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Jones v. Berrien County Jail

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

June 13, 2017

CEDRIC JONES, Plaintiff,
BERRIEN COUNTY JAIL, et al., Defendants.


          JANET T. NEFF United States District Judge

         This is a prisoner civil rights action involving Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and his claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. Pending before the Court is Plaintiff's objections (ECF No. 55) to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation (R&R, ECF No. 47), recommending that Defendants' motions for summary judgment be granted and this matter terminated. In accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3), the Court has performed de novo consideration of those portions of the Report and Recommendation to which objections have been made. The Court denies the objections and issues this Opinion and Order.

         I. Background

         On September 8, 2016, Defendants moved for summary judgment of the claims pending against them (Motions, ECF Nos. 19 & 23). Three months later, on December 9, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Amend Complaint (ECF No. 31), with a proposed amended complaint and associated exhibits (ECF No. 32). Defendants filed responses in opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint (ECF Nos. 33-34 & 36), to which Plaintiff filed a reply with supporting brief (ECF Nos. 41 & 42). The Magistrate Judge denied Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint, determining that “Plaintiff's attempt to amend his complaint at this juncture demonstrates bad faith and an attempt to forestall resolution of Defendants' motions for summary judgment” (Order, ECF No. 50 at PageID.490).

         On January 9, 2017, Plaintiff filed a response and brief in opposition to both summary judgment motions (ECF Nos. 39 & 40). On January 19, 2017, Plaintiff filed exhibits A through I as “catch up materials” in support of his brief in opposition (ECF No. 43). On January 23, 2017, Defendants filed their respective replies (ECF Nos. 44 & 46).

         On January 26, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation (R&R, ECF No. 47), recommending that both summary judgment motions be granted and this matter terminated. Plaintiff subsequently filed his own affidavit (ECF Nos. 48 [unsigned] & 49 [signed]) and objections to the Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 55). Defendant Orrison filed a response to Plaintiff's objections (ECF No. 57).

         II. Eighth Amendment Claims

         A. Catheters

         With regard to Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim that Defendants refused his requests for catheters, the Magistrate Judge examined Defendants' evidence that Plaintiff was provided with catheters, noted Plaintiff's lack of evidence to the contrary, and concluded that “[t]he evidence reveals that Defendants were not deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's medical needs” (R&R, ECF No. 47 at PageID.465).

         In his objection, Plaintiff argues that the Magistrate Judge “totally ignored the evidentiary proofs plaintiff submitted” (Pl. Obj., ECF No. 55 at PageID.502-504). Specifically, Plaintiff references “the evidentiary proofs plaintiff submitted with his motion and brief in opposition to defendants' motion for summary judgment” (id. at PageID.503-504), apparently his later filed “Exhibits A to I” (ECF No. 43). Plaintiff opines that while his “Affidavit was filed after the Magistrate's ruling, the Exhibits are sufficient to demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact in dispute” (id. at PageID.504). Plaintiff identifies exhibits D, E and I as supporting his argument (id. at PageID.503-504).[1]

         Plaintiff's Exhibit D is an April 2, 2015 “Inmate Activity” note indicating (1) that Plaintiff stated during booking that he “uses a catheter, ” and (2) that “catheters delivered by family @ 1400 hours” (Pl.'s Ex. D, ECF No. 43 at PageID.410). Exhibit E is an affidavit of Jackey Jones, Plaintiff's brother, attesting that he supplied Plaintiff with catheters from April to August 2015 “due to Berrien County Jail failing to supply plaintiff with such” (Pl.'s Ex. E, ECF No. 43 at PageID.412). Exhibit I is an Inmate Purchase Record, delineating purchases of soap, a legal pad, a washcloth, deodorant, a comb and various snacks (Pl.'s Ex. I, ECF No. 43 at PageID.447).

         Plaintiff's argument that “[t]his evidence indicates that Defendant Orrison was deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's serious medical needs” (ECF No. 55 at PageID.504) lacks merit. As Defendant Orrison points out in response to Plaintiff's objections, Exhibits D, E and I do not reference Orrison (ECF No. 57 at PageID.514-515). Further, these exhibits fail to respond to Defendant Orrison's specific argument in support of summary judgment that she did not receive, respond to, or approve prisoner requests to catheter or catheter supplies (id. at PageID.516). Last, Plaintiff does not dispute Defendants' evidence that he was, in fact, provided catheters. Plaintiff's argument fails to demonstrate any factual or legal error in the Magistrate Judge's analysis or conclusion that Defendants are entitled to summary judgment of his Eighth Amendment catheter claim. A plaintiff cannot simply “replace conclusory allegations of the complaint . . . with conclusory allegations of an affidavit.” Lujan v. Nat'l Wildlife Fed'n, 497 U.S. 871, 888 (1990). “Conclusory allegations, speculation, and unsubstantiated assertions are not evidence, and, are not enough to defeat a well-supported motion for summary judgment.” Ferrari v. Ford Motor Co., 826 F.3d 885, 897-98 (6th Cir. 2016) (quoting Pearce v. Faurecia Exhaust Sys., Inc., 529 F.App'x 454, 458 (6th Cir. 2013)).

         B. Bedding

         Plaintiff's objections do not address the Magistrate Judge's analysis or conclusion ...

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