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Jackson v. Hereford

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

September 27, 2017

RONNIE JACKSON, Plaintiff,
v.
VICKI HEREFORD, JEFFERY WHITE, MICHELLE SAARI, DONN WEBER, JEFF GUTZMER, BRADLEY PLUFF, KELLY McELROY, DAVID REISHUS, in their individual capacities, and KENT GRANDLIENARD, in his individual and official capacity, Defendant.

          Ronnie Jackson, pro se plaintiff.

          Rachel Bell, Assistant Attorney General, for defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION

          JOHN R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

         Plaintiff Ronnie Jackson alleges in this case that several prison-official defendants, including Jeff Gutzmer, violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Defendants moved for summary judgment, United States Magistrate Judge Becky R. Thorson recommended that the Court grant the motion, and Jackson filed objections. On March 31, 2016, the Court granted Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment in part but denied the motion as it related to Jackson's excessive force claim against Gutzmer. Defendants appealed, and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion on August 10, 2017, holding that Gutzmer did not violate Jackson's Eighth Amendment rights. In light of that opinion, the Court will grant Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to Jackson's excessive force claim against Defendant Gutzmer.

         On March 17, 2016, Jackson filed a motion asking the Court to accept the late submission of an addendum to his objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation (“R & R”) and seeking a preliminary injunction to prohibit Defendants from withholding his legal papers. Because his additional objections have no bearing on the legal analysis of the Court's March 31, 2016, opinion and the Eighth Circuit's August 10, 2017, opinion, the Court will deny Jackson's motion as to the late submission of objections. Furthermore, because the Court will grant Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to Jackson's excessive force claim against Gutzmer, the Court will deny Jackson's Motion for Preliminary Injunction as moot.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         In the Declaration supporting Jackson's March 17, 2016, motion, Jackson alleges that his legal papers were taken from him on January 2, 2016, when he was sent to administrative segregation. (Decl. of Ronnie Jackson (“Jackson Decl.”) ¶¶ 2-4, Mar. 17, 2016, Docket No. 190.) His initial objections to the Magistrate Judge's R&R were due while he was in administrative segregation, thus he was forced to write the objections from memory because he did not have access to all his legal papers. (Id. ¶ 7, 9.) Specifically, Jackson alleges that he did not have access to the legal documents that pertained to the additional objections made in his “Addendum Notice of Objection.” (Id. ¶ 9.) For this reason, Jackson asks that the Court accept this “Addendum Notice of Objection” although the deadline for filing objections has passed.

         In his “Addendum Notice of Objection, ” Jackson makes three objections. First, he alleges that the Magistrate Judge used an improper standard of review regarding the claim against Defendant Saari and should have considered whether “systemic deficiencies can provide the basis for a finding of deliberate indifference.” (Addendum Notice of Objection to Magistrate's R&R dated Jan. 28, 2016, Mar. 17, 2016, Docket No. 192, ¶1 (citing Buckley v. Rogerson, 133 F.3d 1125 (8th Cir. 1998)).) Jackson's second and third objections allege that the Magistrate Judge erred as to various factual findings regarding when Jackson stopped his “negative behavior” and as to when that fact was known to Defendant Gutzmer. (Id. ¶¶ 2-3.)

         In the Declaration supporting Jackson's March 17, 2016, motion, Jackson also alleges that his legal papers were not immediately returned to him when he came out of administrative segregation on March 2, 2016. (Jackson Decl. ¶ 5.) While he was given access to his papers several days later, he was not allowed to keep all of his papers with him. (Id. ¶ 5.) Jackson alleges that 46% of his legal papers were again taken away. (Id.) Jackson alleges that Defendants' failure to give him access to his legal papers “‘impedes or frustrates' the legal process” and adversely affects his ability to file papers relating to his case, to respond to deadlines, and to properly cite or support documents. (Jackson Decl. ¶ 8.) For these reasons, Jackson seeks a preliminary injunction ordering Defendants to immediately return his legal papers and prohibiting Defendants from withholding them. (Pl.'s Mot. for Prelim. Inj. ¶¶ 2-3, Mar. 17, 2016, Docket No. 188.)

         DISCUSSION

         Because Jackson's additional objections would have no bearing on the outcome of the case, the Court will deny his request to submit a late “Addendum Notice of Objection” as moot. Because the Court will grant Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to Jackson's excessive force claim against Gutzmer, the Court will deny Jackson's Motion for Preliminary Injunction as moot.

         I. Jackson's Motion to Allow “Addendum Notice of Objection”

         Jackson's motion requests, in part, that the Court accept a late-filed “Addendum Notice of Objection” to the Magistrate Judge's R&R. Upon the filing of an R&R by a magistrate judge, “a party may serve and file specific written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations” within 14 days. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(2); accord D. Minn. LR 72.2(b)(1). Jackson did file initial objections within 14 days. (See Pl.'s Notice of Objs. to R&R (“Objs. to R&R”), Feb. 9, 2016, Docket No. 184.) However, he now wishes to file additional objections given that he did not have access to all his legal papers when the 14 day deadline expired. The Court is sympathetic to Jackson's situation; however, the Court will deny Jackson's request because the additional objections are moot.

         A. Jackson's Objection to the Magistrate Judge's ...


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