United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
& ORDER (1) ACCEPTING THE MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S
RECOMMENDATION DATED JANUARY 31, 2018 (Dkt. 32), (2)
OVERRULING PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTIONS THERETO (Dkt. 33), (3)
GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT (Dkt.
12), (4) DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
(Dkt. 19), AND (5) DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S CLAIM WITH
A. GOLDSMITH United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
(“R&R”) of Magistrate Judge Stephanie Dawkins
Davis (Dkt. 32), which recommends granting Defendant Janet
Shaheen's motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 12) and
denying Plaintiff James Maben's motion for summary
judgment (Dkt. 19). Maben filed objections to the R&R
(Dkt. 32), to which Shaheen filed a response (Dkt. 33).
Because oral argument will not aid the decisional process,
the objections to the R&R will be decided based on the
parties' briefing. See E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(f)(2);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 78(b). For the reasons set forth below, the
R&R is accepted, Shaheen's motion for summary
judgment is granted, and Maben's motion for summary
judgment is denied.
factual and procedural background, along with the standard of
decision and legal principles governing motions to dismiss,
has been adequately set forth by the magistrate judge and
need not be repeated here in full. In brief summary, Maben is
a prisoner at the Central Michigan Correctional Facility,
where Shaheen was the Assistant Resident Unit Specialist.
Maben alleges First Amendment retaliation due to his request
to send legal mail. He alleges that Shaheen had him
transferred to another unit and verbally abused him following
parties have filed a motion for summary judgment. Shaheen
argues that Maben has not established his retaliation claim
and that she is immune regardless, while Maben contends that
Shaheen was delinquent in filing a response to the complaint.
The magistrate judge recommended that Shaheen's motion be
granted, because Maben could not show that she took an
adverse action. The magistrate judge further found that
Shaheen was entitled to immunity under both the Eleventh
Amendment and the doctrine of qualified immunity. She
recommended a denial of Maben's motion because Shaheen
did indeed timely file a response to the complaint. Maben
filed eight objections to the magistrate judge's
STANDARD OF DECISION
Court reviews de novo any portion of the R&R to which a
specific objection has been made. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); Alspaugh v.
McConnell, 643 F.3d 162, 166 (6th Cir. 2011)
(“Only those specific objections to the
magistrate's report made to the district court will be
preserved for appellate review; making some objections but
failing to raise others will not preserve all the objections
a party may have.”). Any arguments made for the first
time in objections to an R&R are deemed waived. Uduko
v. Cozzens, 975 F.Supp.2d 750, 757 (E.D. Mich. 2013).
raises eight objections to the R&R. For the reasons that
follow, all eight objections are overruled.
first six objections relate to his First Amendment
retaliation claim. Such a claim consists of three elements:
(1) the plaintiff engaged in protected conduct; (2) an
adverse action was taken against the plaintiff that would
deter a person of ordinary firmness from continuing to engage
in that conduct; and (3) there is a causal connection between
elements one and two - that is, the adverse action was
motivated at least in part by the plaintiff's protected
Thaddeus-X v. Blatter, 175 F.3d 378, 394 (6th Cir.
first three objections relate to the magistrate judge's
summary of Shaheen's arguments. The magistrate judge
described that Shaheen construed Maben's complaint as
bringing both a “legal mail” claim and a
retaliation claim; that Shaheen argued that Maben failed to
establish a retaliation claim; and that Shaheen contended
that a certain level of harm was necessary to constitute an
adverse action in a retaliation claim. See Obj. at
2-3 (cm/ecf pages) (Dkt. 33). These objections do not relate