United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Zorislav R. Leyderman, THE LAW OFFICE OF ZORISLAV R.
LEYDERMAN, for plaintiff.
V. Brown, Assistant Attorney General, MINNESOTA ATTORNEY
GENERAL'S OFFICE, for defendants Miles R. Balach and
Maryjo K. Fales.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER ADOPTING THE REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE
R. TUNHEIM Chief Judge
Minnesota Sex Offender Program (“MSOP”) currently
treats Plaintiff John Graphenteen at its facility in Moose
Lake, Minnesota. Graphenteen filed this action against
Defendants Miles Balach, Maryjo Fales, and J. Does 1-2 -
security officers and managers and MSOP - asserting claims
for common-law negligence and violation of the Eighth
Amendment, or alternatively, the Fourteenth Amendment
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
and Fales moved to dismiss all Graphenteen's claims.
United States Magistrate Judge Franklin L. Noel issued a
Report and Recommendation (“R&R”)
recommending the Court grant in part and deny in part the
motion. Balach and Fales filed timely objections to the
R&R. For the reasons set forth below, the Court will
overrule the objections and adopt the R&R.
17, a doctor amputated Graphenteen's left leg below the
knee. (Am. Compl. ¶ 8, Jan. 21, 2016, Docket No. 30.) At
the time relevant to this case, Graphenteen relied on a
“very basic type [of prosthetic leg] which simply
slipped over his stub.” (Id.) On December 9,
2009, Graphenteen had an appointment to see a dentist and
MSOP assigned Balach and Fales, MSOP security officers, to
transport Graphenteen. (Id. ¶¶ 6, 9.)
Prior to departure for this appointment, Balach and Fales
handcuffed Graphenteen and shackled Graphenteen's legs,
including his prosthesis, together. (Id. ¶ 10.)
The leg shackles made Graphenteen nervous because the
sidewalks were very icy. (Id. ¶¶ 10-11.)
At the time of the transport, MSOP Policy 301.090 (the
“MSOP Policy”) required security officers to
transport patients in full restraints “unless medical
or physical limitations require[d] a reduction in
restraints.” (Id. ¶ 21 (alteration in
original).) Graphenteen requested to use a cane or wheelchair
during transport, but Balach and Fales denied the request.
(Id. ¶ 13). Graphenteen expressed concern that
he might slip and fall, but Balach and Fales instructed
Graphenteen to walk to the vehicle or forgo his dental
appointment. (Id.) Graphenteen reached the vehicle
without incident and attended his dental appointment.
dentist put Graphenteen under local anesthesia and extracted
six teeth. (Id. ¶ 14.) After the appointment,
Balach and Fales transported Graphenteen back to MSOP where
Graphenteen once again faced a visibly icy sidewalk.
(Id. ¶¶ 15-16.) In addition to his
concerns regarding the shackles on his leg and prosthetic,
Graphenteen felt dizzy and lightheaded from the combination
of local anesthesia and multiple tooth extractions. (Id.
¶ 15.) Graphenteen once again expressed safety
concerns about attempting to walk on the ice while restrained
and requested a wheelchair. (Id.) Balach told
Graphenteen that his supervisors, named J. Does 1-2 in this
action, had been informed of - and denied - the request for
subsequently exited the vehicle and, while attempting to walk
into MSOP with Balach holding his jacket, Graphenteen slipped
and fell on the ice. (Id. ¶¶ 17-18.) With
his hands cuffed and shackled to his waist, Graphenteen had
no way to break the fall and fell directly onto his face.
(Id. ¶ 19.) The resulting injuries to
Graphenteen included: two broken bones in his nose; cuts
above his eye and on his nose which required stitches; and
cuts elsewhere, which eventually became infected.
(Id. ¶¶ 20, 22.) Graphenteen alleged he
continues to suffer from these injuries and subsequent
emotional distress. (Id. ¶ 22.)
brought this action against Balach, Fales, and alleged
supervisors J. Does 1-2. Graphenteen alleged violations of
the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment pursuant to section 1983
and common-law negligence. (Id. ¶ 23-28.)
Balach and Fales moved to dismiss all Graphenteen's
claims. The Magistrate Judge issued an R&R recommending
the Court grant in part and deny in part the motion. The
Magistrate Judge recommended the Court: (1) grant the motion
to dismiss Graphenteen's negligence claim as time-barred;
(2) grant the motion to dismiss Graphenteen's Eighth
Amendment claim for failure to state a claim; and (3) deny
the motion to dismiss Graphenteen's Fourteenth Amendment
claim because, at this stage, Balach and Fales are not
entitled to qualified immunity.
and Fales timely objected to the R&R, arguing the
Magistrate Judge erred in finding they were not entitled to
qualified immunity. Balach and Fales also requested the Court
dismiss the claims against J. Does 1-2.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
magistrate judge files an R&R, a party may “file
specific written objections to the proposed findings and
recommendations.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2);
accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(1). “The objections
should specify the portions of the magistrate judge's
[R&R] to which objections are made and provide a basis
for those objections.” Mayer v. Walvatne, No.
07-1958, 2008 WL 4527774, at *2 (D. Minn. Sept. 28, 2008).
For dispositive motions, the Court reviews de ...