Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

6th Circuit: Grievances Enjoy First Amendment Protection

On September 29, 2009, the 6th Circuit vacated a district court ruling dismissing a complaint filed by Michigan prisoner Lynn Pasley. The complaint was filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging constitutional violations against Vera Conerly, a prison employee.
Pasley accused Conerly of harassment and intimidation, which she allegedly subjected him to after he threatened to write a grievance against her. As required by 28 U.S.C. 1915A and 1915(e)(2), the district court screened Pasley’s pro se suit and concluded the complaint was frivolous and failed to state a § 1983 claim under the auspices of the Eighth Amendment. Therefore, the case was dismissed prior to service on Conerly.

On appeal, however, the 6th Circuit found that although Pasley’s complaint failed to state an 8th Amendment claim, it did state 1st Amendment retaliation claims sufficient to warrant service on the defendant. Consequently, while the dismissal of Pasley’s 8th Amendment claims was affirmed, the dismissal of his 1st Amendment claims was vacated and remanded for service on the defendant. See: Pasley v. Conerly, 345 F. App'x 981, 985 (6th Cir. 2009)

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Pasley v. Conerly