United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division
STEPHEN W. BYERLY, Plaintiff,
WARDEN, LEBANON CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION, Defendants.
Algenon L. Marbley Judge
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION AND ORDER
KIMBERLY A. JOLSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Defendants' Motion for
Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. 24), Plaintiff's Motion
for Injunction (Doc. 27), Plaintiff's Motion for Leave of
Court to Amend Motion for Injunction (Doc. 29),
Defendants' Motion to Stay Discovery (Doc. 33),
Plaintiff's Motion for an Order to Produce Discovery
(Doc. 34), Plaintiff's Motion for Miscellaneous Relief
(Doc. 46), Plaintiff's Objection (Doc. 51), and
Defendants' Motion to Strike Objection (Doc. 54). For the
reasons that follow, it is RECOMMENDED that:
Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc.
24) be GRANTED; Plaintiff's Motion for
Miscellaneous Relief (Doc. 46) be GRANTED in part and
DENIED in part; and Plaintiff's Motion for
Injunction (Doc. 27) and Plaintiff's Motion for Leave of
Court to Amend Motion for Injunction (Doc. 29) be
DENIED as moot. Further, Defendants'
Motion to Stay Discovery (Doc. 33), Plaintiff's Motion
for an Order to Produce Discovery (Doc. 34), Plaintiff's
Objection (Doc. 51), and Defendants' Motion to Strike
Objection (Doc. 54) are DENIED as moot.
Stephen Byerly is a state prisoner at Marion Correctional
Institution. He was formerly incarcerated at Lebanon
Correctional Institution (“LECI”). Defendants are
Thomas Scheitzer, the warden of LECI; the State of Ohio; Mike
DeWine; Gary Mohr, the Director of the Ohio Department of
Rehabilitation and Corrections (“ODRC”); and
Roger Wilson, the Chief Inspector for ODRC. (Doc. 10 at 4).
suffers from vision impairments that allegedly impaired his
ability to use the grievance process at LECI. (Id.
at 8, 9; Doc. 10-1 at 1-2). Although difficult to follow,
Plaintiff generally alleges that Defendants failed to respond
to his grievances and that they denied him access to the
courts. (Doc. 10 at 5-8). Specifically, Plaintiff appears to
allege that, in August 2017, prison officials lost his motion
for authorization to file a second or successive federal
habeas petition. (See Id. at 5 (“Lost legal
motion handed to prison officials on August 8th
2017 - habeas corpus 28 U.S.C. 2244 denial federal right
failed make it's destination sent to Circuit Judge
Southern Dist. Court of Ohio.”); id. at 8
(“By losing legally mailed file habeas corpus - 28
U.S.C. 2244 is serious offence in Mr. Byerly's challenge
to courts for proof of his innocences?”)). According to
Plaintiff, prison officials, including Defendants, have
failed to respond to his grievances and complaints regarding
the same. (Id. at 5-8).
filed his Complaint on May 2, 2018 (Doc. 5). Several months
later, he filed his Amended Complaint (Doc. 10). To address
the alleged problems discussed above, Plaintiff requests that
the Court: (1) provide an alternative grievance process for
visually impaired inmates; (2) provide him with a
magnification tool or handheld lens to allow him to read
small print; (3) provide prison officials with retraining so
they follow ODRC policy regarding their obligation to respond
to prisoners' grievances; (4) find Plaintiff's lost
legal motion; (5) order prison officials not to interfere
with Plaintiff's mail; (6) order prison officials to
facilitate his access to the courts; (7) order prison
officials to implement a system by which prisoners can file
paper, rather than electronic, grievances; and (8) order
prison officials to pay for all costs and filing fees
necessary to remedy these issues. (Id. at 9-12).
filed their Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. 24) on
November 30, 2018. The briefing deadline for that Motion has
passed, and the Motion is now ripe for resolution.
DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS (Doc.
move for judgment on the pleadings for three reasons. First,
they argue, Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which
relief may be granted. (Doc. 24 at 2). Second, they assert,
Plaintiff's claims are based on the doctrine of
respondeat superior, which cannot be used to establish
liability in § 1983. (Id.). Third, they
contend, they are immune pursuant to the Eleventh Amendment.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide that, “after
the pleadings are closed-but early enough not to delay
trial-a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). “Judgment may be granted under Rule
12(c) where the moving parties clearly establish that no
material issue of fact remains to be resolved and that they
are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Williamson v. Recovery Ltd. P'ship, No.
2:06-CV-292, 2010 WL 3769136, at *2 (S.D. Ohio Sept. 24,
2010) (citations omitted).
examining a motion for judgment on the pleadings under Rule
12(c), the Court uses the same standard of review applied to
a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a
claim. Mixon v. State of Ohio, 193 F.3d 389, 399-400
(6th Cir. 1999). Accordingly, the Court “must construe
the complaint in a light most favorable to plaintiffs, accept
all well-pled factual allegations as true, and determine
whether plaintiffs undoubtedly can prove no set of facts in
support of those allegations that would entitle them to
relief.” Bishop v. Lucent Tech., Inc., 520
F.3d 516, 519 (6th Cir. 2008) (citing Harbin-Bey v.
Rutter, 420 F.3d 571, 575 (6th Cir. 2005)). To survive a
motion for judgment on the pleadings, the “complaint
must contain either direct or inferential allegations
respecting all material elements to sustain a recovery under
some viable legal theory.” Bishop, 520 F.3d at
519 (internal quotation marks omitted). Consequently, a
complaint that consists of “labels and
conclusions” or “a formulaic recitation of the
elements of a cause of action” is insufficient.
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570