United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Robert J. Jonker Judge.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Kent United States Magistrate Judge.
a civil rights action brought by a former prisoner pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This matter is now before the court on
defendants' second motion for summary judgment (ECF No.
screening plaintiff's 140-paragraph complaint, the Court
dismissed defendants Unknown Party No. 2, Supervisor
Scheidler, Deputy Warden Beckwith, Corizon Healthcare, Nurse
Earl, Unknown Party No. 3, Unknown Party No. 4, Branch
County, PA Ovellette, Dr. Dominguez-Bem, Unknown Party No. 8,
Prosecuting Attorney Kimble, Chief Assistant Prosecutor
White, Assistant Prosecutor Langevelde and Victim Rights
Coordinator Mack. See Order (ECF No. 9). The Court
ordered service on defendants Assistant Resident Unit Manager
(ARUM) James F. Bradley, Corrections Office (CO) Kline
(Cline), CO Fisher and Inspector Morrison.
Id. Later, the Court granted summary judgment
in favor of defendant Inspector Morrison on May 15, 2017.
See Order (ECF No. 47).
the case management order, all discovery was to be served by
no later than December 15, 2017. Plaintiff's counsel
entered his appearance two days before the close of
discovery. After counsel's appearance in this case, the
Court addressed a number of discovery issues and extended the
deadline for filing pre-trial motions.
initial matter, plaintiff did not identify Unknown Party Nos.
1, 5, 6 and 7. Accordingly, the Court should dismiss
plaintiff's claims against the “Doe”
defendants. See Hindes v. FDIC, 137 F.3d 148, 155
(3d Cir. 1998) (“Doe defendants are routinely used as
stand-ins for real parties until discovery permits the
intended defendants to be installed.”) (internal
quotation and citation omitted).
allegations against the remaining defendants, Bradley, Cline,
and Fisher are set forth below. In his verified complaint,
plaintiff stated that on June 16, 2014, plaintiff was on the
LCF recreation yard plaintiff basketball, “when a known
violent prisoner [Cowans] made multiple threat [sic] to harm
his life.” Compl. at PageID.10. Plaintiff immediately
notified defendants Cline and Fisher, because defendant
Bradley was not in the unit. Id. That same day,
plaintiff advised unknown corrections officers, along with
Cline and Fisher, that he had been threatened by a known
violent offender (DeAngelo Cowans) and wanted to be placed in
protective custody. Id. Plaintiff told them the
threat was real and that he “had also sent a prison
kite to defendant unknown James F. Bradley, and unknown
defendant L.C.F. RUM in charge of F-unit.” Id.
filed a copy of a paper which he identified as the the kite
sent to defendant Bradley on June 16, 2014, which stated as
I would like to be moved to protective custody because I am
in fear for my safety and my life is in danger. I have been
getting threats from a prisoner by the name of Cowan and he
said that he would “Get me off the yard” because
of an incident on the basketball court where we exchanged
words. I do not feel safe and I would like to get moved or
transfered [sic]. Please respond as soon as possible.
See Kite (ECF No. 31-1, PageID.253). In a previously
filed affidavit, Bradley stated that he did not recall
receiving a kite from plaintiff. Bradley Aff. (ECF No. 26-1,
17, 2014, plaintiff alleged that he met with Bradley in his
F-unit office, at which time plaintiff told Bradley:
. . . that Plaintiff Harris was in extreme fear of his life
and personal safety, of being violently assaulted, or
possibly stabbed by a violent prisoner Omar Deangelo Cowan
who threaten [sic] Plaintiff Harris on the AM F-Unit
recreation yard. Plaintiff Harris requested that Defendant
James F. Bradley immediately place me in protective custody,
or to transfer plaintiff Harris to another prisoner facility
as soon as possible due to the treats [sic] made by prisoner
Omar Deangelo Cowan was real [sic].
further alleged that during that meeting, defendant Bradley:
. . . stated that although Plaintiff Harris you are having
problems with prisoner Omar Deangelo Cowan, because Prisoner
Harris has not be [sic] a problem Defendant James F. Bradley
could not move move [sic] Plaintiff Harris. Defendant James
F. Bradley as stated it is up to unknown Defenant L.C.F.
Classification Director/Coordinator to move Prisoner.
further alleged that:
Plaintiff Harris made over (6) six attempts from 6/16/2014 -
6/25/2014, including writing a kite to inform defendants
unknown F-Unit ARUM James F. Bradley, defendant unknown CO
Fisher, defendant unknown CO Fisher [sic], unknown CO
defendant 2nd shift #3, unknown CO defendant 2nd shift #4,
that plaintiff Harris was in very serious fear for his life,
personal safety due to physical and verbal threats made and
promised by a known violent prisoner Omar DeAngelo Cowan (a
true level IV prisoner), where the defendants would not place
plaintiff Bryant D. Harris in protective custody pursuant to
MDOC P.D. 05.01.140. . .
25, 2014, after plaintiff was in his cell after visiting the
commissary, prisoner Cowans stabbed plaintiff multiple times
in the neck, ear, chest, upper back and inner arm.
Id. at PageID.13. Plaintiff stated that when he
tried to defend himself from the attacker, CO Cline, CO
Fisher and ARUM Bradley “completely failed” to
protect him from the assault. Id. at PageID.14.
deposition, plaintiff told a somewhat different story. After
plaintiff got his bags at the commissary, while he was
walking back to his cell, Cowans came up from behind and
stabbed plaintiff in the neck. Harris Dep. (ECF No. 84-2,
PageID.603). Plaintiff and Cowans “got to
fighting”, plaintiff's bags came up missing, he got
stabbed, he chased Cowans, and Cowans ran off. Id.
At this point in time, plaintiff did not report the incident
to prison staff. Rather, plaintiff returned to his unit:
So I walked all around the unit to tell one of my home boys I
got stabbed. So I walked all the way around leaving a trail
of blood through the whole unit. The officers, they were not
aware, so I just walked to healthcare.
Harris Dep. at PageID.603.
injuries are described in a health care services report:
Patient was assaulted and in the process resulting with
multiple chest injuries to his body. 2 inch laceration to the
free edge of the L ear. [P]uncture wound to the R ant chest
and L posterior chest. There is also puncture wounf [sic] to
to [sic] the anterios scm area of the L side of the neck.