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Huntley v. Wayne County Jail

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

May 19, 2015

ROLANDO HUNTLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
WAYNE COUNTY JAIL, Defendant.

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

R. STEVEN WHALEN, Magistrate Judge.

On July 10, 2013, Plaintiff Rolando Huntley filed a civil complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendant Wayne County Jail. Before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Dismiss [Doc. #14], which has been referred for a Report and Recommendation pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B). Plaintiff has not responded to the motion. For the reasons discussed below, I recommend that the Motion to Dismiss be GRANTED and that the complaint be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. I further recommend that the Plaintiff not be assessed attorney fees or costs.

I. FACTS

In his complaint, Plaintiff alleges that while he was an inmate at the Wayne County Jail, his medical needs were not met. More specifically, he claims that he was not provided with glasses, did not receive his medication, and that jail staff ignored other problems, including a hernia. However, in a "Reply/Rebuttal" to Defendant's answer [Doc. #12], Plaintiff states that he was provided necessary treatment, and does not object to his case being dismissed, so long as he does not have to pay Defendant's attorney fees:

"The Plaintiff should not be ordered to pay any attorney costs because the claims set forth were not frivolous. In Division III (WCJ), the Plaintiff was granted all the claims set forth herein. I was provided common fare, I was sent to DMC and scheduled for surgery on my hernia, and provided mental health treatment. Therefore, if I am not ordered to pay any attorney costs I don't object to the motion to dismiss."

Plaintiff's records from the Wayne County Jail, submitted with Defendant's motion, show that Plaintiff received regular, on-going medical treatment and evaluations in 2012 and 2013, when he was an inmate.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) provides for dismissal of a complaint "for failure of the pleading to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Rule 12(b) also provides that if, on consideration of a motion under paragraph (6), "matters outside the pleading are presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion shall be treated as one for summary judgment and disposed of as provided in Rule 56 (summary judgment)." In assessing a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court accepts the plaintiff's factual allegations as true, and asks whether, as a matter of law, the plaintiff is entitled to legal relief. Rippy v. Hattaway, 270 F.3d 416, 419 (6th Cir. 2001).

In Bell Atlantic Corp. V. Twombley, 550 U.S. 544, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007), the Supreme Court set forth what a plaintiff must plead in order to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. The Court held that although a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, its "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level... on the assumption that all the allegations in the complaint are true." Id., 127 S.Ct. at 1964-65 (internal citations and quotation marks omitted). Further, "a plaintiff's obligation to provide the grounds of his entitlement to relief requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do." Id. (Internal citations and quotation marks omitted). See also Association of Cleveland Fire Fighters v. City of Cleveland, Ohio 502 F.3d 545, 548 (6th Cir. 2007). Stated differently, a complaint must "state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic, at 1974 (emphasis added).

Summary judgment is appropriate where "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R.Civ.P. 56(c). To prevail on a motion for summary judgment, the non-moving party must show sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact. Klepper v. First American Bank, 916 F.2d 337, 341-42 (6th Cir. 1990). Drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party, the Court must determine "whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). Entry of summary judgment is appropriate "against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celetox Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). When the "record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party, " there is no genuine issue of material fact, and summary judgment is appropriate. Simmons-Harris v. Zelman, 234 F.3d 945, 951 (6th Cir. 2000).

Once the moving party in a summary judgment motion identifies portions of the record which demonstrate the absence of a genuine dispute over material facts, the opposing party may not then "rely on the hope that the trier of fact will disbelieve the movant's denial of a disputed fact, " but must make an affirmative evidentiary showing to defeat the motion. Street v. J.C. Bradford & Co., 886 F.2d 1472, 1479 (6th Cir. 1989). The non-moving party must identify specific facts in affidavits, depositions or other factual material showing "evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the plaintiff." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252 (emphasis added). If, after sufficient opportunity for discovery, the non-moving party cannot meet that burden, summary judgment is clearly proper. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 322-23.

III. DISCUSSION

Under the Eighth Amendment, prisoners have a constitutional right to medical care. Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 103; 97 S.Ct. 285, 50 L.Ed.2d 251 (1976). Prison officials may not act with deliberate indifference to the medical needs of their prisoners. Id. at 104. An Eighth Amendment claim has two components, one objective and the other subjective. Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834, 114 S.Ct. 1970, 128 L.Ed.2d 811 (1994); Comstock v. McCrary, 273 F.3d 693, 702 (6th Cir. 2002). Under the objective component, "the plaintiff must allege that the medical need at issue is sufficiently serious.'" Id. Under the subjective component, "the plaintiff must allege facts which, if true, would show that the official being sued subjectively perceived facts from which to infer substantial risk to the prisoner, that he did in fact draw the inference, and that he then disregarded that risk." Id.

As to the objective component of a deliberate indifference claim, I will assume that Plaintiff's medical conditions were sufficiently serious in nature. However, as to the subjective claim, his jail records show that he did in fact receive medical treatment. More significantly, in his March 26, 2014 submission to the Court [Doc. #12], he acknowledges that he has been provided with all of the treatment he requested, and states that he does not object to the dismissal of his complaint, as long as he is not ordered to pay attorney fees. Under these circumstances, his complaint should in fact be dismissed.

IV. CONCLUSION

I recommend that Defendant's Motion to Dismiss [Doc. #14] be GRANTED and that the complaint be DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. I further recommend that the Plaintiff not be assessed attorney fees or costs.

Any objections to this Report and Recommendation must be filed within fourteen (14) days of service of a copy hereof, including weekends and intervening holidays, as provided for in 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1) and E.D. Mich. LR 72.1(d)(2). Failure to file specific objections constitutes a waiver of any further right of appeal. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 106 S.Ct. 466, 88 L.Ed.2d 435 (1985); Howard v. Secretary of HHS, 932 F.2d 505 (6th Cir. 1991); United States v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947 (6th Cir. 1981). Filing of objections which raise some issues but fail to raise others with specificity will not preserve all the objections a party might have to this Report and Recommendation. Willis v. Sullivan, 931 F.2d 390, 401 (6th Cir. 1991); Smith v. Detroit Fed'n of Teachers Local 231, 829 F.2d 1370, 1373 (6th Cir. 1987). Pursuant to E.D. Mich. LR 72.1(d)(2), a copy of any objections is to be served upon this Magistrate Judge.

Within fourteen (14) days of service of any objecting party's timely filed objections, including weekends and intervening holidays, the opposing party may file a response. The response shall be not more than twenty (20) pages in length unless by motion and order such page limit is extended by the court. The response shall address specifically, and in the same order raised, each issue contained within the objections.


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