United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
Anthony P. Patti, Magistrate Judge
ORDER OVERRULING OBJECTIONS, ADOPTING REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION, DENYING MOTION TO SUPPLEMENT, GRANTING
DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS, AND DISMISSING
L. LUDINGTON, United States District Judge
September 21, 2016, Plaintiff filed a pro se complaint under
42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that various officials and
employees of the Midland County Jail violated his first
amendment rights by opening his legal mail outside of his
presence and withholding his outgoing legal mail. On January
3, 2017, pretrial matters were referred to Magistrate Judge
Anthony Patti. Defendants moved to dismiss and, in the
alternative, for summary judgment on March 6, 2017. Plaintiff
moved for appointment of counsel on June 26, 2017, and the
motion was denied. On November 6, 2017, Judge Patti issued a
report recommending that Defendants' motion to dismiss be
granted and that Plaintiff's complaint be dismissed.
Plaintiff sought and received an extension of time to file
objections to the report and recommendation, and filed his
objections on November 27, 2017. On November 6, 2017,
Plaintiff filed a “(Motion for a Supplement) A
Preliminary Injunction For Relief From Deliberate
Indifference.” ECF No. 31. The proposed supplemental
pleading seeks monetary damages. ECF No. 31.
party objects to the factual and procedural summaries in
Judge Patti's report, which are accordingly adopted in
full. In his report, Judge Patti recommends granting the
motion to dismiss. Judge Patti reasons that Plaintiff only
asserts a claim for injunctive relief, which is moot because
Plaintiff is no longer being held at the Midland County Jail.
Rep & Rec. at 5 (ECF No. 30) (citing Parks v. Reans,
510 Fed.Appx. 414, 415 (6th Cir. 2013) (“A
prisoner's request for injunctive and declaratory relief
is moot upon his transfer to a different facility.”)).
Judge Patti notes that Plaintiff's complaint is not
particularly helpful in determining the relief sought. Under
relief sought, the complaint states “sue and prosecute,
my constitutional rights were violated.” Judge Patti
notes that the Court has a responsibility to liberally
construe pro se complaints. However, Judge Patti concluded
that, even liberally construed, Plaintiff has not sought
monetary damages, and that the Court “may not rewrite
the complaint to include claims that were never
presented.” Id. at 5-6 (citing Rogers v.
Detroit Police Dept., 595 F.Supp.2d 757, 766 (E.D. Mich.
2009) (Ludington, J.)).
Judge Patti further noted, Plaintiff's response brief
indicates: “Petitioner asserts his claim for Injunctive
Relief is moot since he no longer is housed in Midland County
Jail. However, Petitioner is still entitled relief since
Respondent's by [their] own [admission], agreed they
opened Petitioner's mail by accident.” Resp. at 6,
ECF No. 26. Judge Patti notes that Plaintiff never contended
he is seeking monetary damages.
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72, a party may object to
and seek review of a Magistrate Judge's report and
recommendation. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2). Objections must be
stated with specificity. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S.
140, 151 (1985) (citation omitted). If objections are made,
“[t]he district judge must determine de novo any part
of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been
properly objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). De novo
review requires at least a review of the evidence before the
Magistrate Judge; the Court may not act solely on the basis
of a Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation.
See Hill v. Duriron Co., 656 F.2d 1208, 1215 (6th
Cir. 1981). After reviewing the evidence, the Court is free
to accept, reject, or modify the findings or recommendations
of the Magistrate Judge. See Lardie v. Birkett, 221
F.Supp.2d 806, 807 (E.D. Mich. 2002).
those objections that are specific are entitled to a de novo
review under the statute. Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d
636, 637 (6th Cir. 1986). “The parties have the duty to
pinpoint those portions of the magistrate's report that
the district court must specially consider.”
Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).
A general objection, or one that merely restates the
arguments previously presented, does not sufficiently
identify alleged errors on the part of the magistrate judge.
See VanDiver v. Martin, 304 F.Supp.2d 934, 937 (E.D.
Mich. 2004). An “objection” that does nothing
more than disagree with a magistrate judge's
determination, “without explaining the source of the
error, ” is not considered a valid objection.
Howard v. Sec'y of Health and Human Servs., 932
F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991). Without specific objections,
“[t]he functions of the district court are effectively
duplicated as both the magistrate and the district court
perform identical tasks. This duplication of time and effort
wastes judicial resources rather than saving them, and runs
contrary to the purposes of the Magistrate's Act.”
makes no objections to Judge Patti's conclusion that his
claim for injunctive relief is moot as he is no longer being
held in the Midland County Jail. Rather, Plaintiff notes that
he filed a motion to supplement his complaint to state a
claim for damages, which is not moot. Obj. at 1, ECF No. 34
(citing Boag v. MacDougall, 454 U.S. 364 (1982)
(transfer of state prisoner to another facility did not moot
his damages claim). Although Plaintiff's motion is
specifically labelled “(motion for a supplement) A
Preliminary Injunction For Relief From Deliberate
Indifference, ” the motion clearly seeks monetary
damages, including compensatory damages in an amount of
“100.000.00” and punitive damages for deliberate
indifference also in an amount of “100.000.00.”
As this motion to supplement is the gravamen of
Plaintiff's objections to the report and recommendation,
it will be addressed first.
15(d) provides that on motion a court may allow a party
“to serve a supplemental pleading setting out any
transaction, occurrence, or event that happened after the
date of the pleading to be supplemented.” Fed.R.Civ.P.
15(d). Plaintiff does not set forth any event that occurred
after he filed his complaint. Rather, he seeks an alternative
form of relief. Thus, the motion is not a motion to
supplement under rule 15(d). It is a motion to amend under
rule 15(a)(2). Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(2).
Rule of Civil Procedure 15(a)(2) provides that a party may
amend its pleading with the court's leave and that
“the court should freely give leave when justice so
requires.” Denial of a motion to amend is appropriate,
however, “‘where there is ‘undue delay, bad
faith or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated
failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously
allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of
allowance of the amendment, futility of ...