiff does not clearly identify his alleged disability, but he asks that the Court
stop “discriminatory practices against [the] mentally ill . . . within [the] MDOC.” (Compl., ECF
No. 1, PageID.13.) He later identifies that he has major depression and anti-personality disorder.
However, even if the Court were to accept that Plaintiff’s history of major depression and antipersonality disorder fall within the definition of “disability,” Plaintiff has not alleged what
“service, program, or activity” he is qualified for but has been denied or how he has been subjected
to discrimination. Moreover, because Plaintiff has further failed to allege facts that suggest any
such denial or discrimination was motivated by his disability, he fails to state an ADA claim. See
Clayton v. Mich. Dep’t of Corr., No. 17-1003, 2017 WL 6804104, at *2 (6th Cir. Aug. 21, 2017).
VIII. Pending Motion
Also pending before the Court is Plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction.
(ECF No. 5.) Plaintiff’s motion contends that, due to the risks posed by the transmission of
COVID-19 in the MDOC, the Court should grant him habeas relief.
The Court will deny Plaintiff’s motion for several reasons. First, Plaintiff requests
release from custody. That relief is available only in a habeas corpus proceeding. “The Supreme
Court has held that release from confinement—the remedy petitioner seek[s] here—is ‘the heart
of habeas corpus.’” Wilson v. Williams, 961 F.3d 829, 868 (6th Cir. 2020) (quoting Preiser v.
Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 478, 498 (1973)).3 A challenge to the fact or duration of confinement should
be brought as a petition for habeas corpus and is not the proper subject of a civil rights action
brought pursuant to § 1983. See Preiser, 411 U.S. at 484 (the essence of habeas corpus is an attack
by a person in custody upon the legality of that custody and the traditional function of the writ is
to secure release from illegal custody). Therefore, Plaintiff may not seek habeas relief in this civil
Moreover, the irreparable injuries described in Plaintiff’s motion have, at best, a
highly attenuated relationship to his complaint. Plaintiff cannot seek to bring entirely new claims
into this action by way of a motion for preliminary injunction, particularly where Defendants have
no control over Plaintiff’s present confinement. See Colvin v. Caruso, 605 F.3d 282, 299–300 (6th
The Wilson petitioners were federal prison inmates who brought habeas claims under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 similar to
those claims brought by Plaintiff in the instant motion.
Cir. 2010). Finally, Plaintiff’s transfer to another prison facility mooted his pursuit of injunctive
relief against these Defendants. See Kensu v. Haigh, 87 F.3d 172, 175 (6th Cir. 1996).
Thus, for all the reasons stated above, the Court will deny Plaintiff’s motion for a
Having conducted the review required by Rule 21 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, the Court determines that the Defendants Stewart, Yokom, Reed, Daughtery, Davis,
Holmes, and McConnell are misjoined in this action. The Court will dismiss without prejudice
Plaintiff’s complaint against Defendants Stewart, Yokom, Reed, and Daughtery under Rule 21.
The Court will further order that Plaintiff’s claims against Defendants Davis, Holmes, and
McConnell be severed into a new action. Having also conducted the review required by the Prison
Litigation Reform Act, the Court determines that Plaintiff’s Eighth, Fourteenth, and ADA claims
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 will also deny Plaintiff’s pending motion for a preliminary
injunction. (ECF No. 5.) Plaintiff’s First Amendment retaliation claims against Defendants Cieply
and Williams remain in the case.
An order consistent with this opinion will be entered.
July 14, 2021
/s/ Paul L. Maloney
Paul L. Maloney
United States District Judge
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