United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
Rebecca Grady Jennings, District Judge
Brandon Mobley, a pro se prisoner, filed this 42
U.S.C. § 1983 civil-rights action. This case is before
the Court for screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A
and McGore v. Wrigglesworth, 114 F.3d 601 (6th Cir.
1997), overruled on other grounds by Jones v. Bock,
549 U.S. 199 (2007). For the following reasons, this case
will be dismissed.
STATEMENT OF CLAIMS
time he filed his complaint, Plaintiff was incarcerated at
the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections (LMDC), which
he names as Defendant. His complaint states that he was
previously incarcerated at the Community Corrections Center
in Louisville where he began working on the road crew on July
5, 2018, with an agreement “that after working 20
consecutive days Monday through Friday my previous booking
fees and debts were to be paid off, cleared and I was to
receive $12.00 a day for the 20 consecutive and everyday
worked.” He states that he worked 32 days at $12.00
along with a few days on which he worked “doing
sanitation” for $4.00 a day. Plaintiff states that he
has yet to be paid, which he has been told is due to a change
in computer systems.
asks for $412.00 in monetary damages and $550.00 in punitive
prisoner initiates a civil action seeking redress from a
governmental entity, officer, or employee, the trial court
must review the complaint and dismiss the action, if the
Court determines that it is frivolous or malicious, fails to
state a claim upon which relief may be granted, or seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief. See 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(b)(1) and (2). A
claim is legally frivolous when it lacks an arguable basis
either in law or in fact. Neitzke v. Williams, 490
U.S. 319, 325 (1989). The Court may, therefore, dismiss a
claim as frivolous where it is based on an indisputably
meritless legal theory or where the factual contentions are
clearly baseless. Id. at 327. When determining
whether Plaintiff has stated a claim upon which relief can be
granted, the Court must construe the complaint in a light
most favorable to Plaintiff and accept all factual
allegations as true. Prater v. City of Burnside,
Ky., 289 F.3d 417, 424 (6th Cir. 2002). While a
reviewing court must liberally construe pro se
pleadings, Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364, 365
(1982) (per curiam), to avoid dismissal, a complaint must
include “enough facts to state a claim to relief that
is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
does not have a constitutional right to receive wages for
work performed in a prison work assignment. The Sixth Circuit
has consistently found that prisoners have no
constitutionally protected liberty interest in prison
employment under the Fourteenth Amendment. See,
e.g., Dellis v. Corr. Corp. of Am., 257 F.3d
508, 511 (6th Cir. 2001) (holding that district court
properly dismissed as frivolous the plaintiff's claim
that he was fired from his prison job); Newsom v.
Norris, 888 F.2d 371, 374 (6th Cir. 1989) (holding that
there is no constitutional right to prison employment);
Carter v. Tucker, 69 Fed.Appx. 678, 680 (6th Cir.
2003) (same). Morever, “as the Constitution and federal
law do not create a property right for inmates in a job, they
likewise do not create a property right to wages for work
performed by inmates.” Carter, 69 Fed.Appx. at
680 (citing Williams v. Meese, 926 F.2d 994, 997
(10th Cir. 1991), and James v. Quinlan, 866 F.2d
627, 629-30 (3d Cir. 1989)).
Plaintiff had a property right to his wages under state law,
he does not state a due process claim because he does not
allege that available post-deprivation remedies were
inadequate to remedy his loss. Under Parratt v.
Taylor, 451 U.S. 527 (1981), overruled on other
grounds, Daniels v. Williams, 474 U.S. 327 (1986), a
person deprived of property by a “random and
unauthorized act” of a state employee has no federal
due process claim unless the state fails to afford an
adequate post-deprivation remedy. If an adequate
post-deprivation remedy exists, the deprivation, although
real, is not “without due process of law.”
Parratt, 451 U.S. at 537. This rule applies to both
negligent and intentional deprivation of property, as long as
the deprivation was not done pursuant to an established state
procedure. See Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517,
530-36 (1984). Because Plaintiffs claim is premised upon
allegedly unauthorized acts of a state official, he must
plead and prove the inadequacy of state post-deprivation
remedies. See Copeland v. Machulis, 57 F.3d 476,
479-80 (6th Cir. 1995); Gibbs v. Hopkins, 10 F.3d
373, 378 (6th Cir. 1993). Plaintiff does not allege that
state post-deprivation remedies are inadequate. Under settled
Sixth Circuit authority, a prisoner's failure to sustain
this burden requires dismissal of the due-process claim.
See Brooks v. Dutton, 751 F.2d 197, 199 (6th Cir.
foregoing reasons, the Court will, by separate Order, dismiss
this action for failure to state a ...