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Koh v. Stone

United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Western Division

February 11, 2019

JUNNE KOH PLAINTIFF
v.
WARDEN STONE, et al. DEFENDANTS

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Michael T. Parker United States Magistrate Judge.

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or alternatively for Summary Judgment [30]. Having considered the parties' submissions and the applicable law, the undersigned recommends that the Motion [30] be granted.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Junne Koh, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, is a post-conviction inmate in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons currently housed at McRae Correctional Institution in Georgia. Plaintiff was previously housed at the Adams County Correctional Facility (ACCC) in Washington, Mississippi. Plaintiff filed this lawsuit on April 25, 2017 alleging that the prison breached its duty to provide timely healthcare.

         Plaintiff sued Kimberly McAndrews and Neely Greene, health services administrators, because they denied his administrative grievances. Plaintiff also sued Warden Stone in his official capacity for the alleged delay in providing medical care. As a remedy for these alleged wrongs, Plaintiff seeks monetary damages and injunctive relief.[1]

         On November 21, 2017, the Court denied Plaintiff's Motion [14] to add Bivens claims to his Complaint. Order [15]. On November 22, 2017, Plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims were dismissed. Order [16]. Negligence, under state law, is the only remaining claim.[2]

         Defendants filed their Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment [30] on September 4, 2018. Plaintiff did not file a response. This matter is ripe for consideration.

         ANALYSIS

         Summary Judgment Standard

         The undersigned has considered the Motion [30] under the summary judgment standard. “Under Rule 56(c), summary judgment is proper ‘if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admission on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)). The Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Causey v. Sewell Cadillac-Chevrolet, Inc., 394 F.3d 285, 288 (5th Cir. 2004). If the moving party meets its burden, the “nonmovant must go beyond the pleadings and designate specific facts showing there is a genuine issue for trial.” Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1066 (5th Cir. 1994). In the absence of proof, the Court does not “assume that the nonmoving party could or would prove the necessary facts.” Id. at 1075 (emphasis omitted). “It is improper for the district court to ‘resolve factual disputes by weighing conflicting evidence, … since it is the province of the jury to assess the probative value of the evidence.'” McDonald v. Entergy Operations, Inc., 2005 WL 2474701, at *3 (S.D.Miss. Apr. 29, 2005) (quoting Kennett-Murray Corp. v. Bone, 622 F.2d 887, 892 (5th Cir. 1980)).

         Denial of Grievance Appeals

         Plaintiff sued Defendants McAndrews and Greene because they work as health services administrators and denied grievance appeals that Plaintiff filed through the prison's Administrative Remedy Program. Plaintiff does not provide a clear explanation of his claim against McAndrews and Greene but only states “health services administrators in charge of monitoring medical care are under-qualified or possess questionable credentials. Kimberly McAndrews and Neely Greene are both health services administrators although they are merely nurses.” Memo. [2] at 2. Plaintiff then states he is seeking monetary damages from McAndrews and Greene because they denied his grievance appeals. Id. at 4. The Complaint [1] and Memorandum [2] do not contain any other allegations against McAndrews and Greene.

         As previously stated, Plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claims were dismissed. Order [16]. Only state law claims survive, and simply denying an administrative grievance does not give rise to a tort, constitutional or otherwise. See Marquez v. Quarterman, 652 F.Supp.2d 785, 790 (E.D. Tex. 2009) (holding “inmates do not have a basis for lawsuit because they are dissatisfied with the grievance procedure.”); see also Geiger v. Jowers, 404 F.3d 371, 374 (5th Cir. 2005). Plaintiff's claims relating to the denial of his administrative grievances should be dismissed with prejudice.

         Negligence ...


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