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Concepcion v. Pickles

September 30, 2010

MIGUEL CONCEPCION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROBERT PICKLES, PHYSICIAN ONEIDA CORRECTIONAL FACILITY; AND SUSAN CONNELL, SUPERINTENDENT, ONEIDA CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Scullin, Senior Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

Currently before the Court are Magistrate Judge Baxter's February 12, 2010 Report-Recommendation and Plaintiff's objections thereto. See Dkt. Nos. 16, 19.

In his complaint, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants denied him constitutionally adequate medical care for more than two years while he was an inmate in the custody of the Department of Correctional Services ("DOCS") at Oneida Correctional Facility. Plaintiff seeks declaratory relief, injunctive relief enjoining Defendants from retaliating against him for bringing this action, $3,000,000 in compensatory damages, and $6,000,000 in punitive damages.

Defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that (1) Defendant Pickles was not deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's serious medical needs, (2) Plaintiff failed to allege any personal involvement on the part of Defendant Connell, and (3) Defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. Defendants also asserted that the Court should dismiss the claims against them to the extent that Plaintiff was seeking to sue them in their official capacities.

After reviewing the parties' submissions, Magistrate Judge Baxter recommended that the Court grant Defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismiss Plaintiff's complaint. See Report-Recommendation at 19. Plaintiff filed timely objections, arguing, among other things, that Magistrate Judge Baxter's recommendation that the Court grant summary judgment was premature because Plaintiff had not had the opportunity to conduct discovery.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

When a party makes specific objections to a magistrate judge's report-recommendation, the court reviews de novo "'those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.'" Linares v. Mahunik, No. 9:05-CV-625, 2009 WL 3165660, *10 (N.D.N.Y. July 16, 2009) (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C)) (footnote omitted). If, however, the parties make only general objections, the court reviews the report-recommendation for clear error or manifest injustice. See id. (citation and footnote omitted). After the appropriate review of the report-recommendation, "the Court may 'accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge.'" Id. (quoting 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C)).

B. Magistrate Judge Baxter's Recommendation that the Court Should Dismiss

Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Connell for lack of personal involvement Magistrate Judge Baxter found that, although Defendant Connell had knowledge of Plaintiff's grievance alleging that he was not receiving adequate medical care, at the time that she received the grievance, Plaintiff was already receiving the treatment that he wanted and there was no further action she could have taken. See Report-Recommendation at 10. Therefore, he recommended that the Court dismiss Plaintiff's claims against Defendant Connell for lack of personal involvement.

Plaintiff's objection to this recommendation is general in nature. Basically, he argues that the Court should not grant the motion because intent is at issue and because he should be afforded the opportunity, through discovery, to demonstrate Defendant Connell's pattern of being deliberately indifferent to inmates. See Plaintiff's Memorandum of Law at 4-5.

Having reviewed the record, the Court agrees with Magistrate Judge Baxter that, although Defendant Connell had knowledge of Plaintiff's grievance, by the time she had such knowledge, there was nothing for her to do because Plaintiff was already receiving the treatment that he had requested. Therefore, the Court adopts Magistrate Judge Baxter's recommendation ...


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