Shaw v. Upton et al
ORDER overruling 6 objections; concurring with the portions of the 4 Report and Recommendations which have not been vacated. The Court dismisses Plaintiff's monetary damages claims against Defendant Upton in his official capacity, Plaintif fs claims arising from events occurring in 2010, and Plaintiffs deprivation of property, access to grievance procedures, and due process claims. The Court overrules 24 objections, adopts 23 Report and Recommendations, and dismisses Plaintiff's monetary damages claims under the RLUIPA in their entirety. Signed by Judge J. Randal Hall on 09/20/2016. (thb)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
CIVIL ACTION NO.: 6:16-cv-6
STEVE UPTON; WARDEN ROBERT
TOOLE; JOHN PAUL; JANET BREWTON;
ROY SABINE; MILTON SMITH; and LISA
Presently before the Court are Plaintiffs remaining Objections to the Magistrate Judge's
Report and Recommendation dated March 2, 2016, (doc. 4), and his Objections to the Magistrate
Judge's Report and Recommendation dated August 15, 2016, (doc. 23). In his Objections to the
Magistrate Judge's first Report and Recommendation, Plaintiff primarily stated that he either
agreed with the Magistrate Judge's recommendations or that he waives certain claims. (Doc. 6.)
The Magistrate Judge subsequently vacated a portion of his March 2, 2016, Report and
Recommendation based on Plaintiffs Objections and conducted a frivolity review of those
claims affected by the vacatur.1 That second frivolity review occurred inthe Magistrate Judge's
Report and Recommendation of August 15,2016.
After a de novo review of the entire record, the Court CONCURS with the portions of
the Magistrate Judge's March 2, 2016, Report and Recommendation which have not been
vacated. The Court DISMISSES Plaintiffs monetary damages claims against Defendant Upton
1 Specifically, the Magistrate Judge vacated that portion of his Report and Recommendation that
recommended dismissal of some claims for failure to exhaust. (Doc. 23, pp. 4-5.)
in his official capacity, Plaintiffs claims arising from events occurring in 2010, and Plaintiffs
deprivation of property, access to grievance procedures, and due process claims. The Court
DENIES Plaintiffs request for preliminary injunctive relief. The Court OVERRULES any of
Plaintiffs remaining Objections to the Magistrate Judge's first Report and Recommendation.
The Court also OVERRULES Plaintiffs Objections to the Magistrate Judge's
August 15, 2016, Report and Recommendation. (Doc. 24.) Consequently, the Court ADOPTS
the Magistrate Judge's second Report and Recommendation, as supplemented herein, as the
opinion of the Court. In his Objections, Plaintiff contends the Magistrate Judge overlooked his
assertions that the retaliatory actions of Defendants Paul, Upton, Toole, and Smith led to Plaintiff
being denied adequate nutrition, resulting in weight loss of over thirty pounds, vomiting, nausea,
and the loss of sleep. However, the Magistrate Judge sanctioned Plaintiffs Eighth Amendment
claims against all Defendants, including those claims related to Plaintiffs assertions of
inadequate nutrition. (Doc. 22, p. 5 n.4, p. 9.) Consequently, this Objection is without merit.
Plaintiff also states he is entitled to nominal and punitive damages under the Religious
Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-l, et seq. ("RLUIPA").
Plaintiffs belief is understandable but mistaken. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals had
determined that monetary damages under the RLUIPA were limited only to nominal damages in
a state official's official capacity under the "appropriate relief provision of the RLUIPA. Smith
v, Allen, 502 F.3d 1255, 1271, 1276 (11th Cir. 2007). However, in Sossamonv. Texas, 563 U.S.
277, 293 (2011), the United States Supreme Court held that "States, in accepting federal funding,
do not consent to waive their sovereign immunity to private suits for money damages under
RLUIPA because no statute expressly and unequivocally includes such a waiver."
Plaintiff cannot maintain any monetary damages claims against Defendants based on his
RLUIPA claims. As the Magistrate Judge determined, Plaintiff is limited to potential injunctive
relief under the RLUIPA. (Doc. 23, p. 7.) Consequently, the Court OVERRULES Plaintiffs
Objections and DISMISSES Plaintiffs monetary damages claims under the RLUIPA in their
However, as the Magistrate Judge explained in his Report and Recommendations,
Plaintiffs allegations in his Complaint plausibly state the following claims: 1) deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs claims against Defendants Sabine, Brewton, and Toole; 2)
retaliation claims against Defendants Fountain, Toole, Brewton, Sabine, and Upton; 3) denial of
access to court claims against Defendants Fountain, Toole, and Smith; 4) conspiracy claims
against Defendants Fountain, Toole, and Smith; 5) RLUIPA claims for injunctive relief against
all Defendants; 6) violation of the right to free exercise of religion claims against all Defendants;
and 7) deliberate indifference to medical needs claims, not based on delay in treatment but on a
failure to provide nutrition necessary for healing, against all Defendants.
SO ORDERED, this£^V^ay of September, 2016.
J. RANDAL HALL
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?