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Meeks v. Tennessee Department of Correction

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Columbia Division

September 28, 2017

DANNY RAY MEEKS, Plaintiff,
v.
TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          WAVERLY DLGRENSHAW, JR. CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court are Danny Ray Meeks' Motion to Alter or Amend Order (Doc. No. 78); Meeks' Motion for Review of Magistrate Judge's Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Extension of Time (Doc. No. 85); and the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge (Doc. No. 81), recommending that Corrections Corporation of America's (“CCA”) Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 59) be granted.

         For the following reasons, Meeks' motions (Doc. Nos. 78 and 85) will be denied, the Report and Recommendation (Doc. No. 81) will be adopted. Accordingly, CCA's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 59) will be granted and this action will be dismissed.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Danny Ray Meeks, then an inmate at the Morgan County Correctional Complex (“MCCX”) in Wartburg, Tennessee, filed this action pro se under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq.; and 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983. The Complaint named the Tennessee Department of Correction (“TDOC”) and CCA as Defendants. (Doc. No. 1 at 3-4.) In the Amended Complaint, Arvil Chapman, Daniel Pritchard, Bruce Woods, and Reba Love were added as Defendants. (Doc. No. 3 at 2-4.)

         The Court determined that Meeks failed to state a claim on which relief may be granted under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), and dismissed his case. (Doc. No. 4.) Meeks appealed. (Doc. No. 10.) The Sixth Circuit found that Meeks had abandoned all claims, except for his retaliation claims under the ADA and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. (Doc. No. 18 at 4-6.) The Sixth Circuit held that Meeks stated plausible ADA retaliation claims against TDOC and CCA based, in part, on the following allegations:

TDOC took adverse action against him for filing documents in his then-ongoing lawsuit alleging ADA and § 1983 violations by allegedly transferring him to a non-ADA compliant prison facility on October 24, 2012, destroying his property on June 12, 2013, and sanctioning his assault by a prison gang on June 29, 2013. . . . Meeks plausibly alleged a causal connection by stating that these alleged adverse actions occurred within close proximity of his exercise of his rights under the ADA.

(Id. at 4-5.) The Sixth Circuit remanded the case for further proceedings on the ADA claims. (Id. at 4-6.)

         On April 19, 2016, CCA filed a motion for partial dismissal (Doc. No. 38) arguing that Meeks' ADA retaliation claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. (Doc. No. 39.) Meeks did not file a response.

         On May 6, 2016, TDOC filed a Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 40) also arguing that the ADA retaliation claims were barred by the statute of limitations. Meeks filed a pro se response, contending that his ADA retaliation claims were timely under the continuing violations doctrine. (Doc. No. 46 at 1-2.) TDOC filed a reply, arguing that the alleged October 2012 transfer, June 2013 property destruction, and June 2013 assault were discrete events that do not constitute continuing violations. (Doc. No. 49 at 1-4.)

         On September 6, 2016, Karen McDonald entered a notice of appearance as counsel for Meeks. (Doc. No. 66.)

         On December 28, 2016, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation, recommending that TDOC's Motion to Dismiss be granted. (Doc. No. 69.) On January 11, 2017, Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., issued an Order setting aside the Report and Recommendation and addressing TDOC's Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 40) and CCA's Partial Motion to Dismiss (Doc. No. 38) de novo. Judge Haynes ruled that Meeks' ADA retaliation claims for the October 2012 transfer, June 2013 property destruction, and June 2013 assault were barred by the statute of limitations and granted both CCA's motion for partial dismissal and TDOC's motion to dismiss. (Doc. No. 70 at 3.)

         On January 17, 2017, this action was transferred to the undersigned. That same day, Meeks filed a pro se motion for extension of time to file objections to the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation (Doc. No. 71) that the Magistrate Judge denied as moot in light of Judge Haynes' January 11 Order setting aside the Report and Recommendation. (Doc. No. 74.)

         II. PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO ALTER OR AMEND (DOC. NO. 78)

         On February 8, 2017, Meeks filed a Motion to Alter or Amend the January 11 Order. (Doc. No. 78.) TDOC and CCA each filed a response, (Doc. Nos. 83-1and 84)[1], and Meeks filed a reply (Doc. No. 94)[2]. ...


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