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Dale v. Dooley

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division

February 17, 2017

JAMES I. DALE, a/k/a James Irving Dale, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT DOOLEY, UNKNOWN DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS STAFF, CBM CORRECTIONAL FOODSERVICES, UNKNOWN CBM EMPLOYEES, Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING MOTION TO COMPEL AND GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          Lawrence L. Piersol United States District Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff, James I. Dale, filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming that defendants violated his constitutional rights. At that time, Dale was an inmate at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls. Dale now moves this Court to compel discovery, Docket 82, and defendants move for summary judgment. Docket 90. For the reasons stated below, Dale's motion is denied and defendants' motion is granted in part and denied in part.

         PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND [[1]]

         In his amended complaint, Dale raised claims under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments, the Religious Land Use Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act. Docket 21. On December 12, 2014, defendants filed their first motion for summary judgment. Docket 50. United States Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy recommended that the court grant defendants summary judgment as to the claims under the Eighth Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act. Docket 68.

         Magistrate Judge Duffy found that certain defendants were not entitled to summary judgment based upon qualified immunity as to whether they had denied Dale a kosher diet because Dale should be allowed to do limited discovery. Id. at 57. Magistrate Judge Duffy recommended limiting this discovery to determining the identities of the " 'unknown CBM employees' and 'unknown [Department of Corrections (DOC)] staff which he claims are the very people who violated his constitutional rights[, ]" and

"whether the entity responsible for providing his kosher diet (CBM Correctional Food Services) [was] put on notice of the claims contained in Mr. Dale's fellow inmates' affidavits (i.e. that there is a continuing, widespread persistent pattern of unconstitutional misconduct by the governmental entity's employees) that would rise to the-level of deliberate indifference to or tacit authorization of such conduct.

Id. Therefore, Magistrate Judge Duffy recommended that Unknown DOC staff, CBM Food Services, and unknown CBM employees be denied summary judgement as to Dale's First Amendment claim and Warden Dooley, CBM Correctional Food Services, Unknown DOC staff, and Unknown CBM employees be denied summary judgement as to Dale's RLUIPA claim. Id. at 91.

         This Court adopted the report and recommendation in part, denying summary judgment to these defendants as to these claims. Docket 72. The Court also granted defendants summary judgment as to Dale's Fourteenth Amendment claim. Id. Dale was allowed to proceed to the discovery stage on his remaining claims.

         The discovery deadline was set as April 29, 2016. Docket 76. On April 20, 2016, Dale filed a motion to compel defendants to produce a set of documents. Docket 82. Defendants responded, arguing that they had responded to all of Dale's proper requests and that the remaining requests were not relevant to his remaining claims. Docket 86.

         On May 27, 2016, defendants filed their second motion for summary judgment. Docket 90. Defendants argue that the limited discovery has not produced the identities of defendants because Dale has not sought this information. Docket 91. Dale responds, arguing that he has met his burden and that he sought to amend his complaint in order to add defendants. Docket 99.

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Summary judgment is appropriate if the movant "shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party can meet this burden by presenting evidence that there is no dispute of material fact or by showing that the nonmoving party has not presented evidence to support an element of its case on which it bears the ultimate burden of proof. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). To avoid summary judgment, "[t]he nonmoving party may not rest on mere allegations or denials, but must demonstrate on the record the existence of specific facts which create a genuine issue for trial." Mosley v. City of Northwoods, 415 F.3d 908, 910 (8th Cir. 2005) (citation omitted and quotation marks).

         Prisoners who proceed pro se are entitled to the benefit of liberal construction at the pleading stage. Quam v. Minnehaha Cty. Jail, 821 F.2d 522, 522 (8th Cir. 1987). Nonetheless, the summary judgment standard set forth in Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure remains applicable to prisoners proceeding pro se. Id. The district court is not required to "plumb the record in order to find a genuine issue of material fact." Barge v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 87 F.3d 256, 260 (8th Cir. 1996). Courts must remain sensitive, however, "to the special problems faced by prisoners attempting to proceed pro se in vindicating their constitutional rights, and [the Eighth Circuit does] not approve summary dismissal of such pro se claims without regard for these special problems." Nickens v. White, 622 F.2d 967, 971 (8th Cir. 1980). "When dealing with summary judgment procedures the technical rigor is inappropriate where . . . uninformed prisoners are involved." Ross v. Franzen, 777 F.2d 1216, 1219 (7th Cir. 1985).

         DISCUSSION

         I. ...


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