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Briggs v. Dixon

September 22, 2008

ISAAC BRIGGS*FN1, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROBERT R. DIXON, ET AL., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Herndon, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

I. Introduction

This matter is now before the Court on a Report and Recommendation ("Report") filed by Magistrate Judge Proud. (Doc. 100). Briggs objects to the Report. Based on the following, the Court adopts the Report in its entirety.

Issac Briggs, an inmate at the Pontiac Correctional Center, brings this pro se complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Dr. Nathan Chapman, Pamela Grubman, Vickie Howie, and Linda Goforth, alleging that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. Specifically, he alleges in Count 14 that Chapman and Grubman were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in regards to his four upper front teeth, which were missing crowns. In Count 15, he alleges that Howie and Goforth were also deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs regarding an infection -a gluteal abscess- which went untreated and led to his fearing that his leg would have to be amputated; and that the defendants, both correctional counselors, "failed to seek adequate adjudication of this medical issue." (Doc. 28, p. 12).

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), Magistrate Judge Proud submitted a Report on July 23, 2008. (Doc. 100). The Report addresses three motions (as well as several responses related to those motions): 1) a motion for summary judgment filed by Defendants Grubman, Goforth, and Howie (Doc. 75), which Judge Proud recommends should be granted; 2) a motion for summary judgment filed by Defendant Chapman (Docs. 76 & 77), which Judge Proud recommends should be granted; and a combined motion to dismiss defendants motions for summary judgment and Reinstate counts 1-13 and 15 (Doc. 85), which Judge Proud recommends should be denied.

Under Rule 73.1 of the Local Rules of the Southern District of Illinois, parties have ten days in which to serve and file written objections to the Report "which shall specifically identify the portions of the proposed findings, recommendations, or reports to which objection is made and the basis for such objections." SDIL-LR 73.1(b). On August 8, 2008, Briggs filed objections to the Report. (Doc. 102). On August 25, 2008, Defendants filed a response to Briggs' objections. (Doc. 104).

III. Analysis

Having filed an objection within the time granted by the Court, the Court considers this objection to be timely. Therefore, this Court undertakes de novo review of the Report. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B); FED. R.CIV.P.72(b); Govas v. Chalmers, 965 F.2d 298, 301 (7th Cir. 1992). The Court may "accept, reject or modify the recommended decision."FED. R.CIV.P.72(b); Willis v. Caterpillar Inc., 199 F.3d 902, 904 (7th Cir. 1999). In making this determination, the Court must look at all the evidence contained in the record and give fresh consideration to those issues to which specific objection has been made. Id.

The Court notes that it is hard to ascertain from Brigg's objections exactly what his objections are. Rule 73.1 of the Local Rules of the Southern District of Illinois provides that objections to the Report "shall specifically identify the portions of the proposed findings, recommendations, or reports to which objection is made and the basis for such objections." SDIL-LR 73.1(b) (emphasis added). Here, Plaintiff's objections fail to comply with Rule 73.1 because he does not specifically identify the portions of the Report to which he is objecting or the basis for those objections. Plaintiff offers various arguments in his objection to the report, but fails to adequately identify the specific portions of the Report he is objecting to, making determining what in the Report is actually being objected to difficult. Therefore, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the Court need not conduct de novo review of the general objections, Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985), but will. Plaintiff seems to be asserting five arguments which are discussed separately below.

A. Motion to Reinstate Counts 1-13 & 15.

Plaintiff first seems to object to the denial of his "Combined Motion", particularly the denial of his motion to reinstate Counts 1-13 and Count 15 pertaining to Wexford Health Sources, Inc.. Plaintiff does not provide any basis for his objection. Rather, he objects to the fact that the Report only focused on Defendants Grubman, Goforth, Howie, and Chapman, and fails to acknowledge several defendants at the Pinckneyville and Lawrence Correctional Centers. (Doc. 102 p. 3-10). Plaintiff is presumably referring to claims previously dismissed per 28 U.S.C. §1915A. Plaintiff then argues that the claims should be reinstated and seeks to argue the merits of the various dismissed claims. (Doc. 102 p. 14-16).

The Court rejects this objection under the "law of the case" doctrine. According to the "law of the case" doctrine, "when an issue is once litigated and decided, that should be the end of the matter." Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 680 F.2d 527, 532 (7th Cir. 1982). As Judge Proud's Report accurately states, on November 7, 2006, the Court dismissed Counts 1-13, part of Count 15 pertaining to Wexford Health Sources, Inc., and Count 16 of Plaintiff's Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A as legally frivolous. (See Doc. 30). Under the "law of the case" doctrine, only Counts 14 and the remaining part of 15 are presently in this case.

Furthermore, Judge Proud's Report points out that Plaintiff filed the subject motion more than one year after the Court's order, precluding Plaintiff from arguing mistake, newly discovered evidence, or fraud. Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). In addition, the Report finds that Plaintiff asserts no particular error in that previous order. The Court agrees with both of these findings. Plaintiff fails to point out any particular error in the Court's order. As ...


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