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Milton Musa Pacheco v. John Mitchell; Brad Fournia; Dale Artus; J. Rock; and J. White

June 14, 2011

MILTON MUSA PACHECO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN MITCHELL; BRAD FOURNIA; DALE ARTUS; J. ROCK; AND J. WHITE; DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby, United States District Judge

DECISION and ORDER

Currently before the Court, in this pro se prisoner civil rights action filed by Milton Musa Pacheco ("Plaintiff") pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, is United States Magistrate Judge Randolph F. Treece's Report-Recommendation recommending that Defendants' second motion for summary judgment be denied and this case be deemed trial ready as to Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment return-to-work claims against Defendants John Mitchell, Dale Artus, Brad Fournia, J. Rock, and J. White. (Dkt. No. 127). No party has filed Objections to the Report-Recommendation, and the deadline by which to do so has expired. (See generally Docket Sheet.) For the reasons set forth below, Magistrate Judge Treece's Report-Recommendation is accepted and adopted in its entirety, and Defendants' second motion for summary judgment is denied.

I. RELEVANT BACKGROUND

On March 31, 2010, the Court issued a Decision and Order granting in part and denying in part Defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 105.) More specifically, the Court dismissed all of Plaintiff's claims except his Eighth Amendment return-to-work claims against Defendants Rock, White, Fournia in their individual capacities. (Id.) The Court also afforded Defendants an opportunity to file a second motion for summary judgment with regard to Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment return-to-work claims against Defendants Rock, White, Fournia in their individual capacities based on "the apparently inadvertent nature of Defendants' decision to not move for dismissal of [these claims]." (Id.)

On May 26, 2010, Defendants' filed a second motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 111.) In their motion, Defendants argued as follows: (1) Defendants White and Fournia were not present when Plaintiff was allegedly forced to work, and therefore they are entitled to summary judgment; (2) Plaintiff has failed to establish that Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights by sending him to work, and the record demonstrates that Defendants were not aware of a medical 'no work' permit excusing Plaintiff from his work detail; and (3) Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity because, without a valid "no work" permit, Defendants conduct was that of a similarly situated reasonable correction officer. (Id.) On July 21, 2010, Plaintiff submitted his response in opposition to Defendants' second motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. Nos. 118.)

Meanwhile, on May 24, 2010, after being granted an extension of time in which to do so, Plaintiff had filed a motion for reconsideration of the Court's Decision and Order of March 31, 2010. (Dkt. No. 110.) On August 24, 2010, the Court issued a Decision and Order granting in part and denying in part Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration. (Dkt. No. 120.) More specifically, the Court (1) granted Plaintiff's motion with regard to his return-to-work claims against Defendants Artus and Mitchell, reinstating these two individuals as Defendants in this action, and (2) denied the remainder of Plaintiff's motion. (Id.) In doing so, the Court granted Defendants until September 17, 2010, to supplement their second motion for summary judgment so as to move for summary judgment with regard to Plaintiff's return-to-work claims against Defendants Artus and Mitchell. (Id.) However, despite having been granted two subsequent extensions of time in which to do so. Defendants failed to so supplement their second motion for summary judgment. (See generally Docket Sheet.)

On March 31, 2011, Magistrate Judge Treece issued a Report-Recommendation recommending that Defendants' second motion for summary judgment be denied, and that this case be deemed trial ready as to Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment return-to-work claims against Defendants Mitchell, Artus, Fournia, Rock, and White. (Dkt. No. 127.) Familiarity with the particular reasons supporting Magistrate Judge Treece's Report-Recommendation is assumed in this Decision and Order, which is intended primarily for the review of the parties. As of the date of this Decision and Order, no party has filed Objections to the Report-Recommendation, and the deadline by which to do so has expired. (See generally Docket Sheet.)

For a more detailed recitation of the procedural history of this action, as well as Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment return-to-work claims and the factual allegations that support those claims the Court refers the reader to the Complaint in its entirety, Part I of the Court's Decision and Order of March 31, 2010, and Part I of Magistrate Judge Treece's Report- Recommendation. (Dkt. Nos. 1, 105, 127.)

II. APPLICABLE LEGAL STANDARDS

A. Standard of Review Governing a Report-Recommendation

When specific objections are made to a magistrate judge's report-recommendation, the Court makes a "de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made." See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).*fn1

When only general objections are made to a magistrate judge's report-recommendation, or where the objecting party merely reiterates the same arguments made in its original papers submitted to the magistrate judge, the Court reviews the report-recommendation for clear error or manifest injustice. See Brown v. Peters, 95-CV-1641, 1997 WL 599355, at *2-3 (N.D.N.Y. Sept. 22, 1997) (Pooler, J.) [collecting cases], aff'd without opinion, 175 F.3d 1007 (2d Cir. 1999).*fn2

Similarly, when a party makes no objection to a portion of a report-recommendation, the Court reviews that portion for clear error or manifest injustice. See Batista v. Walker, 94-CV-2826, 1995 WL 453299, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. July 31, 1995) (Sotomayor, J.) [citations omitted]; Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b), Advisory Committee Notes: 1983 Addition [citations omitted]. After conducing the appropriate review, the Court may "accept, reject, or modify, in ...


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