Paige #211567 v. United States District Court Western District of Michigan, et al
OPINION ; signed by Judge Robert Holmes Bell (Judge Robert Holmes Bell, kcb)
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
BILLY JOE PAIGE #211567,
Case No. 2:11-cv-129
Honorable Robert Holmes Bell
U.S. DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT of MICHIGAN, et al.,
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, and Plaintiff has paid the
initial partial filing fee. 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, Plaintiff’s action will be dismissed for failure to state a claim.
Plaintiff Billy Joe Paige #211567, an inmate at the Baraga Maximum Correctional
Facility (AMF), filed this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants
U.S. District Court - Western District of Michigan, and Clerk of Court Tracey Cordes. Plaintiff’s
allegations are somewhat garbled and unintelligible. However, it appears that Plaintiff is claiming
that Defendants improperly handled a prior filing in this court. Plaintiff specifically mentions Paige
v. Napel, Case No. 2:11-cv-59, a habeas corpus action which was dismissed pursuant to Rule 4 as
frivolous on March 10, 2011. Plaintiff claims that he attempted to file an exhibit with the court
subsequent to the dismissal, but that his pleading was improperly rejected. Plaintiff seeks an order
requiring the court to address the merits of the prior lawsuit in context of his exhibit.
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 Atlantic
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (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, 129 S. Ct. 1937,
1949 (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.” Ashcroft, 129 S. Ct.
at 1949. 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.” Ashcroft, 129 S. Ct.
at 1949 (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.” Ashcroft, 129 S. Ct. at 1950 (quoting FED . R.
CIV . P. 8(a)(2)); see also Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470 (6th Cir. 2010) (holding that the
Twonbley/Ashcroft 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); Dominguez v. Corr.
Med. Servs., 555 F.3d 543, 549 (6th Cir. 2009). 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 in this case seeks to have the court reverse its dismissal of
of claims raised in a prior habeas corpus action. However, the appropriate course of action for such
a claim is to appeal the decisions in the prior lawsuits to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. A
review of the docket sheet for Case No. 2:11-cv-59 reveals that Plaintiff currently has a pending
appeal in the Sixth Circuit. Therefore, Plaintiff’s complaint is properly dismissed.
Having conducted the review now required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the
Court determines that Plaintiff’s action 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 must next decide whether an appeal of this action would be in good faith
within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3). See McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601, 611
(6th Cir. 1997). For the same reasons that the Court dismisses the action, the Court discerns no
good-faith basis for an appeal. Should Plaintiff appeal this decision, the Court will assess the
$455.00 appellate filing fee pursuant to § 1915(b)(1), see McGore, 114 F.3d at 610-11, unless
Plaintiff is barred from proceeding in forma pauperis, e.g., by the “three-strikes” rule of § 1915(g).
If he is barred, he will be required to pay the $455.00 appellate filing fee in one lump sum.
This is a dismissal as described by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g).
A Judgment consistent with this Opinion will be entered.
Dated: May 25, 2011
/s/ Robert Holmes Bell
ROBERT HOLMES BELL
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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