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Spencer v. Mich. Dep't of Corrections

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

March 27, 2015

TIMOTHY SPENCER, Plaintiff,
v.
MICH. DEP'T OF CORRECTIONS, DANIEL HEYNES, MICHAEL MARTIN, DEPHNE JOHNSON, PAUL KLEE, SHERMAN CAMPBELL, SCOTT SCHOOLEY, KEITH MCCONNELL, BRIAN EVERS, RANDY GALLUP, KAST, RANDALL, EICHENBURG, SISSEN, LANCE THOMPSON, JOHN DOE 1, and JOHN DOE 2, Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING IN PART THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT & RECOMMENDATION

SEAN F. COX, District Judge.

Plaintiff Timothy Spencer ("Plaintiff"), a State of Michigan prisoner proceeding pro se, requested protective custody after he was assaulted. The Defendants-the Michigan Department of Corrections and various employees and administrators thereof-denied Plaintiff's request for protective segregation. Plaintiff refused to return to his housing unit and was disciplined by Defendants as a result.

Plaintiff was subsequently confined to the High Side Bench Cage ("HSB Cage")-a 6' × 6' × 10' wire cage-for nine days. The only furnishing in the HSB Cage is a small metal bench. Plaintiff was forced to sleep on the concrete floor with no mattress, blankets, or bedding of any kind. Plaintiff also was denied regular access to a toilet, was allowed one cup of water per guard shift, and was denied his thyroid medication while confined in the HSB Cage. At some point, Defendants also placed visitor restrictions on Plaintiff such that he was not entitled to visit with clergy members.

Plaintiff commenced the instant action on March 28, 2014, alleging a number of constitutional violations in connection with the circumstances relating to the Defendants' denial of Plaintiff's request for protective segregation.[1] This matter was referred to Magistrate Judge Patricia Morris for determination of all non-dispositive motions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A) and Report and Recommendation pursuant to § 636(b)(1)(B). Defendants subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment [dkt. 30], and Plaintiff filed a motion for preliminary injunction [dkt. 34].

I. REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

In a sixteen page Report and Recommendation issued on January 23, 2015, Magistrate Judge Morris recommended that this Court: 1) grant Defendants' motion for summary judgment; and 2) deny Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction.

Pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b), a party objecting to the recommended disposition of a matter by a Magistrate Judge must file objections to the Report and Recommendation within fourteen (14) days after being served with a copy of the Report and Recommendation. "The district judge to whom the case is designed shall make a de novo determination upon the record, or after additional evidence, of any portion of the magistrate judge's disposition to which specific written objection has been made." Id. Plaintiff filed timely objections to the Report and Recommendation. See Dkt. 42.

II. ANALYSIS

After a thorough review of the court file, the Report and Recommendation, and the objections to the Report and Recommendation filed by Plaintiff, this Court:

A. Adopts Sections II.A., II.B.1.a.-c., II.B.2.a., the portions of II.B.2.b. relating to the deprivation of medication and property, II.B.2.c., II.B.3., and III. of the Report and Recommendation and incorporates by reference in this Opinion those portions of the Report and Recommendation;
B. Declines to adopt the balance of the Report and Recommendation; and
C. For the reasons that follow, concludes that Defendants' motion for summary judgment must be granted in part and denied in part, and Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction must be denied.

A. Plaintiff's Objections

In the Report and Recommendation, the Magistrate Judge concluded that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as to all claims except the following: claim (3) that Plaintiff was denied protective segregation after he was assaulted; claim (4) that Plaintiff was confined to the HSB Cage without a mattress, bedding, medication or his property; and claim (5) that Plaintiff was denied due process when he was not present at his property hearing. Plaintiff objects to this determination on the ground that the Magistrate Judge incorrectly concluded that Plaintiff's August 16, 2013 grievance was properly rejected as duplicative of Plaintiff's August 19, 2013 grievance. Plaintiff insists that the grievances are not duplicative because each raises separate issues. Plaintiff claims that the August 16, 2013 grievance relates to Defendants' refusal to grant Plaintiff segregated protection, while the August 19, 2013 grievance relates to the conditions of Plaintiff's confinement in the HSB Cage. See Dkt. 38 p. 4. The ...


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