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Young v. Jackson

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

May 18, 2015

Ardra Young, Plaintiff,
v.
Latoya Jackson, Vindha Jayawardena, Michigan Department of Corrections, and Corizon Health, Inc., Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM JUDGMENT PURSUANT TO FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 60(b)(1) [103]

JUDITH E. LEVY, District Judge.

Ardra Young, a prisoner at the Carson City Correctional Facility, filed this pro se complaint on June 22, 2012, under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983, against Latoya Jackson, Vindha Jayawardena, the Michigan Department of Corrections ("MDOC"), and Prison Healthcare Services, Inc., operating as Corizon Health, Inc. ("Corizon"). He alleges that defendants violated the Eighth Amendment when they did not properly treat his knee following a fall. (Dkt. 1). Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint on September 28, 2012. (Dkt. 16).

Following the filing of two dispositive motions by defendants, all but one of the defendants were dismissed from the case. (Dkt. 31 & 73.) On February 25, 2015 the Court issued an order granting summary judgment to the sole remaining defendant and dismissed the case. (Dkt 101.) Plaintiff now brings a motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1). For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies plaintiff's motion.

I. Procedural Background

Following the defendants' first motion for summary judgment, the claims against Corizon survived because the Court held that there was potentially a material issue of fact. Corizon was ordered to respond to an outstanding discovery request. In particular, the Court found that responding to plaintiff's interrogatories would clarify whether Corizon implemented a policy, custom, or practice that violated plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights. (Dkt. 73 at 8).[1]

Corizon responded to plaintiff's interrogatories and subsequently filed a renewed motion for summary judgment on June 27, 2014, and an amended renewed motion for summary judgment on June 30, 2014. (Dkt. 80 & 81.) On December 4, 2014, the Magistrate Judge recommended that the Court grant defendant's amended renewed motion for summary judgment and noted that plaintiff failed to respond to defendant's motion. (Dkt. 86.) The Magistrate Judge based her recommendation on the fact that, even after the additional discovery was completed, plaintiff had failed to provide any evidence that Corizon's treatment decisions were based on an unconstitutional policy, custom, or practice. Id

On December 9, 2014, plaintiff filed a motion to file a supplemental pleading in response to the amended renewed motion for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(d). (Dkt. 87.) Defendant moved to strike the motion. (Dkt. 89.) Following the Court's order granting plaintiff additional time to object to the report and recommendation, plaintiff filed his objections on January 7, 2015, along with a motion for leave to file an amended renewed response and a concurrence with defendant's motion to strike. (Dkt. 93 & 94.) On February 3, 2015, plaintiff filed a renewed motion for leave to file an amended response to defendant's renewed motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. 97.)

On February 23, 2015, the Court issued an Opinion and Order Adopting the Magistrate's Report and Recommendation Granting Defendant's Amended Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment and Denying Defendant's Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment as Moot. The Court also denied Plaintiff's Renewed Motion to File an Amended Response to Defendant's Amended Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment. (Dkt. 101.) That order sets forth in greater detail the facts and procedural history of this lawsuit.

II. Standard of Review

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(1) provides the Court with the discretion to relieve a party from an order on the grounds of mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b)(1). The Sixth Circuit has set forth two situations in which Rule 60(b)(1) may provide relief: "(1) when a party has made an excusable mistake or an attorney has acted without authority, or (2) when the judge has made a substantive mistake of law or fact in the final judgment or order." United States v. Reyes, 307 F.3d 451, 455 (6th Cir.2002).

Rule 60(b) does not afford litigants a second chance to convince the court to rule in his or her favor by presenting a new explanation, new legal theories, or additional evidence. See Jinks v. Allied Signal, Inc., 250 F.3d 381, 385 (6th Cir.2001) (citing Couch v. Travelers Ins. Co., 551 F.2d 958, 959 (5th Cir.1977)). Rule 60(b) motions are not a substitute for an appeal. See Hopper v. Euclid Manor Nursing Home, Inc., 867 F.2d 291, 294 (6th Cir.1989).

III. Analysis

Defendant has failed to demonstrate that the Court committed a substantive mistake of law.

Plaintiff argues that the Court made a substantive mistake of law as a result of it denying "plaintiff's motion to file a response to defendant's motion for summary judgment based on the futility' of the[] affidavits..." (Dkt. 103 at 4.) Plaintiff alleges the Court was mistaken in suggesting that the two affidavits from other prisoners were the only basis for his response to defendant's motion for summary judgment. On the contrary, plaintiff now says that he had a personal affidavit, more than 20 additional ...


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