United States District Court, W.D. New York
REPORT & RECOMMENDATION
& DECISION & ORDER
Hugh B. Scott United States Magistrate Judge
matter has been referred to the undersigned pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C) (Docket No. 18, May 22, 2014) for
dispositive motions. The instant matters before the Court are
(a) the motion of defendants (Docket No. 131) for summary
judgment; (b) plaintiff's motions seeking compelled
discovery (Docket Nos. 134 (Request for Admissions), 135
(Answers to Interrogatories)); (c) plaintiff's motion
seeking to suspend briefing for defendants' motion for
summary judgment (Docket No. 133; see Docket No.
144); and (d) plaintiff's motion to compel (Docket No.
139). Responses to defendants' motion were due by April
10, 2017, with reply by April 24, 2017 (Docket No. 132), but
the reply deadline was extended to May 11, 2017 (Docket No.
140) to conclude all briefing of the motions together
(id.). As for plaintiff's motion to suspend
briefing of the summary judgment and his motions to compel,
the defense response was due by April 6, 2017, with reply due
by April 21, 2017 (Docket No. 136). This Court there
recognized that, under Rule 56(d), a summary judgment
opponent can respond that he cannot present facts to oppose
the motion and presumed plaintiff's motions to compel
raised that inability to respond (id.; see
also Docket No. 144). Plaintiff also was directed to
show his good faith attempts to obtain the sought discovery
and was to do so by April 6, 2017 (Docket No. 136). Plaintiff
then filed his motion to compel (Docket No. 139). Responses
to this motion were due May 4, 2017, and replies to all
motions were then due by May 11, 2017 (Docket No. 140). This
Court later indicated that plaintiff's discovery motions
would be resolved first and then defendants' summary
judgment motion (id.).
a pro se civil rights and Americans With
Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et
seq., action in which plaintiff, an inmate currently
held in the Wende Regional Medical Unit (“RMU”)
due to his medical condition, seeks access to the Wende
Correctional Facility (“Wende”) law library
(contained in a separate building) or reasonable
accommodation for his disability to afford him that access.
Plaintiff alleges in this action eleven causes of action.
(Docket No. 1, Compl.) Plaintiff complains here about events
from December 2009 and various dates in 2010, 2011, and 2012
for misdiagnoses, mistreatment of different ailments he
suffered while incarcerated, and placement in the regional
medical unit. For example, in the Ninth Claim, plaintiff
alleges that defendants, on various dates in 2012, denied him
access to the Wende main law library while he was housed at
the RMU, a maximum security unit, for dialysis treatment
(Docket No. 1, Compl. at 20). He claims that he grieved these
denials (id.). Subsequent motions sought to
supplement these claims with events from 2013 and 2014
(Docket Nos. 40, 43). Plaintiff is physically unable to walk
to the Wende law library and he seeks a preliminary
injunction to grant him access to the law library (Docket No.
1, Compl. at 22-23). He essentially claims that defendants
deprived him of reasonable accommodations for his kidney
ailment (in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act)
and misdiagnosed and mistreated that (and other conditions).
filed the original Complaint on January 30, 2014 (Docket No.
1). He then moved for in forma pauperis status
(Docket No. 2), which was granted (Docket No. 5). Defendants
responded to the preliminary injunction requests (Docket Nos.
12, 14) contained in the Complaint, as well as served their
Answer to the Complaint (Docket No. 15). Plaintiff also moved
for access to the Wende law library while being hospitalized
at the RMU (Docket No. 16).
moved for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining
Order (Docket No. 16) and this Court recommended denying
injunctive relief and granting plaintiff's motion to
amend the Complaint (Docket No. 50); familiarity with this
Report is presumed. Absent any objections, then Chief Judge
William Skretny adopted this Report (Docket No. 53).
Plaintiff later moved for reconsideration (Docket No. 55) but
this motion was denied (Docket No. 58).
plaintiff's first motion to supplement this Complaint
(Docket No. 31) was granted in part, denied in part (Docket
No. 40), which was affirmed by Chief Judge Skretny (Docket
No. 45). Plaintiff filed his notice of appeal from this
interlocutory Order (Docket No. 47) but later wrote to the
Court of Appeals to withdraw the appeal (Docket No. 52),
which that court dismissed (Docket No. 63). Plaintiff also
filed a second motion to supplement this Complaint, to allege
incidents from 2013 (Docket No. 43); that motion was denied
but plaintiff was to file and serve an Amended Complaint as
with fully exhausted claims, as well as claims originally
alleged by November 25, 2014 (Docket No. 49).
current Scheduling Order (Docket No. 107, First Amended
Scheduling Order, dated Mar. 23, 2016) concluded discovery on
April 22, 2016 (see Docket No. 136).
then moved to dismiss certain claims because they were time
barred (Docket No. 83). That motion was granted and those
claims were dismissed (Docket No. 100, Order; see
Docket No. 92, Report & Rec.).
Motion for Summary Judgment
now argue that they provided plaintiff with adequate medical
care (Docket No. 131, Defs. Memo. at 9-13). They contend that
plaintiff was afforded access to the law library through law
clerks and such access was adequate and reasonable
accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act and
the Rehabilitation Act (id. at 13-15). Defendants
argue that plaintiff only made conclusory allegations of
violations of his rights under the First, Fourth, Sixth,
Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments (id. at 15-17) and
that certain grievances raised by plaintiff fail to state a
constitutional violation (id. at 17-25).
Motions to Compel and Response to Defendants' Summary
of attempting to address defendants' contentions,
plaintiff moved to compel answers to his Request for
Admissions (Docket No. 134) and to his Interrogatories
(Docket No. 135). He also moved to suspend defendants'
motion until plaintiff's motions to compel were addressed
(Docket No. 133).
appears to have served his discovery demands with his motions
to compel, with his Requests for Admission for individual
defendants to respond to dated “March 2017”
(Docket No. 134). Plaintiff's Interrogatories attached to