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Gay v. Chandra

September 23, 2008

ANTHONY GAY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
DR. CHANDRA, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

A. Introduction and Background

On March 1, 2005, Gay filed a pro se complaint alleging that Chandra was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment (Doc. 1). The matter was promptly referred to United States Magistrate Judge Donald G. Wilkerson pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 72(b), and Local Rule 72.1(a).

Chandra is a psychiatrist employed at the Tamms Correctional Center. Gay alleges that Chandra has repeatedly strapped him to a metal table in a cold cell while he was naked. Gay also alleges that during these periods, he has been refused meals. Additionally, Gay claims that he often engages in self-mutilation as a result of his mental condition, but that Chandra refuses to provide sufficient medication to help him control these urges.

On December 4, 2006, Gay filed a pro se motion for summary judgment (Doc. 32). Chandra filed a response on January 8, 2007 (Doc. 34) and Gay filed a reply on January 26, 2007 (Doc. 39). Additionally, on January 1, 2007, Chandra filed his own motion for summary judgment (Doc. 35). Gay responded pro se on February 27, 2007 (Doc. 41).

While these motions for summary judgment were pending, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson found it prudent to appoint counsel to assist Gay in this action. As a result, on July 6, 2007, attorney Allen Boston was appointed to represent Gay (Doc. 61). In light of this representation, the Court reopened discovery through December 19, 2007 and extended the dispositive motions deadline to December 28, 2007 so that Gay could obtain the benefit of his newly appointed counsel (Doc. 66).

After reviewing certain discovery and consulting with Gay, counsel sought leave to file an amended complaint on November 28, 2007 (Doc. 70). Additionally, on December 11, 2007, Gay's counsel filed a consent motion for an extension of time to complete discovery (Doc. 73). Therein, counsel explained that Gay's mental health records are voluminous and were not received from the correctional center until September 2007. Counsel also noted that certain discovery responses from Tamm's had not yet been received. Scheduling problems also delayed the taking of depositions at that point, and Gay's temporary transfer to a separate facility for court proceedings in another matter further complicated things. In light of all of this, Gay sought an extension of time to complete discovery through March 14, 2008.

On December 19, 2007, Chandra filed a response to the motion for an extension, stating that he did not waive his previous objection to permitting discovery in the first place (Doc. 75). However, Chandra did state that in light of the Court's prior Order setting the discovery schedule, he had no objection to an extension of discovery and agreed that "an extension would not only be reasonable, but would be helpful given the amount of records, witnesses, and issues involved in this case."

Without ever ruling on either the motion to amend the complaint or the motion for an extension of time, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson submitted a Report and Recommendation urging the undersigned District Judge to grant Chandra's motion for summary judgment and deny Gay's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 76). Thereafter, on March 7, 2008, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson entered an Order denying the motion to amend the complaint and the motion to extend discovery (Doc. 77).

On March 14, 2008, Gay filed an objection to the Report and Recommendation (Doc. 78). Gay does not object to the substance of the Report, but instead argues that he had not been afforded sufficient time to engage in discovery after the appointment of counsel to adequately respond to Chandra's motion for summary judgment. Additionally, Gay indicates that up until Magistrate Judge Wilkerson's Report was filed, the parties had engaged in further discovery under the assumption that the Court would grant the requested extension of time. Depositions had apparently been scheduled at that time, but they were canceled upon receipt of the Report.

Chandra filed a response to Gay's objections on March 20, 2008 (Doc. 79). Having obtained a ruling in his favor, Chandra argues that this Court should adopt the Report and Recommendations, as Gay has failed to rebut the evidence presented in Chandra's motion for summary judgment.

As objections were timely filed, the Court now undertakes de novo review. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B); FED.R.CIV.PRO.72(b); Local Rule 72.1(b); Govas v. Chalmers, 965 F.2d 298, 301 (7th Cir. 1992). The Court may accept, reject, or modify the recommended decision, or recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. FED.R.CIV.PRO.72(b); Willis v. Caterpillar, Inc., 199 F.3d 902, 904 (7th Cir. 1999).

For reasons thoroughly explained below, the Court hereby ADOPTS IN PART AND REJECTS IN PART the Report and Recommendation and provides additional ...


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