United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Patricia T. Morris Magistrate Judge.
ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION, OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS,
DISMISSING CASE, AND VACATING ORDER APPOINTING
M. LAWSON United States District Judge.
King, an inmate in the custody the Michigan Department of
Corrections (MDOC) at its G. Robert Cotton Correctional
Facility in Jackson, Michigan, filed a pro se civil
rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against prison
officials alleging a failure to provide certain medical
treatment. The Court referred this case to Magistrate Judge
Charles E. Binder for pretrial management. On May 17, 2013,
Judge Binder filed a report after he completed the screening
required by 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915(e)(2)(B) and 1915A
recommending that the Court dismiss the case on its own
motion. The plaintiff filed timely objections, after
obtaining an enlargement of time from the Court. On June 15,
2016, the Court entered an order appointing counsel for the
plaintiff, after previously denying his motion to appoint
counsel three months earlier. Counsel have been working hard
on the plaintiff's behalf, and the parties report that
the plaintiff has received additional medical attention. They
have not been able to settle the case, however, and the Court
will turn to the magistrate judge's report.
reviewing the objections and considering the matter afresh,
the Court concludes that the plaintiff's complaint fails
to state a claim for which relief can be granted, the
magistrate judge correctly recommended that it be dismissed,
and the plaintiff's objections do not address the
substance of the magistrate judge's criticisms of the
complaint. Therefore, the Court will adopt the report and
recommendation and dismiss the complaint.
complaint, filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleges that
the prison warden and medical staff were deliberately
indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of the
Eighth Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual
punishment. The plaintiff's statement of facts, in its
entirety, is as follows:
I've exhausted all remedies to try too [sic] get medical
care help for a skin diease [sic] which has caused the skin
on my leg to rot and become very painful.
I've written numerous medical requests for medical
attention. The medical staff Medical Practitioner's
[sic], the Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioner's
[sic] and Medical Provider's [sic] are all medically
indifference [sic] to my medical condition I am suffering
at 3. The plaintiff asserts that medical staff members at the
prison have violated the Eighth Amendment. Ibid. For
relief, the plaintiff requests “Punitive Damages,
Injunctive Relief, and Compensatory Damages as well as
Restraining Orders requested to get the proper medical
care.” Id. at 3-4. In an attachment to the
complaint, the plaintiff identifies Debra Scutt, Subrina
Aiken, Laura Kinder, and Joyce Hunter as defendants. Attach.
to Compl. Scutt was formerly the warden at the prison where
the plaintiff is incarcerated, while Aiken (RN, Clinical
Administrative Assistant), Kinder (RN), and Hunter (RN-13,
Health Unit Manager) were members of the medical staff there.
screening the plaintiff's case under 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1915A, 1915(e), Judge Binder recommended that
the Court dismiss King's case on its own motion for
failure to state a claim. Judge Binder concluded that the
plaintiff failed to allege that any particular defendant took
any specific action to deprive the plaintiff of his rights.
He suggested that the plaintiff's complaint is
insufficient because it refers to the medical staff generally
rather than to any specific defendant. And he pointed out
that district courts do not have the discretion to allow a
plaintiff to amend his complaint to avoid dismissal under the
applicable sections. Nor may such a plaintiff cure any
pleading deficiencies in his objections to a report and
recommendation. Judge Binder reasoned that because the
complaint fails to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
the plaintiff should not be able to proceed. Judge Binder
recommended that the Court dismiss the case.
plaintiff filed objections within the time permitted.
However, although those objections furnish a few more facts,
they do not address the defects in the complaint discussed by
Judge Binder. Instead, the plaintiff focuses on his efforts
at exhausting his administrative remedies within the prison
system, and he argues that the Court should not raise the
exhaustion issue on its own as it is an affirmative defense
that the defendants must plead. See Jones v. Bock,
549 U.S. 199, 216 (2007).
to a report and recommendation are reviewed de novo.
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The Sixth Circuit has stated that
“[o]verly general objections do not satisfy the
objection requirement.” Spencer v. Bouchard,
449 F.3d 721, 725 (6th Cir. 2006). “The objections must
be clear enough to enable the district court to discern those
issues that are dispositive and contentious.”
Miller v. Currie, 50 F.3d 373, 380 (6th Cir. 1995).
“‘[O]bjections disput[ing] the correctness of the
magistrate's recommendation but fail[ing] to specify the
findings . . . believed [to be] in error' are too
general.” Spencer, 449 F.3d at 725 (quoting
Miller, 50 F.3d at 380). “[T]he failure to
file specific objections to a magistrate's report
constitutes a waiver of those objections.” Cowherd
v. Million, 380 F.3d 909, 912 (6th Cir. 2004).
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), Congress mandated that
the Court screen for colorable merit every prisoner complaint
filed against a state or governmental person or entity. 28
U.S.C. § 1915A(a) (“The court shall
review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as
soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil
action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental
entity or ...