United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
DUANE W. SPEARMAN PLAINTIFF
CHRISTOPHER B. EPPS, et al. DEFENDANTS
M. Brown UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is the February 5, 2018, Report and Recommendation
of United States Magistrate Judge Roy Percy. Doc. #49.
about December 4, 2014, Duane W. Spearman filed a pro se
prisoner complaint against several employees of the
Mississippi Department of Corrections (“MDOC”)
alleging that they violated his constitutional rights by
failing to provide him with out-of-state legal materials.
Doc. #1. On August 14, 2015, the defendants filed a motion
for summary judgment. Doc. #23. On or about September 8,
2015, Spearman responded. Doc. #28. On March 24, 2016, this
Court denied the motion for summary judgment without
prejudice and requested that the parties submit supplemental
briefing on the issue of whether MDOC was required to provide
Spearman with out-of-state legal materials. Doc. #34.
18, 2016, the defendants submitted their supplemental
briefing. Doc. #37. After this Court ordered Spearman to file
his supplemental briefing, he did so on or about May 26,
2017. Doc. #44.
February 5, 2018, United States Magistrate Judge Roy Percy
issued a Report and Recommendation recommending that the case
be dismissed as to all defendants. Doc. #49. The Report and
Recommendation concludes that MDOC violated Spearman's
constitutional right of access to the courts by failing to
provide him with out-of-state legal materials but that the
defendants are entitled to qualified immunity because
Spearman's right to out-of-state legal materials was not
clearly established. Id. at 10-12.
acknowledged receipt of the Report and Recommendation on
February 6, 2018. Doc. #50. The defendants filed objections
to the Report and Recommendation on February 16, 2018. Doc.
#51. On or about February 26, 2018, Spearman filed a
“Motion for Exten[s]ion.” Doc. #52. On or about
March 9, 2018, Spearman filed objections to the Report and
Recommendation. Doc. #53.
objections to a report and recommendation have been filed, a
court must conduct a “de novo review of those portions
of the … report and recommendation to which the
[parties] specifically raise objections. With respect to
those portions of the report and recommendation to which no
objections were raised, the Court need only satisfy itself
that there is no plain error on the face of the
record.” Gauthier v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., 644
F.Supp.2d 824, 828 (E.D. Tex. 2009) (citing Douglass v.
United Servs. Auto. Ass'n, 79 F.3d 1415, 1428-29
(5th Cir. 1996)) (internal citation omitted).
objections to the Report and Recommendation, Spearman argues
that the defendants are not entitled to qualified immunity
because (1) the defendants “knew they were violating
[his] rights” by failing to contact Arkansas
authorities and (2) the ILAP, “being trained in
Mississippi law and Federal law[, ] [was] unreasonable by
having electronic means [to access Arkansas legal materials
and] absolutely refused to help.” Doc. #53 at 1-2. The
defendants object to the Report and Recommendation only to
“request the Court clarify in its order in this matter
that, with regard to jurisdictions outside of Mississippi,
the Mississippi Department of Corrections and its staff only
need to provide inmates with ‘legal materials' from
those jurisdictions in order to comport with constitutional
requirements.” Doc. #51 at ¶ ...