United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ADOPTING IN PART REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ;
DISMISSING COMPLAINT WITHOUT PREJUDICE AS TO
DEFENDANTS SARA FLESHER AND SHERRY
UNDERWOOD; ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ;
AND GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
J. Tarnow Senior United States District Judge
April 20, 2017, Plaintiff Duane Range, a Michigan state
prisoner, through an attorney, filed a civil rights complaint
[Dkt. 1] against two groups of defendants: 1) CPI, Inc., a
private company, as well as CPI employees Scott Montgomery,
Matthew Buryta, Greg Konopka, and Kyle Foley (“the CPI
Defendants”); and 2) Michael Eagan, the Michigan Parole
Board, Heidi Washington, the Michigan Department of
Corrections, Sara Flesher, and Sherry Underwood (“the
State Defendants”). He claims that Defendants violated
his freedom of religion under the First Amendment.
Magistrate Judge has issued two Reports and Recommendations
(“R&R”) in this case. The first, issued on
November 15, 2017, recommended that the Court dismiss
Plaintiff's complaint in part without prejudice for
failure to timely effectuate service on the State Defendants
. Plaintiff filed an Objection  on November 29, 2017.
Magistrate Judge issued a second R&R  on December 6,
2017, recommending that the Court grant the CPI
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss . No objections were
reasons discussed below, the Court ADOPTS IN
PART the November 15, 2017 R&R .
Plaintiff's Objection  is SUSTAINED IN PART
and OVERRULED IN PART. The Court will also
ADOPT the December 6, 2017 R&R . The
CPI Defendants' Motion to Dismiss  is
Magistrate Judge summarized Plaintiff's factual
allegations as follows:
Range is an inmate of the Michigan Department of Corrections
(“MDOC”), and is currently housed at the G.
Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson, Michigan. In
his civil rights complaint, brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, Range alleges that, while at the Detroit Reentry
Center (“DRC”), as a condition of his parole, he
was wrongfully forced by the Michigan Parole Board to
participate in a religiously-based substance abuse program
operated by CPI, a private company, and its employees, Scott
Montgomery, John Buryta, Greg Konopka, and Kyle Foley. (Doc.
#1 at ¶¶ 4-5).
More specifically, Range alleges that Montgomery, Buryta, and
Konopka “demanded that [he] read, memorize and repeat
religious doctrine that is contrary to [his] religious
beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness.” (Id. at
¶ 5). According to Range, when he “stated his
religious objections to the doctrines espoused” by the
defendants, “he was told that his religious beliefs did
not matter and that he had to abide by the requirements of
the program ….” (Id. at ¶ 6).
Indeed, Range alleges he was ordered to “adopt the
religious position espoused by CPI, Inc. or be
punished.” (Id.). Range further claims that
Montgomery and Buryta wrongfully accused him of trying to
stir up dissension among fellow parolees, and forced him to
sign a document stating that he would memorize the
“false religious statements” for repetition.
(Id. at ¶ 7).
Range alleges that he verbally resigned from the program and
subsequently presented a written letter of resignation.
(Id. at ¶ 11). According to Range, the State
Defendants found that his “objections to the
program's religious indoctrination constituted
misconduct, and ruled that the failure to complete the CPI
program constituted a parole violation.” (Id.
at ¶ 13). Range alleges that, as a result of the
defendants' actions, he has “suffered various
harms, including an unjustified finding of parole violation,
18 extra months of imprisonment, and unjustified infringement
on his religious beliefs.” (Id. at ¶ 25).
Range seeks millions of dollars in damages. (Id. at
26 at 2-3).
reviewing a magistrate judge's report and recommendation,
the Court makes “a de novo determination of
those portions of the report or specified proposed findings
or recommendations to which objection is made.” 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C). Generalized objections to the
R&R have “the same effect [ ] as would a failure to
object.” Howard v. Sec'y of HHS, 932 F.2d
505, 508-09 (6th Cir. 1991); see also Cole v.
Yukins, 7 F.Appx. 354, 356 (6th Cir. 2001) (“The
filing of vague, ...