MERIWETHER v. BATTLE
ORDER ADOPTING 39 Report and Recommendations; and GRANTING 30 Motion for Summary Judgment. Ordered by CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE MARC T TREADWELL on 6/3/2021. (kat)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
ROBERT L. MERIWETHER,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:19-CV-285 (MTT)
United States Magistrate Judge Charles H. Weigle recommends granting
Defendant Jessica Battle’s motion for summary judgment. Doc. 39. Plaintiff Robert
Meriwether has objected, so pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1), the Court has
thoroughly considered Meriwether’s objections and made a de novo determination of
the portions of the Recommendation to which he objects. Meriwether makes three
arguments why the Recommendation should not be adopted by the Court. Doc. 40.
First, Meriwether argues that he did not consent to the Magistrate Judge ruling
on any proceedings and “therefore any order made by the Magistrate Judge should be
dismissed and not accepted.” Id. at 1. However, Meriwether’s consent was not
required for the Magistrate Judge to issue a Recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)
states that a magistrate judge may be designated to submit “recommendations for the
disposition” of motions for summary judgment. 28 U.S.C. 636(b)(1)(A)-(B). Moreover,
Local Rule 72 states that magistrate judges in this district are authorized to conduct
proceedings in prisoner § 1983 cases and to submit Recommendations on dispositive
pretrial matters. M.D. Ga. L.R. 72. Accordingly, Meriwether’s consent was not needed
for the Magistrate Judge to submit a Recommendation on Battle’s motion for summary
Second, Meriwether argues that there are genuine issues of material fact, and
thus summary judgment is inappropriate. Doc. 40 at 1-2. However, Meriwether
appears to be merely disagreeing with the Magistrate Judge’s conclusion drawn from
facts that are not in dispute. For example, Meriwether argues that summary judgment
should be denied because Battle did not refer him to a specialist from February 2016 to
August 2016, despite his medical condition not improving. Doc. 40 at 2. This is not
disputed, and the Magistrate Judge thoroughly addressed why this fact, viewed in the
light most favorable to Meriwether, does not preclude Battle’s motion for summary
judgment. Doc. 39 at 5-6.
Finally, Meriwether argues that the Recommendation should not be accepted
because in extreme cases, courts have acknowledged that “bad judgment by medical
personnel can constitute deliberate indifference.” Doc. 40 at 3 (citing Adams v. Poag,
61 F.3d 1537, 1543-44 (11th Cir. 1995); Greeno v. Daley, 414 F.3d 645, 655 (11th Cir.
2005)). Meriwether is correct; the Eleventh Circuit has held that when a prisoner
receives medical treatment only extreme cases of incompetence may result in
deliberate indifference. Hoffer v. Sec’y, Fla. Dep’t of Corrs., 973 F.3d 1263, 1270 (11th
Cir. 2020) (“With respect to prisoners’ medical care, in particular, we have held that the
Eighth Amendment doesn’t require it to be perfect, the best obtainable, or even very
good. Rather, we have emphasized, medical treatment violates the Eighth Amendment
only when it is so grossly incompetent, inadequate, or excessive as to shock the
conscience or to be intolerable to fundamental fairness.”) (internal quotation marks and
citations omitted). Here, Meriwether cannot establish that Battle’s treatment was so
incompetent or was so inadequate that it “shocks the conscience” or that it is
“intolerable to fundamental fairness.” Id.
In conclusion, the Court has reviewed the Recommendation, and the Court
accepts and adopts the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the Magistrate
Judge. The Recommendation (Doc. 39) is ADOPTED and made the order of the Court.
Accordingly, Battle’s motion for summary judgment (Doc. 30) is GRANTED.
SO ORDERED, this 3rd day of June, 2021.
S/ Marc T. Treadwell
MARC T. TREADWELL, CHIEF JUDGE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
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