United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
T. NEFF United States District Judge.
a prisoner civil rights action filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment,
arguing that Plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative
remedies (ECF No. 9). The matter was referred to the
Magistrate Judge, who issued a Report and Recommendation
(R&R) recommending that Plaintiff's retaliation and
substantive due process claims be dismissed for failure to
state a claim; Defendant's motion to dismiss
Plaintiff's retaliation and substantive due process
claims, on exhaustion grounds, be denied as moot; and
Defendant's motion to dismiss Plaintiff's malicious
prosecution claim be denied (ECF No. 13). The matter is
presently before the Court on the parties' objections to
the Report and Recommendation (ECF Nos. 14 and 15). 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.
objects to the Report and Recommendation, arguing that the
Magistrate Judge erred in recommending his substantive due
process and retaliation claims be dismissed (Pl. Obj., ECF
No. 14 at PageID.113; R&R, ECF No. 13 at PageID.107-108).
Plaintiff's objection is properly denied.
first objects to the Magistrate Judge's recommendation on
procedural due process grounds, claiming the Magistrate Judge
does not have the authority to review claims after an initial
PLRA screening has been conducted (ECF No. 14 at PageID.113).
Plaintiff further claims that he has not had the
“opportunity to be heard on the issue[s]” of
dismissing the substantive due process and retaliation claims
the Court allowed service of Plaintiff's claims following
an initial screening of his Complaint (Op. & Order, ECF
Nos. 5 & 6), Plaintiff cites no authority precluding a
magistrate judge from subsequently recommending dismissal of
the same claims. Rather, this district's Local Rule
72.2(b) permits a magistrate judge assigned to a prisoner
civil rights case to “enter such orders and conduct
such proceedings in that case as are authorized by statute or
rule, ” W.D. Mich. LCivR. 72.2(b), and, as noted by the
Magistrate Judge (ECF No. 13 at PageID.105), the PLRA imposes
a mandatory duty to review and dismiss any prisoner claim
that fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Additionally, the 14-day period in which to file objections
to a report and recommendation constitutes an opportunity to
be heard. See W.D. Mich. LCivR 72.3(b). Therefore,
Plaintiff's procedural objection to the Magistrate
Judge's dismissal recommendation lacks merit.
as to the merits of the Magistrate Judge's recommendation
to dismiss his substantive due process claim, Plaintiff
argues that the Magistrate Judge cited no authority for the
recommendation and failed to consider the decision in
Cale v. Johnson, 861 F.2d 943 (6th Cir. 1988) (ECF
No. 14 at PageID.113). However, the Magistrate Judge cited
several authorities, thoroughly summarizing the standard set
forth in Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266 (1994),
and specifically relying on Darrah v. City of Oak
Park, 255 F.3d 301 (6th Cir. 2001), for the conclusion
that a claim for malicious prosecution must be brought
pursuant to the Fourth Amendment, not the Fourteenth
Amendment's substantive due process clause (ECF No. 13 at
PageID.105-107). Plaintiff identifies no proposition in
Cale that contradicts or undermines the Magistrate
Judge's conclusion. In short, Plaintiff's argument
fails to demonstrate any error in the Magistrate Judge's
analysis of his substantive due process claim.
does not likewise address the merits of the Magistrate
Judge's recommendation to dismiss his retaliation claim.
Rather, Plaintiff requests additional time to
“respond” to the Magistrate Judge's
recommendation that the retaliation claim also be dismissed
(ECF No. 14 at PageID.114). As noted supra, the
opportunity to file objections to a magistrate judge's
report and recommendation is a party's opportunity to
respond. See W.D. Mich. LCivR 72.3(b). In the event
that Plaintiff needed additional time to develop his argument
on the retaliation claim, Plaintiff could have moved for an
extension of the deadline to file objections. See
Id. Alternatively, Plaintiff could have moved for leave
to supplement his objections. See W.D. Mich. LCivR
5.6(f). Instead, in the six months since the Magistrate Judge
filed the Report and Recommendation, Plaintiff has filed no
submission, and the Court determines that Plaintiff's
undeveloped request contained herein warrants no additional
delay in this case.
also objects to the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation. Defendant argues that the Magistrate Judge
erred in recommending this Court deny his motion to dismiss
Plaintiff's malicious prosecution claim (Def. Obj., ECF
No. 15 at PageID.115). Specifically, Defendant argues that
Plaintiff's failure in a later filed grievance to
“indicate that [the] previously filed grievance on this
issues [sic] had gone unanswered” demonstrates that
“the grievance process was available and accessible to
Plaintiff at all times” (id. at PageID.117).
Defendant's argument does not reveal error in the
Magistrate Judge's conclusion that he has not met his
burden of establishing the affirmative defense of failure to
exhaust administrative remedies. Therefore, this objection is
this Court approves and adopts the Magistrate Judge's
Report and Recommendation as the Opinion of this Court.
IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Objections (ECF Nos. 14
and 15) are DENIED and the Report and Recommendation of the
Magistrate Judge (ECF No. 13) is APPROVED and ADOPTED as the
Opinion of the Court.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's retaliation
and substantive due process claims are DISMISSED WITH
PREJUDICE for failure to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and 42 U.S.C.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment (ECF No. 9) is DENIED AS MOOT as to
Plaintiff's retaliation and substantive due process
claims, and ...