United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
L. MALONEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a civil rights lawsuit brought by five state prisoners.
Plaintiffs all complain about the denial of their requests to
participate in a religious meal program. Defendants filed a
motion for summary judgment. (ECF No. 45.) The magistrate
judge issued a report recommending the motion be granted.
(ECF No. 73.) Two of the five plaintiffs filed objections.
(ECF Nos. 76 and 78.)
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).
Plaintiffs Allen, King and Bryant
Terico Allen, Ramon King, and Diarra Bryant did not file
objections to the report and recommendation. As noted by the
magistrate judge, each plaintiff must represent himself; one
prisoner cannot act in a representative capacity for another.
(R&R at 3 .n2 PageID.895.) Because Allen, King and Bryant
did not object to the report, the recommendations of the
magistrate judge for those three Plaintiffs are ADOPTED.
Dykes advances seven objections, most of which rely on the
same arguments. For the reasons that follow, Dykes'
objections are OVERRULED.
1, 2, 3 and 6 - commissary purchases. Dykes argues that his
purchases at the prison commissary of food items that do not
conform to the religious meal program he requested cannot be
used as a basis for denying his application because he did
not consume the food. He asserts his religion and his
religious beliefs do not prohibit him from purchasing
nonconforming food to use as barter. Defendants have
explained why the purchase of food that is inconsistent with
their religious dietary requests is a safety concern.
(R&R at 18-20 PageID.910-12.) Dykes' objection does
not address this rationale.
1, part 3 - lack of notice. The denial of his application to
use the religious meal program does not constitute
“discipline” for which he might be entitled to
4 - other Turner factors. Dykes argues he cannot
afford to purchase other items from the commissary that are
consistent with his religious beliefs. This argument
addresses only of the four Turner factors and, even
if Dykes is correct, the balance of factors still weighs in
favor of Defendants. Furthermore, if Dykes did not purchase
nonconforming items from the commissary, his application
would likely have been approved.
5 - RLUIPA. Dykes asserts that he was not aware that his
purchase of sausages could be used as a basis for denying his
meal request. The basis of the magistrate judge's
recommendation was that the denial of the request was not
permanent. Indeed, Dykes' latest request to access the
religious meal option was approved. (ECF No. 70-1
PageID.882.) Dykes' objection does not address the
reasoning in the R&R. And, Dykes' objection still
does not address the safety concerns identify by Defendants.
6 - Equal Protection. In his response brief (ECF Nos. 51 and
52), Dykes did not separately address Defendants'
arguments regarding the Equal Protection Claim. The Court has
considered and rejected Dykes' argument that ...