United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division, Columbus
In re OHIO EXECUTION PROTOCOL LITIGATION, This relates to All Plaintiffs
A. Sargus, Jr. Chief Judge.
DECISION AND ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR STAY WITHOUT
Michael R. Merz United States Magistrate Judge.
capital § 1983 case is before the Court on
Plaintiffs' Motion to Stay Pleading, Briefing,
Consideration and Adjudication “of pending and
forthcoming dispositive motions in this litigation”
pending a decision of the United States Supreme Court in
Bucklew v. Precythe, No. 17-8151. Certiorari was
granted in that case on April 30, 2018, for the October 2018
term. The instant Motion was then filed May 31, 2018; and is
now opposed by Defendants (Memo in Opp., ECF No. 1807). The
Magistrate Judge heard oral argument during the status
conference of June 26, 2018, making the matter ripe for
Motion was filed on behalf of all Plaintiffs (ECF No. 1774,
Motion is a nondispositive matter which the Magistrate Judge
is authorized to decide in the first instance, subject to
appeal to the District Court.
do not list what motions they consider to be covered by their
Motion, but currently pending for consideration by Chief
Judge Sargus are the Magistrate Judge's Report and
Recommendations (ECF No. 1429) and Supplemental Report and
Recommendations (ECF No. 1620) on Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss the Fourth Amended Omnibus Complaint (ECF No. 1379).
Both Plaintiffs and Defendants have objected (ECF Nos. 1767,
1795) and those Objections are, or soon will be, ripe for
consideration. Also pending is the Magistrate Judge's
Report and Recommendations to Dismiss the unserved Drug
Source Defendants (ECF No. 1798) to which objections will be
due on June 28, 2018. Finally, the Magistrate Judge has
scheduled the filing of summary judgment motions in the case
for sixty days after Chief Judge Sargus decides the Motion to
term “dispositive” ordinarily means an order
dismissing a claim or terminating a party's participation
in the case. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(b).
“Dispositive” has a specialized meaning in
describing motions on which a Magistrate Judge must render a
report and recommendations, rather than a decision. These are
the motions listed by name in 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A)
and other matters the Sixth Circuit has decided are
functionally equivalent, e.g., a motion to remand a removed
case. Plaintiffs made clear in oral argument that they are
referring to the currently pending Reports and
Recommendations on dismissal of the drug source Defendants
and dismissal in part of the Fourth Amended Omnibus
Complaint, and to the impending motions for summary judgment.
grounds for the stay, Plaintiffs say it will “avoid the
possibility that this case may be adjudicated under what the
Supreme Court may soon clarify to be the incorrect standards
of proof.” (ECF No. 1774, PageID 72251.)
issues on which the Supreme Court granted certiorari in
Should a court evaluating an as-applied challenge to a
state's method of execution based on an inmate's rare
and severe medical condition assume that medical personnel
are competent to manage his condition and that the procedure
will go as intended?
Must evidence comparing a state's proposed method of
execution with an alternative proposed by an inmate be
offered via a single witness, or should a court at summary
judgment look to the record as a whole to determine whether a
factfinder could conclude that the two methods significantly
differ in the risks they pose to the inmate?
Does the Eighth Amendment require an inmate to prove an
adequate alternative method of execution when raising an
as-applied challenge to the state's proposed method of
execution based on his rare and severe medical condition?
Petition for a Writ of Certiorari, No. 17-8151, page i.
addition to these three questions, the Court directed the
parties to brief ...