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Clark v. Roy

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

January 11, 2017

Courtney Bernard Clark, Plaintiff,
v.
Commissioner Tom Roy, Nannette Larson, Dr. Schmult properly known as Dr. Derek J. Schmidt, Centurion of Minnesota, Dr. Stephen Craane, Kathy Reid, David Reishus, and Katherine Powers, Defendants.

          Courtney Bernard Clark, Pro Se, Inmate Number 177753, MCF-Moose Lake

          Timothy S. Christensen, Minnesota Attorney General's Office, for Defendants Tom Roy, Nannette Larson, Kathy Reid, David Reishus, and Katherine Powers

          Charles A. Gross, Geraghty, O'Loughlin & Kenney, PA, Alliance Bank Center, Suite 1100, for Defendant Dr. Schmult properly known as Dr. Derek J. Schmidt

          Anthony J. Novak and Mark A. Solheim, Larson King, LLP, 30 East Seventh Street, Suite 2800, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101, for Defendants Centurion of Minnesota and Dr. Stephen Craane

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on the Objection of Plaintiff Courtney Bernard Clark (“Clark”) [Doc. No. 284] to the Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) of Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer dated November 28, 2016 [Doc. No. 270]. In the R&R, Magistrate Judge Bowbeer denied two of Clark's motions regarding his personal property: (1) “Motion for Compensation Relief or Reimbursement of Property, Commissary Taken. Also School Time and Pay Compensations” [Doc. No. 147]; and (2) “Motion for a[n] Order That Defendants Reimburse Plaintiff Clark for All Property, Canteen, Pictures, that Was Destroyed, Not Allowed, or Missing under the D.O.C. Control, MN and North Dakota” [Doc. No. 171].

         Also before the Court is Clark's Objection [Doc. No. 285] to the November 30, 2016 Order (“the Order”) of Magistrate Judge Bowbeer [Doc. No. 272]. In the Order, the magistrate judge denied Clark's “Motion for Modification to Release Order and Objection to Release All of the Plaintiff Clark Medical Files” [Doc. No. 261].

         For the reasons set forth below, this Court affirms the Order and adopts the R&R. The Court sustains Clark's Objection to the R&R regarding his photographs, as additional information presented in Clark's Objection was not presented to the magistrate judge, but overrules his R&R Objection in all other respects. The Court also overrules Clark's Objection to the Order.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The background of this matter is well documented in the R&R and is incorporated herein by reference.[1] (See R&R at 2-4.) In brief, Plaintiff is an inmate who, during the relevant periods, was incarcerated at the Minnesota Correctional Facility (“MCF”) in Oak Park Heights from July 11, 2014 to October 13, 2015; the North Dakota State Penitentiary at Bismark from October 13, 2015 to July 19, 2016; the MCF in Rush City from July 19, 2016 to July 21, 2016; and the MCF in Moose Lake from July 21, 2016 to the present. (See Wherley Aff. Ex. 1 at 2-3 [Doc. No. 185].)

         Plaintiff filed this case pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants violated his civil rights by providing inadequate medical treatment and made decisions regarding his treatment and housing in retaliation for his complaints. Specifically, Clark alleges that his transfer to North Dakota was in retaliation for complaints that he made on his own behalf and on behalf of other prisoners concerning medical care and conditions in the Minnesota prisons. (See Am. Definite Stmt. to Compl. at 5 [Doc. No 77].) Plaintiff alleges that Defendants are all associated with Minnesota's state correctional system, although not all of them are direct employees of the Department of Corrections (“DOC”).[2] (See id. at 3-4.)

         A. Motions Regarding Clark's Personal Property

         The magistrate judge construed Clark's motions concerning his personal property as motions requesting injunctive relief. (R&R at 1.) In his motions, Clark alleges that certain items of personal property, including “unallowable property/canteen [items], ” personal pictures, and long johns were taken from him upon his arrival at the North Dakota State Penitentiary in October 2015. (Id. at 3) (citing Pls.'s motions). He also alleges that “unallowable properties and canteen [items]” and “legal papers” were seized when he was transferred from North Dakota back to Minnesota. (Id.) In other motions filed in this case, Clark argues that the DOC Defendants failed to warn him that some of his personal effects would not be permitted at the North Dakota facility. (Id. at 5.) He seeks the return of his lost property or reimbursement for the missing items. (Id.)

         As to property alleged to have been taken by North Dakota prison officials, the magistrate judge observed that the proper parties were not before the Court. (Id. at 6-7.) In addition, Magistrate Judge Bowbeer noted that nothing in the record demonstrated whether Clark had exhausted his administrative remedies in North Dakota. (Id. at 7, n.3.) Regarding the property allegedly seized upon Clark's return to Minnesota, the magistrate judge determined that Clark failed to meet the standard necessary for injunctive relief. (Id. at 8.) Specifically, as to the canteen items, Magistrate Judge Bowbeer found that the value of the medical and food items taken was quantifiable and that even if Plaintiff's financial circumstances made the replacement of these items difficult or impossible, nothing in the record supported a conclusion that immediate replacement was necessary for Plaintiff's health or security. (Id.) Regarding the personal photographs, the magistrate judge found that Clark failed to identify or provide any information to support an argument of irreparable harm resulting from the loss of this property. (Id. at 8.) Lastly, as to Clark's “legal papers, ” the magistrate judge observed that in response to previous motions on this very subject, the DOC Defendants had represented that the documents were made available to Clark when he was in the custody of North Dakota officials and upon his return to Minnesota. (Id.) Magistrate Judge Bowbeer noted that the Court had previously ordered the DOC Defendants to make Plaintiff's legal papers available ...


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