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Brown v. Mohr

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division

July 16, 2019

Steven S. Brown, Plaintiff,
Director Mohr, et al. Defendants.

          OPINION & ORDER


         This matter is before the Court upon the Magistrate Judge's November 6, 2018 Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) recommending that Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment be granted and all remaining pending motions be denied as moot. (Doc. 201).

         The parties were given proper notice, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C), including notice that the parties would waive further appeal if they failed to file objections to the R&R in a timely manner. See United States v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947 (6th Cir. 1981). Plaintiff filed partial objections to the Magistrate Judge's R&R; and sought additional time to supplement his objections. (Doc. 210). The Court granted Plaintiff's requests for additional time (Docs. 208, 216), but Plaintiff did not file a supplement to his objections.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is an inmate currently housed at the Mansfield Correctional Institution. Plaintiff is proceeding pro se. Plaintiff brings constitutional claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The Magistrate Judge set forth the factual and procedural background, and therefore the same will not be repeated here.

         In his fifty-three pages of objections, Plaintiff sets forth a lengthy history of his incarceration. However, as the Magistrate Judge explained, Plaintiff's claims in this action are limited to the conditions of confinement and incidents which allegedly occurred when Plaintiff was housed at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (“SOCF”). (Doc. 201, PAGEID# 2050).

         II. ANALYSIS

         When objections to a magistrate judge's report and recommendation are received on a dispositive matter, the assigned district judge “must determine de novo any part of the magistrate judge's disposition that has been properly objected to.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). After review, the district judge “may accept, reject, or modify the recommended decision; receive further evidence; or return the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.” Id.; see also 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).

         To state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege: (1) the plaintiff was deprived of a right secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and (2) that the deprivation was caused by a person acting under color of law. Webb v. United States, 789 F.3d 647, 659 (6th Cir. 2015) (citing Marcilis v. Twp. of Redford, 693 F.3d 589, 595 (6th Cir. 2012)).

         Plaintiff brings a claim pursuant to the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits the imposition of “cruel and unusual punishments” upon prisoners. U.S. Const. amend. VIII. Plaintiff also brings a claim of retaliation under the First Amendment, which requires a prisoner to prove that “(1) he engaged in protected conduct, (2) the defendant took an adverse action that is capable of deterring a person of ‘ordinary firmness from continuing to engage in that conduct,' and (3) ‘the adverse action was motivated at least in part by the [prisoner's] protected conduct.'” Hill v. Lappin, 630 F.3d 468, 472 (6th Cir. 2010) (quoting Thaddeus-X v. Blatter, 175 F.3d 378, 394, 398 (6th Cir.1999) (en banc)). The Court will now address these claims as they relate to each of the defendants.

         A. Officer Riggs

         Plaintiff alleges that on January 18, 2011, during his transfer from Lucasville Correctional Institution, Defendant Riggs punched him in the stomach while he was handcuffed. However, as the Magistrate Judge explained, Plaintiff grieved the issue, and after an investigation, the Chief Inspector denied the grievance. In support of his claim, Plaintiff relies on his own declaration and a statement of an inmate who was present that day. This inmate “assumed” Plaintiff had been struck because Plaintiff was laying on the bus floor, that but did not see any staff member strike Plaintiff. However, as the Magistrate Judge explained, the five other inmates who were present were interviewed and did not witness any force being used against Plaintiff. In addition, when Plaintiff was examined by medical personnel when he arrived at Ross Correctional Institution, Plaintiff denied any medical issues. The Court finds that there is no error in the Magistrate Judge's conclusion that viewing this evidence in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, there is no genuine issue of material fact regarding the objective and subjective component of his Eighth Amendment claim.

         B. Defendants Perdas, Bell, Kelly, Ison and Cool

          The Magistrate Judge concluded that Plaintiff failed to establish an Eighth Amendment claim of excessive force against these Defendants. When assessing a claim of excessive force, the core judicial inquiry is “whether force was applied in a good-faith effort to maintain or restore discipline, or maliciously and sadistically to cause harm.” Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 6-7 (1992). Plaintiff also claims that these Defendants retaliated against him in ...

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