Martin v. Flud et al
ORDER approving and adopting 18 Proposed Findings and Recommended Disposition in its entirety as this Court's findings in all respects; dismissing without prejudice Mr. Martin's official capacity claims; dismissing without prejudice Mr. M artin's claims against Defendants Medlin and Elkin; dismissing Defendants Medlin and Elkin from this lawsuit; and certifying that an in forma pauperis appeal from any Order adopting these recommendations would not be taken in good faith. Signed by Judge Lee P. Rudofsky on 04/26/2021. (ajt)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
Case No. 4:20-cv-01361-LPR-JJV
Lonoke County Detention Center; et al.
The Court has reviewed the Proposed Findings and Recommended Disposition submitted
by United States Magistrate Judge Joe J. Volpe. (Doc. 18). Judge Volpe recommends dismissal
of Plaintiff Robert Martin’s official capacity claims against all Defendants. (Id. at 6). Judge Volpe
also recommends dismissal of the personal capacity claims against Defendants Medlin and Elkin.
With respect to all the official capacity claims, Judge Volpe explained that Mr. Martin
failed to “allege that a policy, unofficial custom, or deliberately indifferent failure to train or
supervise was the moving force behind any alleged violation” by Defendants. (Id. at 3). With
respect to the personal capacity access-to-the-courts claim against Defendant Medlin, Judge Volpe
concluded that Mr. Martin failed to explain how any alleged tampering with paperwork by
Defendant Medlin caused prejudice to Mr. Martin. (Id. at 4-5). And with respect to Defendant
Elkin, Judge Volpe explained that Mr. Martin’s brief mention of Defendant Elkin in the Amended
Complaint did not explain what specifically Defendant Elkin allegedly did to injure Mr. Martin.
(Id. at 5).
On February 10, 2021 Mr. Martin filed an Objection to the Proposed Findings and
Recommended Disposition. (Doc. 25). He asserted that there is documentation of his previous
visits to hospitals and that there is documentation of medical requests and grievances. (Id. at 1).
He stated that he was prescribed medication to treat gallstones but that his doctor in detention did
not have previous medical documentation for Mr. Martin. (Id. at 1-2). According to Mr. Martin,
the prescribed medication did not resolve his symptoms. (Id. at 2). Mr. Martin described that he
continued to request treatment, but Defendants did not obtain his previous medical records or take
him to a hospital as Mr. Martin had requested. (Id.).
Mr. Martin’s Objection did nothing to undermine the correctness of Judge Volpe’s
Proposed Findings and Recommended Disposition. Mr. Martin’s Objection did not suggest there
was any policy or custom (or anything else) that might justify official capacity claims against one
or more Defendants. Mr. Martin’s Objection did not show that Judge Volpe had missed some
factual detail that was in the Amended Complaint about the actions of Defendant Medlin or
Defendant Elkin. And the new information provided in the Objection about “the facility doctor”
(even if we assume this is Dr. Elkin) does not rise to the level of deliberate indifference. (Doc. 25
On April 8, 2021, more than two months after Judge Volpe filed his Proposed Findings and
Recommended Disposition and just shy of two months after Mr. Martin filed his Objection, Mr.
Martin filed an untitled document that is perhaps best referred to as a Notice. (Doc. 38). In the
Notice, Mr. Martin described Defendant Elkin as his doctor and stated that Dr. Elkin is now in the
process of retrieving Mr. Martin’s past medical records. (Id. at 1). Mr. Martin also states that he
is confused about what medication Dr. Elkin is prescribing him and that Dr. Elkin has been rude
and has had a negative attitude toward Mr. Martin. (Id. at 2). He complains that Dr. Elkin will
not let him speak during their appointments and will cut off Mr. Martin’s explanation of his
Even if I were to consider this untimely filing, the Notice does not show that Judge Volpe
missed something in his review and analysis of the Amended Complaint. Indeed, even the new
information in the Notice does not rise to the level of deliberate indifference to a serious medical
need. On the contrary, it appears that Dr. Elkin is remedying Mr. Martin’s complaints regarding
retrieval of previous medical records and is pursuing a treatment plan.
After a careful and de novo review of the Proposed Findings and Recommended
Disposition (Doc. 18), Mr. Martin’s Objection, the subsequent Notice, and the entire record, the
Court concludes that the Proposed Findings and Recommended Disposition should be, and hereby
is, approved and adopted in its entirety as this Court’s findings in all respects.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that:
Mr. Martin’s official capacity claims be dismissed without prejudice.
Mr. Martin’s claims against Defendants Medlin and Elkin be dismissed without
Defendants Medlin and Elkin be dismissed from this lawsuit.
The Court certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an in forma pauperis
appeal from any Order adopting these recommendations would not be taken in good faith.
DATED this 26th day of April 2021.
LEE P. RUDOFSKY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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