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Mayfield v. Miles

United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division

February 20, 2015

RICHARD MILES, ET AL., Defendants.


Honorable Linda V. Parker, J.

On January 29, 2013, Plaintiff Charles Mayfield commenced this civil rights action against several defendants alleging a violation of his rights under the Eighth Amendment.[1] On February 6, 2014, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint against the only defendant remaining at that time, Dr. Richard Miles (“Dr. Miles”). (ECF No. 34, Ex. A; ECF No. 40.) In his Amended Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that from November 2010 through mid-December 2012, he was seen by Dr. Miles who was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical condition, to wit, multiple myeloma. (ECF No. 34 ¶¶ 2-21.). This matter has been referred for all pretrial matters to Magistrate Judge Michael Hluchaniuk, including a hearing and determination of all non-dispositive matters pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and/or a report and recommendation (“R&R”) on all dispositive matters pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). (ECF No. 53.)

On April 14, 2014, Plaintiff filed a motion for temporary restraining order (“tro”). Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk issued a R&R on September 3, 2014, in which he recommended that this Court deny the motion. (ECF No. 76.) On November 4, 2014, after the deadline for filing objections to the R&R passed, with no objections filed, this Court adopted the R&R and denied Plaintiff’s motion. (ECF No. 80.) Plaintiff subsequently filed a motion seeking an extension of time to file his objections, indicating that he only became aware of the R&R when he received a copy of the Court’s decision adopting it. (ECF No. 81.) In an order filed December 2, 2014, this Court granted Plaintiff’s motion and extended the time for him to file any objections.[2] (ECF No. 82.) The Court indicated that it would decide whether it was necessary to correct, clarify, or otherwise modify it’s November 4, 2014 decision once it received Plaintiff’s objections. (Id.) Plaintiff’s objections to the September 3, 2014 R&R, signed and dated January 5, 2015, were filed on January 8, 2015. (ECF No. 86.)

In the meantime, Dr. Miles had filed a motion for summary judgment on July 14, 2014, in which he sought dismissal of Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. (ECF No. 69.) Plaintiff filed a response to the motion on September 19, 2014; Dr. Miles filed a reply brief on October 3, 2014. (ECF Nos. 77, 78.) On January 6, 2015, Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk issued an R&R in which he recommends that the Court grant Dr. Miles’ motion. (ECF No. 84.)

In the R&R, Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk summarizes the medical attention Plaintiff has received from various medical providers, including Dr. Miles, from January 2010 through April 14, 2014. (ECF No. 84 at Pg ID 2-9.) Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk finds that “according to the medical record, [P]laintiff has received continuous medical evaluations, tests, treatment and medication while under the care of Dr. Miles, and he continued to receive treatment while under the care of Dr. Michael Brostoski [who took over for Dr. Miles as Plaintiff’s treating physician sometime after April 4, 2012].” (Id. at Pg ID 1104.) Noting that Plaintiff does not dispute the accuracy of the medical evidence, but rather the treatment he has received, Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk concludes that Plaintiff fails to demonstrate deliberate indifference to his medical needs in violation of his constitutional rights. (Id. at Pg ID 1105-07.)

Finally, Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk addresses Plaintiff’s claim that he was denied proper treatment for Hepatitis C in 2014– an assertion not raised in his Amended Complaint but presented only in response to Dr. Miles’ summary judgment motion. (Id. at Pg ID 1107.) Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk identifies two reasons why Plaintiff’s deliberate indifference claim based on Hepatitis C does not defeat Dr. Miles’ summary judgment motion. (Id.) First, new claims cannot be raised in response to a defendant’s summary judgment motion. (Id., citing Tucker v. Union of Needletrades, Indus., & Textile Employees, 407 F.3d 784, 788 (6th Cir. 2005).) Second, the claim does not involve Dr. Miles and relates to care that postdates the filing of this lawsuit by approximately eighteen months. (Id.)

At the conclusion of his R&R, Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk informs the parties that they must file any objections to the R&R within fourteen days. (Id. at Pg ID 1108-09.) He specifically advises that “[a]ny objections must be labeled as ‘Objection No. 1, ’ ‘Objection No. 2’, etc.” and “recite precisely the provision of this Report and Recommendation to which it pertains.” (Id. at Pg ID 1108.) Further, Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk advises that the “[f]ailure to file specific objections constitutes a waiver of any further right of appeal.” (Id., citations omitted). On January 26, 2015, Plaintiff filed objections to the R&R. (ECF No. 87.) Dr. Miles filed a response to Plaintiff’s objections on February 3, 2015. (ECF No. 88.)

Standard of Review

A district judge must review de novo the parts of an R&R to which a party objects. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b). The court must examine the relevant evidence previously reviewed by the magistrate judge and decide whether the recommendation should be accepted, rejected, or modified in whole or in part. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). However, the court “is not required to articulate all of the reasons it rejects a party’s objections.” Thomas v. Halter, 131 F.Supp.2d 942, 944 (E.D. Mich. 2001) (citations omitted).

Moreover, only those objections that are specific are entitled to a de novo review under the statute. Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637 (6th Cir. 1986) (quoting Nettles v. Wainwright, 677 F.2d 404, 410 n. 8 (5th Cir. 1982) (“the district court need not provide de novo review where the objections are “[f]rivolous, conclusive or general.”)). “The parties have the duty to pinpoint those portions of the magistrate[ judge’]s report that the district court must specially consider.” Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Overly general objections do not satisfy the objection requirement. Miller v. Currie, 50 F.3d 373, 380 (6th Cir. 1995). “The objection must be clear enough to enable the district court to discern those issues that are dispositive and contentious.” Id. “[O]bjections disput[ing] the correctness of the magistrate’s recommendation but fail[ing] to specify the findings . . . believed in error” are too general. Id.

Plaintiff’s Objections

If the Court adopts Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk’s January 6, 2015 R&R and grants Dr. Miles’ summary judgment motion, Plaintiff’s objections to the magistrate judge’s earlier R&R concerning Plaintiff’s motion for a tro are moot. Therefore, the Court will address Plaintiff’s objections to the January 6, 2015 R&R first.

Plaintiff asserts several objections to Magistrate Judge Hluchaniuk’s most recent R&R. First, Plaintiff objects to the magistrate judge’s instructions with respect to the labeling of his objections. (ECF No. 87 at Pg ID 1137.) Under the heading “Issues of Controversy Objection No. 1”, Plaintiff next takes issue with the following: (1) the magistrate judge’s finding that Plaintiff does not have multiple myeloma and that his condition is being “monitored” even though no biopsies were done to make a proper assessment of his condition; (2) the admission of an affidavit from Dr. Brostoski, who passed away shorlty after executing the affidavit; and (3) the filing of ...

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