United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION [DKT. NO.
34] AND DISMISSING § 1983 COMPLAINT WITH PREJUDICE [DKT.
M. KEELEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
November 21, 2016, the pro se plaintiff, Brian Lance
Brantner (“Brantner”), filed this complaint
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants North
Central Regional Jail (“NCRJ”), Dr. Huffman,
Nurse Staff, Correctional Officers Staff, and the NCRJ
Administrator (Dkt. No. 1). Liberally construed,
Brantner's complaint seeks $50 million and alleges that
the defendants engaged in medical malpractice or violated his
Eighth Amendment rights by improperly treating him for
injuries sustained when he “fell down the steps.”
Id. at 7-10. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636 and
the local rules, the Court referred the complaint to the
Honorable Michael J. Aloi, United States Magistrate Judge,
for initial review.
April 3, 2017, Dr. Huffman, NCRJ, and the NCRJ Administrator
moved to dismiss Brantner's complaint pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) (Dkt. Nos. 18;
NCRJ and the NCRJ Administrator argued that the Eleventh
Amendment bars Brantner's claims, that Brantner failed to
state a cognizable Eighth Amendment claim, and that he failed
to exhaust his administrative remedies (Dkt. No. 19). Dr.
Huffman argued that Brantner's complaint failed to state
a claim for the deprivation of his constitutional rights, and
that Brantner had failed to comply with the pre-suit
requirements for maintaining a medical malpractice claim
(Dkt. No. 20-1). Brantner responded to the defendants'
contentions on April 14, 2017 (Dkt. Nos. 27; 28).
Report and Recommendation (“R&R”) entered on
January 22, 2018, Magistrate Judge Aloi recommended that the
Court grant the defendants' motions and dismiss
Brantner's complaint with prejudice (Dkt. No. 34). As an
initial matter, he reasoned that NCRJ is not a
“person” subject to suit under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, and that Brantner never alleged any personal
involvement or facts establishing that the NCRJ Administrator
should be held liable in his supervisory capacity.
Id. 10-13. With regard to Dr. Huffman, the R&R
concluded that Brantner's complaint failed to state a
claim for deliberate indifference, and agreed that Brantner
had not complied with the pre-suit requirements for bringing
a medical malpractice claim under West Virginia law.
Id. at 17-26. Finally, Magistrate Judge Aloi
recommended that the Court dismiss the John Doe and Jane Doe
defendants, given that Brantner had failed to identify them
for a period of nearly fourteen months. Id. at
R&R also informed Brantner of his right to file
“written objections identifying those portions of the
recommendation to which objection is made and the basis for
such objections.” Id. at 28. It further warned
that the failure to do so may result in waiver of the right
to appeal. Id. Although the Court's docket
reflects that Brantner received the R&R on January 25,
2018 (Dkt. No. 36), he has not filed any objections.
reviewing a magistrate judge's R&R, the Court must
review de novo only the portions to which an
objection has been timely made. 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(C). On the other hand, “the Court may adopt,
without explanation, any of the magistrate judge's
recommendations to which the prisoner does not object.”
Dellacirprete v. Gutierrez, 479 F.Supp.2d 600,
603-04 (N.D. W.Va. 2007) (citing Camby v. Davis, 718
F.2d 198, 199 (4th Cir. 1983)). Courts will uphold those
portions of a recommendation to which no objection has been
made unless they are “clearly erroneous.”
See Diamond v. Colonial Life & Accident Ins.
Co., 416 F.3d 310, 315 (4th Cir. 2005).
no party has objected, the Court is under no obligation to
conduct a de novo review of the R&R.
Dellacirprete, 479 F.Supp.2d at 603-04. Upon review
of the R&R and the record for clear error, the Court:
1) ADOPTS the R&R (Dkt. No. 34);
2) GRANTS the Motion to Dismiss on Behalf of
Defendants North Central Regional Jail and Administrator at
North Central Regional Jail (Dkt. No. 18);
3) GRANTS the Motion to Dismiss Complaint
and Alternative Motion for Summary Judgment by Defendant
Andrea Huffman, M.D. (Dkt. No. 20); and
4) DISMISSES the complaint WITH
PREJUDICE (Dkt. No. 1).
Court DIRECTS the Clerk to transmit copies
of this Order to counsel of record and the pro se
plaintiff, certified mail and return receipt requested, to
enter a separate judgment order, ...