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Ford v. Haas

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

November 2, 2016

BRIAN FORD, Plaintiff,
v.
RANDALL HAAS, et al., Defendants.

         OPINION AND ORDER OVERRULING DEFENDANTS' OBJECTION (DKT. 26), DENYING AS MOOT PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR EXTENSION OF TIME TO RESPOND (DKT. 28), ACCEPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT & RECOMMENDATION (DKT. 25), AND DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (DKT. 21)

          MARK A. GOLDSMITH, United States District Judge.

         On July 17, 2016, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 21), claiming that Plaintiff Robert Harnden failed to exhaust his administrative remedies in accordance with the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), before initiating this prisoner civil rights action. This Court referred the motion to the magistrate judge for a report and recommendation (“R&R”). See 6/6/2016 Order (Dkt. 10).

         On September 20, 2016, Magistrate Judge David R. Grand issued an R&R (Dkt. 25), which recommends that this Court deny Defendants' motion. Defendants filed an objection to the R&R (Dkt. 26), to which Plaintiff has yet to respond.[1] For the reasons discussed below, the Court overrules Defendants' objection, accepts the recommendation contained in the R&R, and denies Defendants' motion for summary judgment.

         I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The Court reviews de novo any portion of the R&R to which a specific objection has been made. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); Alspaugh v. McConnell, 643 F.3d 162, 166 (6th Cir. 2011) (“Only those specific objections to the magistrate's report made to the district court will be preserved for appellate review; making some objections but failing to raise others will not preserve all the objections a party may have.”). Any arguments made for the first time in objections to an R&R are deemed waived. Uduko v. Cozzens, 975 F.Supp.2d 750, 757 (E.D. Mich. 2013).

         II. ANALYSIS[2]

         In their motion for summary judgment, Defendants argued that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, because “he did not follow the procedures of the [Michigan Department of Corrections' (“MDOC”)] policy by filing a Step III grievance appeal prior to filing this lawsuit.” Defs. Mot. at 7-8. The magistrate judge disagreed, finding that the “undisputed evidence” demonstrated that Plaintiff “made multiple requests for a Step II grievance appeal form so that he could comply with his exhaustion obligations, but that (contrary to MDOC policy) he received no response to these requests.” R&R at 7. Because “there remains at least a genuine issue of material fact as to whether [Plaintiff] was effectively thwarted from utilizing the grievance procedure, ” the magistrate judge recommends that Defendants' motion for summary judgment be denied. Id.

         Defendants object to the magistrate judge's conclusion that Plaintiff exhausted his administrative remedies as to all Defendants. Specifically, Defendants contend that, because the initial grievance only identified four individuals - M. Williams, Eric Herbert, Michael White, and Robert Brandt-Leduc - Defendants Randall Haas, George Stephenson, Kristopher Steece, Eutrilla Taylor, and John Klimowicz are entitled to summary judgment based on improper exhaustion. Defs. Obj. at 2-3.[3] However, Defendants did not raise this argument in their initial motion for summary judgment. Because arguments made for the first time in objections to an R&R are deemed waived, Uduko, 975 F.Supp.2d at 757, the Court overrules Defendants' objection.

         Defendants do not otherwise object to the R&R and, upon review, the Court finds that the magistrate judge reached the right conclusion for the right reason. Accordingly, the Court accepts the recommendation in the R&R and denies Defendants' motion for summary judgment.

         III. CONCLUSION

         For the reasons stated above, the Court overrules Defendants' objection (Dkt. 26), denies as moot Plaintiff's request for an extension of time (Dkt. 28), accepts the magistrate judge's recommendation contained in the R&R (Dkt. 25), and denies Defendants' motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 21).

         SO ...


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