Woodard v. West Central Georgia Regional Hospital
ORDER granting 33 Motion to Dismiss Complaint and adopting 64 Report and Recommendations. Ordered by US DISTRICT JUDGE CLAY D. LAND on 9/8/2020 (tlf).
Case 4:19-cv-00097-CDL-MSH Document 79 Filed 09/08/20 Page 1 of 4
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
TIMOTHY LABRON WOODARD,
CASE NO. 4:19-CV-97 (CDL)
O R D E R
After a de novo review of the record in this case, the Report
and Recommendation filed by the United States Magistrate Judge on
May 4, 2020 is hereby approved, adopted, and made the Order of the
The Court considered Plaintiff’s objections and finds that
they lack merit.
The Court makes the following additional findings regarding
Plaintiff asserts that he did not receive any document explaining
the West Central Georgia Regional Hospital (“WCGRH”) grievance
Pl.’s Reply Mem. 1-2, ECF No. 74.
He argues that,
Plaintiff was in state custody as a pretrial detainee obtaining a
mental competency examination at West Central Georgia Regional Hospital
(“WCGRH”) at the time of his grievances that form the basis of his
Accordingly, the Court finds that the exhaustion of
administrative remedies requirement of 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a) applies here.
Case 4:19-cv-00097-CDL-MSH Document 79 Filed 09/08/20 Page 2 of 4
although he signed acknowledgements saying he received a “Client
Information Guide,” see Def.’s Supp. Reply Br. and Obj. to Order
and Recommendation Attach. 1, WCGRH Client Rights, ECF No. 56-1,
hospital’s grievance procedures.
Defendant responded by attaching
the “West Central Information Guide,” which explains the grievance
and appeals process.
Supp. Huddleston Decl. Attach. 2, WCGRH
Information Guide 14-15, ECF No. 77-2.
The Program Associate in
the WCGRH Admission Department also filed a declaration stating
that the West Central Information Guide is “provided to all new
clients, including [Plaintiff], upon admission” and “given in the
routine practice of WCGRH and [is] maintained in the ordinary
course of business with WCGRH.”
Huddleston Decl. ¶¶ 4-6, ECF No.
The Court finds that, based on this evidence that Plaintiff
acknowledged in writing that he received the Information Guide and
that the Information Guide explains the WCGRH grievance process,
Defendant met his burden of establishing that Plaintiff received
information regarding the WCGRH grievance and appeals process.
See Turner v. Burnside, 541 F.3d 1077, 1082 (11th Cir. 2008)
(noting that courts deciding motions to dismiss for failure to
exhaust administrative remedies must “make specific findings in
order to resolve the disputed factual issues related to exhaustion”
and the Defendant bears the burden of proof).
Case 4:19-cv-00097-CDL-MSH Document 79 Filed 09/08/20 Page 3 of 4
receive information regarding the grievance process.
finding, the Court concludes that WCGRH’s grievance and appeals
procedure was not unavailable to Plaintiff.
Cf. Goebert v. Lee
County, 510 F.3d 1312 (11th Cir. 2007) (finding administrative
procedures were unavailable where they were laid out in the jail’s
General Operating Procedures, which no inmate was ever permitted
Plaintiff next argues that the grievance appeal procedures
were unavailable because the WCGRH Service Director failed to
explain the appeals process to him in response to Plaintiff’s
grievance, as required by the WCGRH grievance procedures.
the Court previously concluded, Plaintiff had already received
WCGRH’s grievance appeals procedures in the Information Guide.
notwithstanding the Service Director’s failure to remind him of
Plaintiff argues that WCGRH staff refused to provide him the
grievance policies after he requested them.
Plaintiff points to
a letter he sent to the WCGRH Director of Quality Management, in
which he complained that WCGRH staff refused to allow him access
to legal materials and refused to complete Plaintiff’s legal forms
for him because they said it was contrary to hospital policy.
WCGRH Client Complaint Form (Feb. 20, 2019), ECF No. 67-1 at 7-9.
Case 4:19-cv-00097-CDL-MSH Document 79 Filed 09/08/20 Page 4 of 4
In relevant part, Plaintiff complained that he had requested “help
filling out legal documents.
of policy [sic].”
When refused, [he] asked for a copy
Id. at 3, ECF No. 67-1 at 9.
The Court finds
that this evidence does not support Plaintiff’s contention that he
requested and was denied WCGRH’s policy regarding its grievance
procedures; it only shows that he requested and was denied the
hospital’s policy regarding patients’ access to legal materials
Therefore, Plaintiff’s letter does not support his argument that
the WCGRH grievance procedures were unavailable.
For these reasons, the Court overrules Plaintiff’s objections
to the Report and Recommendation, makes the findings set forth
above, and adopts the Report and Recommendation to the extent not
inconsistent with this order.
IT IS SO ORDERED, this 8th day of September, 2020.
S/Clay D. Land
CLAY D. LAND
U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
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