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Hall v. Chapman

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

February 17, 2017

Walter L. Hall, Plaintiff,
v.
Officer Chapman, FCI-Milan, UNICOR-Paint A; N. Jukuri, Sheet Metal Worker Foreman; Finch, General Manager of UNICOR Defendants.

          Hon. Terrence G. Berg Hon. Anthony P. Patti

          ORDER MODIFYING REPORT AND RECOMENDATION (Dkt. 30) AND DENYING THE DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS (Dkt. 13) AS MOOT

          TERRENCE G. BERG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This is a prisoner civil rights action brought by a Michigan state prisoner, Plaintiff Walter Lee Hall, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The procedural history relevant to the instant Order is as follows:

• On October 23, 2015 Plaintiff filed his original Complaint. (Dkt. 1).
• On March 7, 2016 Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's original Complaint. (Dkt. 13).
• On May 10, 2016 Plaintiff filed a motion to amend his original Complaint. (Dkt. 20).
• On December 12, 2016 Magistrate Judge Anthony Patti filed a Report and Recommendation granting in part and denying in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss. (Dkt. 30).
• On December 21, 2016 Judge Patti filed an Opinion and Order granting in part and denying in part Plaintiff's motion to amend his original Complaint. (Dkt. 33).
• On December 27, 2016 Defendants filed Objections to the Report and Recommendation. (Dkt. 34).
• On January 9, 2017 Plaintiff filed a “response to courts report and recommendations” expressing his intention to file an amended complaint in accordance with what Plaintiff understood to be the Court's instructions. (Dkt. 37).
• On January 17, 2017 Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint. (Dkt. 38).
• On January 18, 2017 Defendants filed a “response to Plaintiff's filing at Dkt. 37, ” indicating, among other things, that they did not object to Plaintiff's filing an amended complaint. (Dkt. 39).

         Under normal circumstances, this case should be at the stage where this Court is in a position to review the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge in light of any objections filed by the parties. Here, the Magistrate Judge recommended that part of the Complaint be dismissed, as requested by Defendants, but that some of the claims be allowed to continue-thus recommending that Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the Complaint be granted in part and denied in part. (Dkt. 30). The Defendants objected to this recommendation, asking this Court to dismiss the original Complaint in its entirety. (Dkt. 34). All good so far, but the matter has been somewhat confused by the fact that Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint (Dkt. 38)-which dropped the claims that the Magistrate Judge recommended for dismissal-before this Court had the chance to rule on Defendants' Objections to the Report and Recommendation.

         Looking at the pleadings and orders, Plaintiff had good reason to think that he was expected to file his Amended Complaint when he did because the Magistrate Judge had issued an Order granting in part Plaintiff's motion to amend his Complaint. (Dkt 33). In that Order, Magistrate Judge Patti stated, “No later than 21 days following this Court's disposition of Defendants' March 7, 2016 motion to dismiss, Plaintiff SHALL” file a first amended complaint “which conforms to this order and any other order filed in this case.” (Dkt. 33 at Pg ID 430). Although the reference to “this Court's disposition” was intended to direct Plaintiff to file his Amended Complaint after this Court-that is, the District Judge- had reviewed the Report and Recommendation and disposed of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, by either accepting or rejecting the Report and Recommendation, Plaintiff apparently did not understand the Order that way because he mailed to the Court on January 10, 2017 an Amended Complaint “in direct response to [Magistrate Judge Patti's] opinion and order dated December 21, 2016.” (Dkt. 38 at Pg ID 359). As Defendants acknowledge in their ...


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