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Hernandez v. Pugh

United States District Court, Sixth Circuit

April 29, 2013

ALEJANDRO HERNANDEZ, Plaintiff,
v.
MICHAEL PUGH, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OF OPINION AND ORDER

[Resolving ECF No. 8]

BENITA Y. PEARSON, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on pro se Plaintiff Alejandro Hernandez's "Objection to Memorandum of Opinion and Order" (ECF No. 8). For the following reasons, Plaintiff's "Objection" is denied.

I. Background

Plaintiff Alejandro Hernandez is a federal inmate incarcerated at Northeast Ohio Correctional Center ("NEOCC"), a prison owned and operated by Corrections Corporation of America ("CCA") in Youngstown, Ohio. On April 17, 2012, he filed a Complaint (ECF No. 1) in this Court against CCA, NEOCC, and NEOCC Warden Michael Pugh alleging a variety of constitutional claims, including equal protection, conditions of confinement, excessive force, retaliation, and due process. He also alleged a claim under the Alien Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1350.

The Complaint (ECF No. 1) did not provide a coherent set of facts but, rather, listed a series of claims regarding his alleged treatment at NEOCC. For example, Plaintiff claimed the prison was locked down "only for rumor." ECF No. 1 at 4. He claimed Defendant Pugh and an entity he described as "CO' partnership" repeatedly told him that "foreign or criminal Alien[s]" have no rights in a private prison. ECF No. 1 at 4, 6. He maintained "the commissary price is very higher not control price" and fraudulent. ECF No. 1 at 5, 7. He stated that all food served at NEOCC is of poor nutritional quality. ECF No. 1 at 7. Plaintiff also stated that "Federal inmates taxpayer seriously violation U.S. Constitution." ECF No. 1 at 5. He claimed generally he had been subjected to "racial discrimination and racial segregation by prison authorities." ECF No. 1 at 6. He asserted that he had the right to petition CCA and NEOCC for redress of his grievances. ECF No. 1 at 6.

Plaintiff also claimed generally his due process and equal protection rights had been violated. ECF No. 1 at 5. He stated prison authorities retaliated against him for exercising his rights under the Constitution. ECF No. 1 at 4. He asserted violations of the First, Fifth, Eighth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. ECF No. 1 at 4-6. Finally, he asserted a claim under the Alien Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1350, against Defendant Pugh and the "CO" Partnership for "violation of the law of Nations or a treaty of the United States." ECF No. 1 at 5.

Plaintiff attached a document to his Complaint (ECF No. 1) entitled "Notice Pro Se ' Invoke 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 Emergency Motion." ECF No. 1-1. In this Notice, Plaintiff restated the claims set forth above and also alleged several additional claims. He claimed summarily that Defendant Pugh used excessive force on Plaintiff. ECF No. 1-1 at 1. He asserted Defendant Pugh and the "CO" Partnership retaliated against him for filing a civil rights lawsuit by denying him access to the law library. ECF No. 1-1 at 1-2. He further claimed "MR. Pugh-warden defendant and CO' partnership they said in quantum language whether the inmate need the prison open need to fine pays via commissary buying, that happen in March 21, 2012." ECF No. 1-1 at 2. With regard to his claims of alleged federal taxpayer violations, Plaintiff stated as follows:

The plaintiff claimant that, MR. Pugh warden violated Federal code and still same violation, not Federal inmate can't taxpayer for use phone, the prevailing party in tax proceeding, other than the United States or any creditor of taxpayer involved may recoup reasonable litigation costs, including attorney's fee. Cash-basis taxpayer could not possible owe taxe[s] on income never received.

ECF No. 1-1 at 2. Plaintiff claimed Defendant Pugh denied him the right to ask for gymnasium equipment on the grounds that Plaintiff is a "criminal alien." ECF No. 1-1 at 2. He also appeared to assert that Defendant Pugh required Plaintiff to pay higher prices in the commissary due to his status as an alien. ECF No. 1-1 at 2.

When Plaintiff filed his complaint, he failed to either pay the full filing fee of $350.00 or submit a financial application seeking in forma pauperis status. On April 25, 2012, the Court ordered Plaintiff to either pay the full filing fee or submit the required financial application. ECF No. 2. On May 14, 2012, Plaintiff submitted a financial application and prisoner account statement per the Court's Order. ECF No. 3. Several weeks later, on June 8, 2012, Plaintiff filed a "Petition for Writ Habeas Corpus Pursuant to Rule 4 and Local Civil Rule 4.2, " which was docketed as a Motion for Relief pursuant to Rule 4 and Local Civil Rule 4.2. ECF No. 4. Plaintiff submitted a $5.00 partial filing fee with his Petition, which was returned to him by the Clerk's Office.

On December 10, 2012, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e). ECF No. 6. The Court dismissed CCA and NEOCC on the grounds that they were not proper parties to this action pursuant to Correctional Services Corp. v. Malesko , 534 U.S. 61 (2001). ECF No. 6 at 5-6. The Court then dismissed Plaintiff's claim under the Alien Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1350, on the grounds that he had failed to sufficiently plead either the factual or legal basis of his claim. ECF No. 6 at 6-9. With respect to Plaintiff's constitutional claims, the Court found that Plaintiff had failed to adequately plead the elements of his equal protection, Eighth Amendment, retaliation, or due process claims. ECF No. 6 at 11-23. Finally, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's claim regarding alleged federal tax violations stemming from his use of the telephone on the grounds that the Complaint (ECF No. 1) failed to adequately set forth either the factual or legal basis of this claim. ECF No. 6 at 24-25.

On the same date, the Court also issued an Order (ECF No. 5) granting Plaintiff's request for permission to proceed in forma pauperis ( ECF No. 3) and ordering that an initial partial fee in the amount of $24.82 be deducted from Plaintiff's prisoner account.

On January 11, 2013, Plaintiff filed the within "Objection to Memorandum of Opinion and Order" (ECF No. 8) seeking reconsideration of the Court's dismissal of his action pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e). ...


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