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White v. Jindal

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

January 14, 2015

MARK WHITE, Plaintiffs,


MONA K. MAJZOUB, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Mark White, currently a prisoner at the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility in Adrian, Michigan, filed this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants Roslyn Jindal (a Physician's Assistant), Corizon Health Incorporated (Corizon) (formerly known as Correctional Medical Services (CMS)) (health-care contractors that provide services to the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC)), Paul Klee (the Warden of the Gus Harrison Facility), and Dr. William Nelson (a former MDOC physician). (Docket no. 1 at 1-2.) In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Jindal, Nelson, Corizon, and CMS violated his Eighth Amendment rights when they were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. ( Id. at 4.) Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Klee violated his rights under the First, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments when he "placed plaintiff in grave personal danger of death or physical injury in violation of MDOC policy." ( Id. ) Through his Complaint, Plaintiff seeks "punitive, compensatory & declaratory damages in excess of [$25, 000] on the deliberate indifferent (sic) claims" and "immediate injunctive treatment & transfer to prevent death or physical injury." ( Id. )

On February 11, 2014, Plaintiff filed his Amended Complaint and added four additional defendants to this matter: (1) Thomas G. Finco (Deputy Director of the MDOC); (2) Bill Collier (the lead psychiatrist at the Gus Harrison facility); (3) Lee McRoberts (the Deputy Warden at the Gus Harrison facility); and (4) C. Condon (a Resident Unit Manager at the Gus Harrison facility). ( See docket no. 14 at 1.) Plaintiff also added two additional claims for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 21 U.S.C. § 12101, and for violations of Michigan's Handicap Civil Rights Laws, M.C.L. 37.1103.[1] ( Id. at 2.)

On March 25, 2014, the undersigned reviewed Plaintiff's Motion for Immediate Temporary Injunction and recommended that the Court grant Plaintiff's Motion because Plaintiff had shown a "specific, immediate, and substantial threat to [his] safety" and because Defendants had failed to provide any evidence to the contrary. (Docket no. 31.) On April 22, 2014, the Court adopted the undersigned's Report and Recommendation and ordered that "Defendants shall transfer plaintiff to an MDOC facility that does not have a high concentration' of members of the Gangster's Disciples prison gang." (Docket no. 44.)

Instead of transferring Plaintiff as the Court ordered, Defendants placed Plaintiff in segregation and filed a Motion for Reconsideration. (Docket no. 47.) Defendant Klee also filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, and Defendants Corizon and Nelson filed a Motion to Dismiss. (Docket nos. 22 and 27.) On June 24, 2014, the Court dismissed Plaintiff's claims against CMS and Nelson because they were barred by the applicable statute of limitations and dismissed Plaintiff's claims against the remaining Medical Defendants without prejudice for improper joinder. (Docket no. 73.) Thus, Plaintiff's remaining claims are limited to his claims against the MDOC Defendants.

Before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion to Appoint Counsel (filed before the Court dismissed the Medical Defendants) (docket no. 66), Plaintiff's Motions for Discovery (docket nos. 86 and 88), Defendants' Motion to Take Plaintiff's Deposition (docket no. 87), and Plaintiff's Motion to Compel Discovery (docket no. 92).[2] The parties each filed responses to the various motions. (Docket nos. 71, 76, 90, 91, and 93.) All pretrial matters have been referred to the undersigned for consideration. (Docket no. 12.) The undersigned has reviewed the pleadings and dispenses with a hearing pursuant to E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(f)(2). The Motions are ready for ruling.

I. Facts and Procedural History

Plaintiff alleges that in October 2013, he was elected to the Warden's Forum. (Docket no. 14.) In this position, Plaintiff was to bring housing complaints to his unit manager and Defendant Klee. ( Id. ) Plaintiff alleges that due to an "explosion of thefts & fights due to gang activity" in November 2013, Plaintiff was asked by his assistant unit managers, King and Donaghy, to provide anonymous information regarding the gang activity. ( Id. ) Plaintiff "felt pressured and threatened, " because one gang, the Gangsters Disciples, "has been known to stab inmates for merely saying their names out loud." ( Id. ) Nevertheless, Plaintiff refused to provide any information. ( Id. ) Plaintiff further alleges that on November 21, 2013, he met with Klee, Defendant McRoberts, and Defendant Condon. ( Id. ) During this meeting, Plaintiff "was outspoken in his belief that administrations (sic) threats to penalize the entire population for gang activity was wrong;" he also voiced concerns over library-access times. ( Id. ) Plaintiff contends that after this meeting, Klee also asked him to provide anonymous information related to the gangs. ( Id. ) Plaintiff states that he again felt pressured and threatened, but he still refused. ( Id. )

Plaintiff asserts that on November 22, 2013, King and Donaghy took all of his property and issued him two "major misconducts" in retaliation for his refusal to cooperate. ( Id. at 6.) Moreover, Plaintiff claims that on December 3, 2013, Condon presided over a hearing related to Plaintiff's misconduct and "within hearing range of numerous inmates... read a misconduct written by Donaghy... [which] contained the words "informant & gangsters disciples." ( Id. ) Plaintiff alleges that Condon "made sure [he] could be overhead by inmates and that he now fears for his life after being called a snitch. ( Id.; see also docket no. 1 at 4.)

Plaintiff also alleges that on December 4, 2013, the day after his hearing, Condon had Plaintiff moved to a new unit that has "numerous gangsters disciples" and that on December 8, 2013, Plaintiff was assaulted by two members of the Gangsters Disciples and threatened with future beatings;[3] they specifically noted that "if any members were transfered (sic) or received misconducts, plaintiff would be stabbed or killed." ( Id. at 6; docket no. 10 at 5; see also docket no. 20 at 1.) Plaintiff also alleges that these individuals gave him 60 days to provide a phone number and address where someone outside the prison could pick up cash for "protection money." ( Id. ) Plaintiff asserts that he requested protection from McRoberts, but on December 20, 2013, McRoberts "called plaintiff to the Officers station and in front of other inmates and with [Condon] present called plaintiff a liar over the entire incident, denied any move or protection, and then threatened plaintiff [by saying], This is the last I want to hear of this matter.'" ( Id. ) Plaintiff, therefore, claims that Klee, McRoberts, and Condon "conspired to punish plaintiff for exercise of his [First Amendment right to] free speech... and are refusing to provide proper protection in violation of [the Eighth Amendment]." ( Id. at 7.)

I. Plaintiff's Motions for Discovery [86 and 88]

Plaintiff's Motions for Discovery asks the Court to order Defendants to produce various documents for inspection and copying under Fed.R.Civ.P. 34. (Docket nos. 86 and 88.) Such requests, however, are improper. While Plaintiff may file a Motion to Compel responses to discovery under Fed.R.Civ.P. 37 if Defendants fail to properly respond, he must first serve Defendants with such discovery requests as provided in Fed.R.Civ.P. 26, 33, and 34. That is, Plaintiffs' discovery requests must first be directed to Defendants, not filed with the Court. Plaintiff's Motions will be denied.

II. Plaintiff's Motion to Compel [92]

While Plaintiff's Motions for Discovery were improper, Defendants note that they "treated Plaintiff's motions as discovery requests and sent two October 3, 2014 responses." Docket no. 90 at 2.) Defendants attached copies of their discovery responses. (Docket no. 90-1.) Through his Motion, Plaintiff makes the following discovery requests[4]:

REQUEST NO. 1: ANY AND ALL E-mail or electronic communications regarding inmate Mark White #228524 between Defendants Klee, McRoberts & Condon and any other party between the dates January 1, 2013 and September 1, 2014;
REQUEST NO. 2: ANY AND ALL electronic messages or E-mail with Central Office between Defendants Klee, McRoberts & Condon between October 1, 2013 and September 1, 2014 regarding gang activity, thefts, strong arm robbery & extortion reports by any inmate housed at Adrian Correctional Facility during the periods afore noted;
REQUEST NO. 3: ANY AND ALL misconduct reports of assault or assaultive behavior by inmate Terry Ridley #186123 during inmate Ridley's corrections history. Including, mental health history & statements and misconduct findings of the assault on Unit #2 C/O Clark on 1/16/14 while Mr. Ridley resided in #2-150-A;
REQUEST NO. 4: ANY AND ALL misconduct history of assaults, assaultive behavior, possession of weapons by inmate T. Hill #741429, including all misconduct reports and statements by staff from the misconduct in January ...

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