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White v. Jindal

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

February 7, 2015

MARK WHITE, Plaintiff,
ROSILYN JINDAL, et al., Defendants.


MONA K. MAJZOUB, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff Mark White, currently a prisoner at the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility (ARF) 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 adds 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.

On January 14, 2015, the Court granted Plaintiff's Motion for Appointment of Counsel, noting that while Plaintiff had proceeded in this matter without counsel thus far, the nature of his discovery requests raised security concerns such that certain documents would need to be produced for attorney's eyes only, necessitating the appointment of counsel. (Docket no. 97.) The Court also granted Defendants' Motion to Take Plaintiff's Deposition but required that Defendants' wait to do so until Plaintiff's counsel is appointed. ( Id. )

Before the Court are Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (docket no. 82) and Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (docket no. 94), both of which were pending at the time the Court entered its January 14, 2015 Order. Defendants have filed Responses to Plaintiff's Motions. (Docket nos. 89 and 95.) Plaintiff filed a Supplement to his Motion for Summary Judgment. (Docket no. 83.) All pretrial matters have been referred to the undersigned for consideration. (Docket no. 12.) The undersigned has reviewed the pleadings, dispenses with a hearing pursuant to E.D. Mich. L.R. 7.1(f)(2), and issues this Report and Recommendation.

I. Recommendation

For the reasons stated herein, the undersigned recommends that Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment [82] be DENIED without prejudice and that Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings [94] be DENIED.

II. Report

A. Facts

Although not contained in his initial Complaint, Plaintiff alleges in his Motion for Summary Judgment that he was first approached in February 2013 by ARF C/O Thompson about snitching on inmates doing drugs in ARF. He states that Thompson found two pills on the ground near Plaintiff's workstation and that Thompson threatened to issue Plaintiff a major misconduct if Plaintiff refused to help. When Plaintiff refused, "the misconduct issued and the grievance [that Plaintiff filed later] was rejected and Plaintiff found guilty." (Docket no. 82 at 6.) Plaintiff asserts that this type of conduct continued from ARF staff until he ultimately sent a request for an investigation to the Michigan Legislative Ombudsman, asking for assistance. ( Id. ) Plaintiff states that the Ombudsman did initially help, and he was elected to the Warden's Forum to help bring prisoner complaints to the attention of the Warden in September 2013. ( Id. at 6-7.)

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. (Docket no. 14; see also docket no. 82 at 7.) 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.) He contends that these misconducts resulted from his refusal to identify members of the Gangsters Disciples. (Docket no. 82 at 8.) Plaintiff claims that he then consented to Defendants' request on the condition that Defendants agreed to dismiss the misconducts against him, at which time Defendants issued him another misconduct for attempted bribery. ( Id. At 8.) Plaintiff then 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." (Docket no. 14 at 6; ...

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