Key v. Grayson, No. CIV. 96-40166.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Michigan)
Writing for the CourtGadola
Citation163 F.Supp.2d 697
PartiesDavid G. KEY, Plaintiff, and Michigan Protection and Advocacy Svc., Plaintiff-Intervenor, v. Henry GRAYSON, Kenneth McGinnis, Gary Gabry, Paul Rencio, and Bill Martin, Defendants.
Decision Date05 September 2001
Docket NumberNo. CIV. 96-40166.
163 F.Supp.2d 697
David G. KEY, Plaintiff,
and
Michigan Protection and Advocacy Svc., Plaintiff-Intervenor,
v.
Henry GRAYSON, Kenneth McGinnis, Gary Gabry, Paul Rencio, and Bill Martin, Defendants.
No. CIV. 96-40166.
United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division.
September 5, 2001.

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Daniel E. Manville, Ferndale, MI, Gayle C. Rosen, Ann Arbor, MI, for Plaintiff.

John L. Thurber, Office of the Attorney General, Correctional Division, Lansing, MI, for Defendant.

OPINION AND ORDER

GADOLA, District Judge.


Before the Court are the report and recommendation of Magistrate Judge Donald Scheer [docket entry 273] and the objections and responses thereto. Pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(e), the Court concludes that a hearing would not aid in the disposition of these matters. For the reasons set forth below, the Court accepts and adopts the Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation, except insofar as it pertains to Plaintiff's ability to: (1) bring suit against Defendants in their individual capacities pursuant to 42 U.S .C. § 12203(a); (2) seek recovery for emotional or mental injuries in light of 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e) of the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"); and (3) proceed with his claim under the Michigan Persons With Disabilities Civil Rights Act ("MPDCRA"), M.C.L. 37.1301, et seq. This Court holds, for reasons set forth below, that Defendants in their individual capacities are not amenable to suit under § 12203(a) and that § 1997e(e) is no obstacle to Plaintiff's recovery for emotional or mental injuries. The Court will also dismiss without prejudice Plaintiff's claim under the MPDCRA because that claim raises a novel and complex issue of state law. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c) (2001).

I BACKGROUND

The facts in detail are as set forth in Magistrate Judge Scheer's report and recommendation, which is published in conjunction with this opinion and order. Plaintiff is a prisoner in the Michigan Department of Corrections ("MDOC"). Plaintiff brings suit against Defendants, all of whom were, or are, prison officials. All Defendants face suit in their official and individual capacities, except for Defendant McGinnis, who faces suit only in his individual capacity.

In his fourth amended-complaint, Plaintiff brings several causes of action against Defendants. He alleges that Defendants violated: the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq.; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794, as amended; and, the MPDCRA. Plaintiff grounds all of these claims in the allegation that Defendants denied him public services because of his hearing disability. Plaintiff also claims that Defendants violated the ADA's anti-retaliation provision, 42 U.S.C. § 12203(a), by retaliating against him for pursuing this suit.

On March 20, 2001, Magistrate Judge Scheer issued his report and recommendation regarding Defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and 56(b). The Magistrate Judge, after meticulous analysis, recommended that this Court allow Plaintiff to proceed only with his claims for: (1) injunctive relief under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act; (2) retaliation under 42 U .S.C. § 12203(a) against Defendants in their individual capacities; (3) violations of the MPDCRA that accrued before March 10, 2001; and (4) monetary damages against Defendants in their official capacities under the Rehabilitation Act.

This Court now evaluates the Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation.

II LEGAL STANDARD

The Court's standard of review of a Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation depends upon whether a party objected to that document. As to the

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parts of the report and recommendation to which no party has objected, the Court need not conduct a review by any standard. Wallace v. Housing Auth., 791 F.Supp. 137, 138 (D.S.C.1992) (citation omitted). The Court reviews de novo, however, the portions of a report and recommendation to which a specific objection has been made. Thomas v. Halter, 131 F.Supp.2d 942, 944 (E.D.Mich.2001) (Gadola, J.). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b) provides this standard of review. It states, in pertinent part, that

[t]he district judge to whom the case is assigned shall make a de novo determination upon the record, or after additional evidence, of any portion of the magistrate judge's disposition to which specific written objection has been made in accordance with this rule. The district judge may accept, reject, or modify the recommended decision, receive further evidence, or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions.

Because parties filed timely objections to the Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation, this Court reviews de novo those portions to which objection has been made. See Thomas, 131 F.Supp.2d at 944.

De novo review in these circumstances entails at least a review of the evidence that faced the Magistrate Judge; the Court may not act solely on the basis of the Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation. 12 Charles A. Wright, Arthur R. Miller, & Richard L. Marcus, Federal Practice and Procedure § 3070.2 (2d ed.1997) (citing Hill v. Duriron Co., 656 F.2d 1208, 1215 (6th Cir.1981)). Whether the Court supplements the record by entertaining further evidence is a matter committed to the Court's discretion. Id. After conducting this review, the Court is free to accept, reject, or modify the findings or recommendations of the Magistrate Judge. Wallace, 791 F.Supp. at 138. If the Court were to adopt the Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation, the Court would not need to state with specificity what it reviewed; it is sufficient for the Court to say that it has engaged in a de novo review of the record and adopts the Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation. 12 Wright, Miller, & Arthur, § 3070.2.

III ANALYSIS

Having conducted the review delineated above, the Court will accept and adopt the Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation, except insofar as it pertains to Plaintiff's ability to: (1) bring suit against Defendants in their individual capacities pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12203(a); (2) seek recovery for emotional or mental injuries in light of 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(e) of the PLRA; and (3) proceed with his claim under the MPDCRA. This Court holds, for reasons set forth below, that Defendants in their individual capacities are not amenable to suit under § 12203(a) and that § 1997e(e) is no obstacle to Plaintiff's recovery for mental or emotional damages. The Court will also dismiss without prejudice Plaintiff's claim under MPDCRA pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c) because that claim raises a novel and complex issue of state law.

A. Section 12203(a)

Congress, speaking for the American people, passed Title II of the ADA in order to prohibit discrimination against the handicapped in public services. 42 U.S.C. § 12132. Toward that end, Congress chose to allow people who believe that they have endured such discrimination to file suit under the statute. So that plaintiffs would not suffer for pursuing such legal action, Congress also included within the ADA an anti-retaliation provision, under which Plaintiff seeks relief from Defendants

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in their individual capacities. The text of that provision follows:

(a) Retaliation. No person shall discriminate against any individual because such individual has opposed any act or practice made unlawful by this Act or because such individual made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this Act.

42 U.S.C. § 12203(a). The question becomes whether Defendants in their individual capacities are persons within the ambit of § 12203(a).

To address this issue, the Court must apply the rules of statutory interpretation. Unfortunately, there is some dispute as to what those rules are or should be. That difference of opinion has led some scholars to conclude that courts employ the varying theories of statutory interpretation, as expressed in scholarly literature, merely "to add academic luster to decisions ultimately based on other grounds, rather than as significant factors in the underlying decision-making process." Gregory Scott Crespi, The Influence of a Decade of Statutory Interpretation Scholarship on Judicial Rulings: An Empirical Analysis, 53 SMU L.Rev. 9, 11 (2000). Lest there be any ambiguity regarding why this Court interprets the ADA's anti-retaliation provision as it does, the Court will carefully enunciate its process of statutory interpretation.

The Court begins with the observation that, in a republic such as ours, "the people are the only legitimate foundation of power." The Federalist No. 49, at 348 (James Madison) (Benjamin Fletcher Wright ed., 1961); accord "James Wilson Replies to Findley, December 1, 1787," Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention, reprinted in 1 The Debate on the Constitution 820 (Bernard Bailyn ed., 1993). At the national level, the people express their will through Congress. See Connecticut v. EPA, 696 F.2d 147, 155 (2d Cir.1982); see also 1 Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America 254 (Francis Bowen trans., Phillips Bradley ed.1945) (observing that "[o]f all political institutions, the legislature is the one that is most easily swayed by the will of the majority"). Thus, when deciding whether Defendants are persons within the ambit of § 12203(a), the Court's object is to ascertain the meaning of the words that the people, acting through Congress, enacted into law. See generally Frank H. Easterbrook, Text, History, and Structure in Statutory Interpretation, 17 Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 61, 67-70 (1994). This is so because, ultimately, "[t]he text is the law, and it is the text that must be observed." Antonin Scalia, A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law 3, 22 (1997) (quoted in United...

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21 practice notes
  • Meeks v. Schofield, Case No. 3:12–cv–545.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Tennessee
    • 31 March 2014
    ...ADA Retaliation Claim The plaintiff cannot state an ADA retaliation claim against the individual defendants. Cf. Key v. Grayson, 163 F.Supp.2d 697, 704 (E.D.Mich.2001). However, the court must still consider whether defendant TDOC is entitled to summary judgment on the retaliation claim ass......
  • Taylor v. Altoona Area School Dist., Civil Action No. 05-350J.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. Western District of Pennsylvania
    • 23 August 2007
    ...1112; 1116 (E.D.Ark.2002); Georgetown v. Tran, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8146, at *19-20 (E.D.La. January 11, 2002); Key v. Grayson, 163 F.Supp.2d 697, 714-715 (E.D.Mich. 2001); Becker v. Oregon, 170 F.Supp.2d 1061, 1066 (D.Or.2001); Bayon v. State University of New York at Buffalo, 2001 WL 135......
  • Shotz v. City of Plantation, Fla., No. 02-12502.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • 8 September 2003
    ...and that definition did not include individuals.17 Both the district court and the appellees rely on the analysis in Key v. Grayson, 163 F.Supp.2d 697 (E.D.Mich.2001), to resolve this dilemma and conclude that individual liability is not recognized by § 12203. In Key, the court acknowledged......
  • Meeks v. Schofield, Case No. 3:12–cv–545.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Tennessee
    • 31 March 2014
    ...2. ADA Retaliation Claim The plaintiff cannot state an ADA retaliation claim against the individual defendants. Cf. Key v. Grayson, 163 F.Supp.2d 697, 704 (E.D.Mich.2001). However, the court must still consider whether defendant TDOC is entitled to summary judgment on the retaliation claim ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
21 cases
  • Meeks v. Schofield, Case No. 3:12–cv–545.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Tennessee
    • 31 March 2014
    ...ADA Retaliation Claim The plaintiff cannot state an ADA retaliation claim against the individual defendants. Cf. Key v. Grayson, 163 F.Supp.2d 697, 704 (E.D.Mich.2001). However, the court must still consider whether defendant TDOC is entitled to summary judgment on the retaliation claim ass......
  • Taylor v. Altoona Area School Dist., Civil Action No. 05-350J.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. Western District of Pennsylvania
    • 23 August 2007
    ...1112; 1116 (E.D.Ark.2002); Georgetown v. Tran, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8146, at *19-20 (E.D.La. January 11, 2002); Key v. Grayson, 163 F.Supp.2d 697, 714-715 (E.D.Mich. 2001); Becker v. Oregon, 170 F.Supp.2d 1061, 1066 (D.Or.2001); Bayon v. State University of New York at Buffalo, 2001 WL 135......
  • Shotz v. City of Plantation, Fla., No. 02-12502.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • 8 September 2003
    ...and that definition did not include individuals.17 Both the district court and the appellees rely on the analysis in Key v. Grayson, 163 F.Supp.2d 697 (E.D.Mich.2001), to resolve this dilemma and conclude that individual liability is not recognized by § 12203. In Key, the court acknowledged......
  • Meeks v. Schofield, Case No. 3:12–cv–545.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Tennessee
    • 31 March 2014
    ...2. ADA Retaliation Claim The plaintiff cannot state an ADA retaliation claim against the individual defendants. Cf. Key v. Grayson, 163 F.Supp.2d 697, 704 (E.D.Mich.2001). However, the court must still consider whether defendant TDOC is entitled to summary judgment on the retaliation claim ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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