United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION (DKT. 35),
GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS AND FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT (DKT. 24)
TERRENCE G. BERG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Christopher McDaniel (“Plaintiff”), acting in pro
per, is a state prisoner who was-at all times relevant to
this action- incarcerated at Thumb Correctional Facility
(TCF) in Lapeer, Michigan. On November 3, 2015 Plaintiff
filed a lawsuit against T. Bechard and P. Steele
(“Defendants”), employees who work in TCF's
cafeteria, claiming that they had violated Plaintiff's
civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Dkt. 1 at Pg ID 1.
alleged that Defendant Bechard, with whom he has a history of
“disagreements, ” filed a misconduct report
against him that falsely accused him of physical assault.
Dkt. 1 at Pg. ID 4. He further alleged that Defendant Steele
“plotted” with Defendant Bechard to file these
false assault charges against him. Id.
matter is before the Court on Magistrate Judge David R.
Grand's Report and Recommendation dated August 2, 2017,
Dkt. 35, which recommends that Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss and for Summary Judgment, Dkt. 24, be granted, and
that all of Plaintiff's claims be dismissed with
prejudice except his Eighth Amendment claim alleging denial
of food, which should be dismissed without prejudice. Dkt. 35
at Pg ID 313.
provides that either party may serve and file written
objections “[w]ithin fourteen days after being served
with a copy” of the Report and Recommendation. 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). Plaintiff filed timely objections to
the Report and Recommendation. Dkt. 38. Defendants filed timely
responses to those objections on September 13, 2017. Dkt. 38.
relevant facts about the underlying incident in this case
were summarized in Magistrate Judge Grand's Report and
Recommendation, Dkt. 35, Pg. IDs 292-95, and those facts are
adopted for purposes of this order.
completing the Michigan Department of Corrections three-step
grievance process, Plaintiff filed this Complaint on November
3, 2015. Dkt. 1. He claims that 1) Defendants
committed perjury by submitting retaliatory, false
allegations about his conduct to the state; 2) Defendants
violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and
unusual punishment by a) prosecuting and holding him in
temporary disciplinary confinement for an offense he did not
commit and b) repeatedly failing to send him food-presumably
while he was in disciplinary confinement. Id. at Pg
seeks $300, 000 in punitive damages, $20, 000 in compensatory
damages, and injunctive relief. Id. at Pg ID 5.
made seven objections, which can be boiled down to three
major arguments that the Magistrate Judge erred in
recommending that the Court grant Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss and for Summary Judgment:
1. the First Amendment retaliation claim was valid because it
alleged Plaintiff's continuous complaints about Defendant
Bechard to her supervisors was a “motivating
factor” in Defendant Bechard's decision to file the
misconduct report against him, and a genuine issue of
material fact remained regarding whether Plaintiff's
history of disagreements with and complaints about Defendant
or their single altercation on June 8, 2014, motivated
Defendant Bechard to file the misconduct report Dkt.
38 at Pg ID at 327-31 (Objections 1, 3, and 4);
2. the allegedly false misconduct report constituted cruel
and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment because it
subjected Plaintiff to disciplinary confinement and
“severe mental anguish” over the consequences he
would face if found guilty, id. at Pg ID at 324-26
3. the conspiracy claim against both Defendants was
adequately pled because the sequence of events Plaintiff
alleged-Defendant Bechard's first report without
assault allegations followed by her second report
with assault allegations and Defendant Steele's
supporting statement-created a reasonable inference that
Defendants had conspired to file a false statement against
him, id. at Pg ID at 332-35 (Objections 5, 6, and 7)
timely filed a response to Plaintiff's objections on
September 13, 2017. Dkt. 39.
Plaintiff timely filed his objections to the report and
recommendation the Court VACATES its prior
order of dismissal, Dkt. 37. The Court has reviewed
Magistrate Judge Grand's Report and Recommendation,
Plaintiff's objections thereto, and Defendants'
responses to Plaintiff's objections. For the reasons set
forth below, Plaintiff's objections are
OVERRULED, and the Report and Recommendation
is ACCEPTED and ADOPTED as
the opinion of the Court except that both Plaintiff's
First Amendment retaliation claim and Eighth Amendment food
deprivation claim are DISMISSED without
prejudice and Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment
claims for the allegedly false misconduct ticket and his
conspiracy claims are DISMISSED with
De novo review
district court must conduct a de novo review of the parts of
a Report and Recommendation to which a party objects.
See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). “A judge of
the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part,
the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.
The judge may also receive ...