United States District Court, E.D. Kentucky, Southern Division
LARRY W. SCOTT, JR., Plaintiff,
MARY HAMMONS, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
Gregory F. Van Tatenhove United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on a Motion for Summary Judgment
filed by Defendants Steven Mills and Bonnie Dunn. [R. 54.]
This matter was referred to United States Magistrate Judge
Hanly A. Ingram, who filed a Recommended Disposition (also
known as a “Report and Recommendation” or
“R&R”) recommending that Defendants'
Motion for Summary Judgment be granted. [R. 60.]
Plaintiff, Larry W. Scott, Jr., filed a pro se
complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Jailers
Mary Hammons and Linda Smallwood, Officer Steve Owens, United
States Marshal Greg Bobblitt, Commonwealth's Attorney
Jackie Steele, Knox County Circuit Judge Gregory Lay, Deputy
Jailer Steven Mills, and Nurse Bonnie Dunn. [R. 1.] This
Court previously dismissed claims against all defendants
except Deputy Jailer Mills and Nurse Dunn. [R. 28.] Ms. Dunn
and Mr. Mills filed their Motion for Summary Judgment on July
14, 2017. [R. 54.] Subsequently, Mr. Scott filed what the
Court construes as a Response to Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment. [R. 55.] On November 29, 2017, Judge Ingram
issued his R&R and directed the parties to file
objections within fourteen days. [R. 60.] Mr. Scott objected;
however, his objections were not postmarked until December
19, 2017, and were not filed until December 21, 2017. [R.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b)(2), a petitioner has
fourteen days after service to register any objections to the
Recommended Disposition or else waive his right to appeal. In
order to receive de novo review by this Court, any
objection to the recommended disposition must be specific.
Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637 (6th Cir. 1986).
A specific objection “explain[s] and cite[s] specific
portions of the report which [counsel] deem[s]
problematic.” Robert v. Tesson, 507 F.3d 981,
994 (6th Cir. 2007). A general objection that fails to
identify specific factual or legal issues from the
recommendation, however, is not permitted since it only
duplicates the Magistrate's efforts and wastes judicial
economy. Howard v. Sec'y of Health & Human
Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991). When no
objections are made, this Court is not required to
“review . . . a magistrate's factual or legal
conclusions, under a de novo or any other standard . . .
.” Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 150 (1985).
Parties who fail to object to a Magistrate's report and
recommendation are also barred from appealing a district
court's order adopting the report and recommendation.
See United States v. Walters, 638 F.2d 947 (6th Cir.
Scott's objections were not timely, as they were filed
more than fourteen days after Judge Ingram's Recommended
Disposition. Further, Mr. Scott gave no explanation as to why
the filing was tardy. However, even if his objections were
timely, Mr. Scott fails to raise specific objections to the
Recommended Disposition. Rather than filing specific
objections pointing to issues with the Magistrate's
R&R, Mr. Scott merely summarizes his complaint, including
claims against defendants previously dismissed, and requests
leave to appeal the Recommendation. [R. 61.] These objections
are not sufficiently definite to trigger the Court's
obligation to conduct a de novo review. See
28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(c).
the Court acknowledges its duty to review Mr. Scott's
filings under a more lenient standard than the one applied to
attorneys because he is proceeding pro se, see Franklin
v. Rose, 765 F.2d 82, 84-85 (6th Cir. 1985), the Court
has examined the record and ultimately agrees with Judge
Ingram's recommendation. For the following reasons, Mr.
Scott's objections [R. 61] will be
OVERRULED, and Judge Ingram's
Recommended Disposition [R. 60] will be
Ingram set forth the factual and procedural background of the
case in his Recommended Disposition. Below, the Court
mentions the key facts to frame its discussion and analysis
but, otherwise, incorporates Judge Ingram's discussion of
the record into this Order.
Larry Scott was arrested on September 5, 2015, for failure to
comply with Kentucky sex offender registration requirements,
a violation of KRS § 17.510(11), as well as being a
persistent felony offender, a violation of KRS §
532.080(3). [R. 1-1.] During the pendency of his case, Mr.
Scott was housed at the Knox County Detention Center (KCDC).
[R. 1.] His case was ultimately dismissed by the Knox County
Circuit Court on April 11, 2016. [R. 28.]
his time at KCDC, Mr. Scott alleged that Deputy Jailer Steven
Mills attacked him from behind by dragging him backwards,
swinging him violently “from side to side, ” and
choking him unconscious, ultimately resulting in injuries to
Mr. Scott's neck and elbow. [R. 1 at 23.] Initially, Mr.
Scott claimed this attack was unprovoked. Id.
However, he later indicated Mr. Mills had attempted to
restrain him after Mr. Scott and another inmate were involved
in an altercation. [R. 56 at 4; R. 49 at 6.] Mr. Mills
maintains that he never assaulted Mr. Scott, but did use some
force to prevent further altercation. [R. 54-8; R. 54-11.]
Mr. Scott claims he fell down the stairs in the recreation
area sometime in October 2015, resulting in injuries to his
head and ankle. [R. 1 at 41.] He claims that employees
examined his ankle, which was “visibly swollen.”
Id. Thereafter, he experienced seizures, and KCDC
employees placed him first in a restraint chair and then a
medical cell with a mattress on the floor. Id. at
41-45. Mr. Scott alleges that Ms. Dunn failed to provide him
with adequate medical care, but the only document that
indicates she was aware of Mr. Scott's fall is a
grievance form filed in the record without proof it was ever
submitted to KCDC. [R. 9-1 at 4.]
R&R, Judge Ingram addressed whether Mr. Scott exhausted
his administrative remedies prior to bringing this federal
action. [R. 60 at 6.] Under the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(PLRA), Mr. Scott is prohibited from bringing an action under
42 U.S.C. § 1983, as he has attempted to do here, until
he has exhausted all available administrative remedies. 42
U.S.C. § 1997e(a). This restriction also applies to
pretrial detainees - such was Mr. Scott at the time of the
alleged events. See Arflack v. County of Henderson,
Kentucky, 412 F. App'x 829, 831-32 (6th Cir. 2011)
(unpublished); see also Ross v. Blake, 136 S.Ct.
1850 (2016) (holding that there are no exceptions carved out
of the PLRA). If a plaintiff brings a § 1983 claim
regarding conditions in the prison while he is in custody,
but did not exhaust all available administrative remedies,
the Court must dismiss the case. Cox v. Mayer, 332
F.3d 422, 424 (6th Cir. 2003); Napier v. Laurel
County, 636 F.3d 218, 221 n.1 (6th Cir. 2011).
Mr. Scott filed this § 1983 complaint he was in custody
and, therefore, was required to exhaust the administrative
remedies available to him. See 42 U.S.C. §
1997e(a). Even construing his pleadings and filings
liberally, Judge Ingram found no evidence suggesting Mr.
Scott ever filed a grievance concerning the alleged assault
by Mr. Mills on September 17, 2015. [See R. 60 at
8-9.] This Court also has been unsuccessful in finding
documentation in the record sufficient to suggest Mr. Scott
ever filed such a grievance. The Magistrate determined that
Mr. Scott, having not filed a grievance of this alleged
assault, could not possibly have exhausted his administrative