United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
JUSTIN LEE WILLIAMS #101391, And GIOVANNI QUINTANILLA #91582, Plaintiff,
SONNY WEATHERFORD, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
A. Trauger United States District Judge.
before the court are a Report and Recommendation (“R
& R”) of the Magistrate Judge that summary judgment
be granted to the defendants on Plaintiff Quintanilla's
claim due to his failure to exhaust administrative remedies
(Docket Entry No. 129), objections filed by the plaintiffs
(Docket Entry No. 141), and the defendants' response to
the objections (Docket Entry No. 146).
magistrate judge issues an R & R regarding a dispositive
matter, the district court must review de novo any
portion of the report and recommendation to which a specific
objection is made, and “may accept, reject, or modify
the recommended disposition; receive further evidence; or
return the matter to the magistrate judge with
instructions.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(C); United States v. Curtis, 237 F.3d 598,
603 (6th Cir. 2001); Massey v. City of Ferndale, 7
F.3d 506, 510 (6th Cir. 1993). Federal courts have routinely
deemed objections “waived” where the objections
merely restate the party's arguments that were previously
addressed by the magistrate judge. See VanDiver v.
Martin, 304 F.Supp.2d 934, 937 (E.D. Mich. 2004)
(“An ‘objection' that does nothing more than
state a disagreement with a magistrate's suggested
resolution, or simply summarizes what has been presented
before, is not an ‘objection' as that term is used
in this context.”); see also Charles v.
Astrue, No. 3:10-cv-134, 2011 WL 3206464 (E.D. Tenn.
July 28, 2011).
& R indicates that the defendants have submitted proof
that Plaintiff Quintanilla failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies about the jail's mail policy
before filing this lawsuit, and that the plaintiffs have
failed to submit any proof that creates a genuine issue about
that fact. Specifically, the Magistrate Judge observed that
Defendant Troutt's affidavit in support of the motion for
summary judgment, and the twenty page electronic report of
Plaintiff Quintanilla's grievances attached to it,
establish that Mr. Quintanilla was familiar with the use of
the grievance system and that he did not file any grievance
about the jail mail procedure that is the subject of this
lawsuit. (ECF No. 129, at 5; ECF Nos. 65-1, 65-2.) In
response to the motion for summary judgment, the Magistrate
Judge correctly found that “the closest the Plaintiff
comes to responding to this issue is the statement
‘both the plaintiffs in this action submitted written
grievances to both of the defendants regarding the
infringement upon our rights with no response received'
and ‘several verbal complaints were also given to
higher-ranking jail officials.'” (ECF No. 129, at 5
(quoting ECF No. 98, at 1).) The Magistrate Judge pointed out
that the plaintiffs had not submitted a copy of any such
grievance, describe its substance, or stated to whom any
verbal complaints were made, and that they had failed to
respond to the defendants' statement of undisputed fact
that Plaintiff Quintanilla had not filed any grievance about
the mail system at the Sumner County Jail. (ECF No. 129, at
plaintiffs object on two grounds. First, they say they did
not receive the defendants' statement of undisputed facts
until March 16, 2017, two days after the R & R was
entered. (ECF No. 141, at 1.) But the certificate of service
on the defendants' statement indicates that it was mailed
on January 31, simultaneously with the motion to dismiss and
memorandum in support to which the defendants responded on
February 21, and the defendants have now submitted
counsel's January 31 cover letter reflecting that all of
the defendants' filings in support of their motion were
mailed to each plaintiff in a single missive. (ECF No. 67, at
2; ECF No. 146-1.) The court is therefore not persuaded by
the plaintiffs' claim that they did not receive the
defendants' statement until a month and a half after it
was mailed to them. Moreover, even if the court were so
persuaded, the R & R was not based solely on the
plaintiffs' failure to respond to that statement, but is
amply supported by Defendant Troutt's affidavit and the
plaintiffs' failure to offer any evidence to refute it in
their response to the motion.
the plaintiffs argue generally that summary judgment is
inappropriate because they have not yet conducted discovery.
(ECF No. 141, at 3.) However, they have not established why
any discovery would be necessary for them to submit evidence
of Plaintiff Quintanilla's own grievances, or why
Defendant Troutt's affidavit and the attached records of
Mr. Quintanilla's grievances is not adequate disclosure
of the evidence in the defendants' possession on this
issue. They also fail to specify to any degree what discovery
they would like to conduct regarding exhaustion. A court does
not abuse its discretion by denying a request to defer ruling
on summary judgment until additional discovery is conducted
where the requesting party fails to show how he would benefit
from such discovery. Anzaldua v. Ne. Ambulance & Fire
Prot. Dist., 793 F.3d 822, 837 (8th Cir. 2015).
court has reviewed the R & R, the objections, the
response to objections, and the file. The plaintiffs'
objections are overruled, and the R & R is adopted and
approved. Accordingly, the defendants' motion for summary
judgment with respect to Plaintiff Quintanilla's claims
(Docket Entry No. 65) is GRANTED, and Plaintiff
Quintanilla's claims are DISMISSED. Any appeal brought ...