United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation
(“Report”) of United States Magistrate Judge Mark
A. Beatty (Doc. 91) recommending that the undersigned deny
Plaintiff's Motion to Strike Pleadings (Doc. 75).
Plaintiff filed a timely objection (Doc. 94). For the
following reasons, Judge Beatty's Report and
Recommendation is ADOPTED.
Rodney Eugene Black, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), filed this
lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging the
defendants were deliberately indifferent to his serious
medical needs when they denied and/or delayed providing
treatment for his broken thumb. Plaintiff moves for
sanctions, asserting that his attorney was informed by a
correctional officer that telephone conversations between
Plaintiff and his attorney "may be and may have been
monitored." Specifically, Plaintiff requests that the
Court strike Defendants' pleadings, that judgment be
entered in his favor and against the defendants, and that a
hearing be set for a prove-up of damages. Defendants filed a
response in opposition to Plaintiff's Motion supported by
affidavits from each defendant and the Saline County 911
Coordinator, Tracy Felty.
Beatty determined that an evidentiary hearing was unnecessary
and ruled based on the parties' briefs. His Report
details the nature of the evidence presented by the parties
as well as the applicable law. Judge Beatty concluded that
Plaintiff's allegations of eavesdropping were not
supported by the record and that the harsh sanction of
striking Defendants' pleadings was not warranted.
Accordingly, Judge Beatty recommended the undersigned deny
Plaintiff filed a timely objection, the undersigned must
undertake a de novo review of Judge Beatty's
recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), (C);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); SDIL-LR 73.1(b); Harper v. City of
Chicago Heights, 824 F.Supp. 786, 788 (N.D. Ill. 1993);
see also Govas v. Chalmers, 965 F.2d 298, 301 (7th
Cir. 1992). De novo review requires the district
judge to “give fresh consideration to those issues to
which specific objections have been made” and make a
decision “based on an independent review of the
evidence and arguments without giving any presumptive weight
to the magistrate judge's conclusion.”
Harper, 824 F.Supp. at 788 (citing 12 Charles Alan
Wright et al., Federal Practice and Procedure §
3076.8, at p. 55 (1st ed. 1973) (1992 Pocket Part));
Mendez v. Republic Bank, 725 F.3d 651, 661 (7th Cir.
2013). The Court “may accept, reject or modify the
magistrate judge's recommended decision.”
Harper, 824 F.Supp. at 788. Consistent with these
standards, the Court has reviewed Judge Beatty's Report
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f), a court may strike
from a pleading “any redundant, immaterial,
impertinent, or scandalous matter.” A court may also
exercise its inherent powers to “fashion . . .
appropriate sanction[s] for conduct which abuses the judicial
process.” Chambers v. NASCO, Inc., 501 U.S.
32, 44 (1991).
contends the affidavit of Tracy Felty confirms that
conversations between Plaintiff and his attorney were
recorded by the County. Felty averred that all telephone
lines in the Saline County Jail are on a secured line that is
recorded through the Saline County 911 system. She also
states she is the only person with the password to listen to
any of Plaintiff s telephone calls, that she has never
listened to Plaintiffs telephone conversations, and that she
has not provided the password to anyone else.
officials may monitor and even tape an inmate's telephone
conversations with an attorney “only if such taping
does not substantially affect the prisoner's right to
confer with counsel.” Tucker v. Randall, 948
F.2d 388, 391 (7th Cir. 1991). Here, each Defendant and Felty
averred that they have never listened to any telephone
conversations made by Plaintiff. Plaintiff has produced no
evidence that anyone has listened to his conversations with
his attorney or that his rights to confer with counsel have
Court finds no clear error in Judge Beatty's findings,
analysis and conclusions, and adopts his Report and
Recommendation in its entirety. Accordingly, ...