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Jamaal v. Ouellette

United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 24, 2018

JAMAAL HONORABLE #734237, Plaintiff,
MARGARET OUELLETTE, et al., Defendants.

          Hon. Robert J. Jonker Judge.



         This matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, (ECF No. 25), and Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, (ECF No. 30). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), the undersigned recommends that these motions be granted and this action terminated.


         The following allegations are contained in Plaintiff's complaint. (ECF No. 1). On July 16, 2015, Plaintiff “suffered a cut on his left foot.” Plaintiff reported to Health Care Services where Registered Nurse Randy Lindstrom “applied a band-aid to Plaintiff's injury.” Later that day, Plaintiff noticed that his injury was “discolored” and draining blood and fluid. Plaintiff's request to return to Health Care Services was denied on the ground that he had been treated earlier that day.

         Over the course of the next several weeks, Plaintiff submitted “numerous” requests for medical treatment all of which were denied by Nurse Lindstrom on the ground that Plaintiff's injury was “not serious.” Plaintiff subsequently requested treatment from Registered Nurses Hope Peeks and Dianna Earl, both of whom denied Plaintiff's request, instructing him to instead submit a formal request for medical treatment. On August 12, 2015, a prison official observed Plaintiff's injury and “became alarmed” at the severity of such. Plaintiff was taken to Health Care Services where he was given antibiotic medication which “ultimately proved medically ineffectual.” Soon thereafter, Plaintiff was transferred to a different correctional facility where he received appropriate treatment.

         Plaintiff initiated this action against Randy Lindstrom, Hope Peeks, Dianna Earl, Kyle Sperling, and Margaret Ouellette alleging violations of his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Defendants now move for summary judgment on the ground that Plaintiff has failed to properly exhaust his administrative remedies.


         Summary judgment “shall” be granted “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A party moving for summary judgment can satisfy its burden by demonstrating “that the respondent, having had sufficient opportunity for discovery, has no evidence to support an essential element of his or her case.” Minadeo v. ICI Paints, 398 F.3d 751, 761 (6th Cir. 2005). Once the moving party demonstrates that “there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case, ” the non-moving party “must identify specific facts that can be established by admissible evidence, which demonstrate a genuine issue for trial.” Amini v. Oberlin College, 440 F.3d 350, 357 (6th Cir. 2006).

         While the Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, the party opposing the summary judgment motion “must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” “mini, 440 F.3d at 357. The existence of a mere Ascintilla of evidence” in support of the non-moving party's position is insufficient. Daniels v. Woodside, 396 F.3d 730, 734-35 (6th Cir. 2005). The non-moving party “may not rest upon [his] mere allegations, ” but must instead present “significant probative evidence” establishing that “there is a genuine issue for trial.” Pack v. Damon Corp., 434 F.3d 810, 813-14 (6th Cir. 2006).

         Moreover, the non-moving party cannot defeat a properly supported motion for summary judgment by “simply arguing that it relies solely or in part upon credibility determinations.” Fogerty v. MGM Group Holdings Corp., Inc., 379 F.3d 348, 353 (6th Cir. 2004). Rather, the non-moving party Amust be able to point to some facts which may or will entitle him to judgment, or refute the proof of the moving party in some material portion, and. . .may not merely recite the incantation, 'Credibility, ' and have a trial on the hope that a jury may disbelieve factually uncontested proof.” Id. at 353-54. In sum, summary judgment is appropriate “against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial.” Daniels, 396 F.3d at 735.

         While a moving party without the burden of proof need only show that the opponent cannot sustain his burden at trial, a moving party with the burden of proof faces a “substantially higher hurdle.” Arnett v. Myers, 281 F.3d 552, 561 (6th Cir. 2002). Where the moving party has the burden, “his showing must be sufficient for the court to hold that no reasonable trier of fact could find other than for the moving party.” Calderone v. United States, 799 F.2d 254, 259 (6th Cir. 1986). The Sixth Circuit has emphasized that the party with the burden of proof “must show the record contains evidence satisfying the burden of persuasion and that the evidence is so powerful that no reasonable jury would be free to disbelieve it.” Arnett, 281 F.3d at 561. Accordingly, summary judgment in favor of the party with the burden of persuasion “is inappropriate when the evidence is susceptible of different interpretations or inferences by the trier of fact.” Hunt v. Cromartie, 526 U.S. 541, 553 (1999).


         I. Defendants' Motions ...

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