Alexander v. Lake Erie Correctional Institution
Memorandum Opinion and Order. For the reasons stated, the plaintiff's complaint is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). This dismissal is without prejudice to a subsequent action the plaintiff may fileagainst proper defendants. The Court further certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this decision could not be taken in good faith. Signed by Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr on 6/28/2017. (R,Sh)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
Michael C. Alexander,
Lake Erie Correctional Institution,
Case No. 1: 17 CV 591
JUDGE SOLOMON OLIVER, JR.
MEMORANDUM OF OPINION
Pro se plaintiff Michael C. Alexander has filed this in forma pauperis civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the Lake Erie Correctional Institution, the prison in which he
is presently incarcerated.
He alleges that his First Amendment rights were violated by two prison “employees” in
October 2016, who allegedly refused to allow him to bring a Holy Quran and prayer rug with him
while being transported to the Cuyahoga County Jail, even though two other inmates being
transported on the same day were permitted to bring their King James Bibles. (See Am. Complt.,
Doc. No. 6 at 3-4.) He alleges the employees discriminated against him on the basis of his Muslim
religion, and he seeks damages and an order that disciplinary action be brought against the
employees. (Id. at 5.)
Although pro se pleadings are liberally construed and held to less stringent standards than
formal pleadings drafted by lawyers, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365 (1982) (per curiam);
Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972), federal district courts are required, under 28 U.S.C.
§1915(e)(2)(B), to screen all in forma pauperis actions, and to dismiss before service any such action
that the court determines is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim on which relief can be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. See Hill v.
Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 470 (6th Cir. 2010).
Although the plaintiff has alleged a plausible violation of his First Amendment rights, his
allegations are insufficient to state a plausible claim against the prison. It is well-established that
respondeat superior or vicarious liability is not a basis for relief under §1983. Canton, Ohio v.
Harris, 489 U.S. 378, 385 (1989) (citing Monell v. Dep't of Soc. Serv. of the City of New York, 436
U.S. 658, 694-95 (1978)). The plaintiff has not alleged facts plausibly suggesting that a policy or
custom of the prison itself was the cause of the alleged constitutional violation. Accordingly, he has
not alleged facts sufficient to impose liability on the prison.
For the reasons stated above, the plaintiff’s complaint is dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B). This dismissal is without prejudice to a subsequent action the plaintiff may file
against proper defendants. The Court further certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915(a)(3), that an
appeal from this decision could not be taken in good faith.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
s/ Solomon Oliver, Jr.
SOLOMON OLIVER, JR.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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