United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER ADOPTING IN PART AND REJECTING IN PART REPORT
J. JONKER CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Court has reviewed the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendation in this matter (ECF No. 70) and
Plaintiff's Objections to the Report and Recommendation.
(ECF No. 71). Defendants have not filed a Response to
Plaintiff's Objections. The Magistrate recommends
granting Defendant Leiter's motion for summary judgment,
concluding that Plaintiff failed to properly exhaust his
constitutional claim. The Court respectfully disagrees with
the Magistrate Judge. Because Plaintiff's grievance was
sufficient to give fair notice to prison officials of the
alleged misconduct that forms the basis of his Eighth
Amendment claim, the Court will deny Defendant Leiter's
Motion for Summary Judgment.
party has objected to portions of a Report and
Recommendation, “[t]he district judge . . . has a duty
to reject the magistrate judge's recommendation unless,
on de novo reconsideration, he or she finds it
justified.” 12 Wright, Miller, & Marcus, Federal
Practice and Procedure § 3070.2, at 381 (2d ed. 1997).
Specifically, the Rules provide that:
[t]he district judge must determine de novo any part of the
magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly
objected to. The district judge may accept, reject, or modify
the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or
return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.
Fed R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). De novo review in these
circumstances requires at least a review of the evidence
before the Magistrate Judge. Hill v. Duriron Co.,
656 F.2d 1208, 1215 (6th Cir. 1981).
above standard only applies, however, if a party timely files
Objections. There is at least some question in this case
whether Plaintiff's Objections were timely filed. The
Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation is dated
January 19, 2018, but was not mailed until January 22, 2018.
Under local rule, Plaintiff had 14 days, or until February 5,
2018, to file his Objections. In addition, under Fed.R.Civ.P.
6(d), Plaintiff had an additional three days, making his
Objections due February 8, 2018. Plaintiff's Objections
were not filed until February 9, 2018. (ECF No. 71). Prisoner
filings are governed by the prisoner mailbox rule. See
Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S. 286 (1988). Since Plaintiff
had to give his papers to prison officials no later than
February 8 to get them delivered and filed by February 9, the
Court concludes the Objections are timely. Accordingly, the
Court has reviewed de novo the claims and evidence presented
to the Magistrate Judge; the Report and Recommendation
itself; and Plaintiff's Objections.
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment
Magistrate Judge recommends granting Defendant's motion
for summary judgment. While the Court agrees with much of the
Magistrate's analysis, on de novo review the Court finds
Plaintiff properly exhausted an Eighth Amendment claim, and
accordingly Defendant's motion for summary judgment will
42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), a prisoner bringing an action with
respect to prison conditions under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 must
exhaust his available administrative remedies. See Porter
v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 532 (2002); Booth v.
Churner, 532 U.S. 731, 733 (2001). A prisoner must
exhaust available administrative remedies, even if the
prisoner may not be able to obtain the specific type of
relief he seeks in the state administrative process. See
Porter, 534 U.S. at 520; Booth, 532 U.S. at
741; Knuckles El v. Toombs, 215 F.3d 640, 642 (6th
Cir. 2000); Freeman v. Francis, 196 F.3d 641, 643
(6th Cir. 1999). In order to exhaust administrative remedies,
prisoners must complete the administrative review process in
accordance with the deadlines and other applicable procedural
rules. Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 217-218 (2007);
Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 90-91 (2006).
“Compliance with prison grievance procedures,
therefore, is all that is required by the PLRA to
‘properly exhaust.'” Jones, 549 U.S.
determining whether this plaintiff has properly exhausted his
claims, the Court finds particularly instructive the analysis
of the Sixth Circuit in Bell v. Konteh, 450 F.3d 651
(6th Cir. 2006), abrogated on other ...