United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Northern Division
Marcus D. Mays, #218101, Plaintiff,
Unknown Pynnonen, et al., Defendants.
ORDER ADOPTING IN PART REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND
GRANTING IN PART MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
L. MALONEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Marcus Mays is a prisoner under the control of the Michigan
Department of Corrections. He filed this civil rights lawsuit
against multiple people working at the Baraga Correctional
Facility. Defendant Kristine Nyquist filed a motion for
summary judgment. (ECF No. 43.) The Magistrate Judge issued a
report recommending the motion be granted. (ECF No. 72.)
Plaintiff filed objections. (ECF No. 74.)
being served with a report and recommendation (R&R)
issued by a magistrate judge, a party has fourteen days to
file written objections to the proposed findings and
recommendations. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Civ. P.
72(b)(2). A district court judge reviews de novo the portions
of the R&R to which objections have been filed. 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b)(1); Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). Only 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) (per curiam).
Eighth Amendment Deliberate Indifference Claim
alleges Defendant Nyquist refused to treat him for serious
medical needs on June 5. The Magistrate Judge concluded
Plaintiff has not established a genuine issue of material
fact for both the objective and the subjective prongs.
Plaintiff objects. Regarding the analysis of the objective
prong, Plaintiff’s objection is overruled.
Plaintiff’s assertions that he was suffering from
serious medical problems are not sufficient in light of his
medical records. Thus, even if the Court were to agree with
Plaintiff that there remain genuine issues of material fact
whether he received any treatment at all on June 5, his claim
would still fail.
medical records do not support Plaintiff’s assertion
that he was injured. The injuries arose allegedly from a
severe beating by some of the guards on May 25 and from the
guards poisoning Plaintiff’s food. The medical records
establish Plaintiff was largely uncooperative with the
medical staff and the medical staff did not find any
physiological manifestations of the alleged injuries. The
medical records show Plaintiff refused to be seen by health
care on May 26. (ECF No. 45 PageID.460-62.) Plaintiff was
seen by a nurse on May 27 and given medication for swelling
and pain. (Id. PageID.463.) Plaintiff was observed
at his cell by the staff on May 28, and the staff did not see
any visible swelling. (Id. PageID.464.) A nurse
visit occurred on May 29 which ended early because Plaintiff
refused to cooperate. (Id. PageID.467-68.) Plaintiff
was seen by a nurse on June 2, who conducted an oral
examination. (Id. PageID.474-75.) Plaintiff
complained of pain but the nurse did not document any
swelling or numbness. (Id.) In this case, where the
medical staff could not corroborate Plaintiff’s
assertions, his subjective complaints of pain will not
satisfy the objective prong of the deliberate-indifference
standard. See Weatherspoon v. Woods, No. 16-1277,
2017 WL 3923335, at *6 (6th Cir. Feb. 24, 2017) (unpublished
opinion). But see Vaughn v. City of Lebanon, 18 F.
App’x 252, 275-76 (6th Cir. 2001) (involving a pretrial
detainee who did not provide objective evidence of a serious
medical need and noting that, “subjective feelings of
pain may, if sufficiently egregious, satisfy the objective
and Nyquist’s version of the events in the exam room on
June 5 are quite different. For the purpose of the Eighth
Amendment claim, there is no genuine issue of material fact
that Plaintiff suffered an objective medical injury amounting
to a serious medical need.
First Amendment Retaliation
retaliation claim against Nyquist arises from the same exam
on June 5. Plaintiff claims Nyquist refused to provide any
treatment for him because of a grievance filed on December
23, 2016. The Magistrate Judge concluded Plaintiff’s
claim failed on the causation element because no reasonable
jury could find that Nyquist would wait five months to
retaliate, and then provide treatment days after refusing to
provide treatment. Plaintiff objects.
Court rejects this portion of the Report and Recommendation.
For this motion, the question is not whether a jury would
accept Plaintiff’s version of events. For this motion,
the question is whether any evidence supports
Plaintiff’s version of events. There is. Plaintiff
filed an affidavit attesting his recollection of the medical
exam. The affidavit is attached to Plaintiff’s response
to Nyquist’s motion. (ECF No. 57-4 Pl. Aff.) In
paragraph 31, Plaintiff alleges that Nyquist said the
following: “I told you that if you didn’t sign
off of the grievance you wouldn’t receive any medical
treatment from me. Nurse Kingan told you to sign off too, . .
. . I can speak for the whole staff, we are not going to
treat you.” (Id. PageID.625.) Plaintiff
alleges Nyquist then ordered the officers to get him out of
the exam room. Taking the evidence in the light most
favorable to Plaintiff, a genuine issue of material fact
the retaliation claim will survive the motion for summary
Fourteenth Amendment - Access to the Courts
contends that Nyquist’s threats of retaliation for
grievances constitutes interference with his access to the
courts. The Magistrate Judge concluded that Plaintiff failed
to show actual prejudice. Plaintiff objects.
Plaintiff’s objection is overruled. He has not
demonstrated actual prejudice or interference with his access
to the courts.
these reasons, the Report and Recommendation (ECF No. 72) is
ADOPTED IN PART and REJECTED IN PART. The
R&R is adopted as the Opinion of this Court for the
recommendations concerning Plaintiff’s Eighth Amendment
and Fourteenth Amendment claims. The R&R is rejected for