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Horn v. Tuscola County

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

March 27, 2017

Stephen Horn, Plaintiff,
v.
Tuscola County and Officer Ramirez, Defendants.

          Elizabeth A. Stafford, Mag. Judge

          OPINION AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS TO REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [62], ADOPTING IN PART REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [60], AND GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [56]

          Judith E. Levy United States District Judge

         On November 7, 2013, plaintiff Stephen Horn filed a complaint against defendants Tuscola County and Officer Jonathan Ramirez, alleging they violated his Eighth Amendment rights and were grossly negligent with regard to his medical needs on and after February 18, 2011. (Dkt. 1.)[1] On May 27, 2016, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. 56.) On November 8, 2016, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) on defendants' motion for summary judgment, and recommended the motion be granted. (Dkt. 60.) On November 22, 2016, plaintiff filed objections to the R&R. (Dkt. 62.)

         For the reasons set forth below, plaintiff's objections are denied, the Report and Recommendation is adopted in part, and defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted.

         I. Background

         A detailed recitation of the background of this case is included in the Magistrate Judge's R&R (Dkt. 60), and will be adopted here. That said, this case results from plaintiff being given Ambien and Seroquel, two sleep medications, on February 18, 2011, even though they were not prescribed for him.

         The Magistrate Judge recommended granting the motion for summary judgment. First, plaintiff was not entitled to an adverse inference for alleged spoliation of evidence. (Dkt. 60 at 6-8.) Second, there is no question of material fact that would demonstrate defendants violated plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights due to deliberate indifference to his medical needs, and even if plaintiff could show deliberate indifference, defendant Officer Ramirez is entitled to qualified immunity. As a result, the Magistrate Judge found that plaintiff could not maintain his municipal liability claim. (Id. at 8-13.) Finally, there is no dispute of material fact that would demonstrate Officer Ramirez was grossly negligent with respect to plaintiff's medical needs and safety. (Id. at 13-14.)

         Plaintiff filed objections, arguing the Magistrate Judge erred in reaching each of the above-described recommended findings. (Dkt. 62.)

         II. Legal Standard

         A magistrate judge's Report and Recommendation is made pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). “[T]his recommendation has no presumptive weight, ” and the district judge “has the responsibility of making the final determination.” Patrick Collins, Inc. v. John Does 1-21, 286 F.R.D. 319, 320 (E.D. Mich. 2012). If a party objects to part or all of the R&R, the district judge must review de novo those parts to which the party has objected. Lardie v. Birkett, 221 F.Supp.2d 806, 807 (E.D. Mich. 2002); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). De novo review “entails at least a review of the evidence that faced the Magistrate Judge.” Lardie, 221 F.Supp.2d at 807. After reviewing an R&R, a court may “accept, reject, or modify the findings or recommendations.” Id.

         III. Analysis

         Plaintiff objects to each of the Magistrate Judge's recommendations, except the finding that plaintiff need not prove he exhausted the administrative remedies, and this Court will therefore conduct a de novo review of the evidence and arguments before the Magistrate Judge.

         Objection 1: Eighth Amendment Claim

         Plaintiff first objects to the recommended finding that there are no questions of material fact with regard to the objective or subjective elements of the ...


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