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Brooks v. Meadough

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division

March 26, 2019

MICHAEL K. BROOKS ADC #142122 PLAINTIFF
v.
JASON MEADOUGH, Sergeant, Wrightsville Unit; et al DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          Kristine G. Baker United States District Judge.

         The Court has received the Proposed Findings and Recommendations submitted by United States Magistrate Judge Joe J. Volpe (Dkt. No. 49). No. objections have been filed, and the time to file an objection has passed. After careful consideration, the Court concludes that the Proposed Findings and Recommendations should be, and hereby are, approved and adopted in their entirety as this Court's findings in all respects (Dkt. No. 49).

         The Court writes separately to address plaintiff Michael K. Brooks' appeal of magistrate judge decision (Dkt. No. 50). Mr. Brooks filed this motion after the time to file objections to Judge Volpe's Proposed Findings and Recommendations had passed. Instead of arguing specific points related to the Proposed Findings and Recommendations, Mr. Brooks requests the appointment of counsel, copies of documents necessary for an appeal, and the appointment of counsel on appeal (Id.). Even if this Court considers Mr. Brooks' appeal of magistrate judge decision as an objection to the Proposed Findings and Recommendations, upon a de novo review, the Court would still adopt the Proposed Findings and Recommendations as this Court's findings in all respects (Dkt. No. 49).

         To the extent Mr. Brooks appeals Judge Volpe's prior decisions in this matter, the standard of review applicable to an appeal of a magistrate judge's order on nondispositive issues is extremely deferential. The Court must affirm an order by a magistrate judge unless it is “clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a). In reviewing the record in this matter, the Court does not find Judge Volpe's determinations to be clearly erroneous or contrary to law. The Court will not reverse Judge Volpe's decisions.

         To the extent Mr. Brooks' appeal is intended to renew his request for the appointment of counsel, on two separate occasions, Mr. Brooks previously requested the appointment of counsel in this case, and Judge Volpe denied both of his motions (Dkt. Nos. 16, 34). For the second motion to appoint counsel, Judge Volpe denied Mr. Brooks' request because Mr. Brooks appeared to be able to litigate this matter on his own. Judge Volpe instructed Mr. Brooks that he could renew his objection and request the appointment of counsel, if this matter proceeded past the dispositive motions stage (Dkt. No. 34). Those determinations specifically were not clearly erroneous or contrary to law. The Court affirms Judge Volpe's decisions.

         Because the Court adopts the Proposed Findings and Recommendations, the Court grants the defendants' motion for summary judgment. This case will not proceed past the dispositive motions stage before this Court. For this reason, the Court denies Mr. Brooks' request for appointment of counsel.

         Mr. Brooks requests “any and all document that are [needed] to Appeal the previous decision of the afore mentioned Judge's decision.” (Dkt. No. 50). Mr. Brooks also requests the correct and updated forms to request appointment of counsel for the duration of the proceedings (Id.). The Court denies Mr. Brooks' request for all documents needed to appeal this decision because it is unclear what portion of the record he is requesting. Instead, the Court directs the Clerk of the Court to mail a docket sheet to Mr. Brooks, who may then file a motion for copies that identifies, by docket number, the documents of which he seeks copies. To the extent Mr. Brooks requests a correct and updated form to request appointment of counsel, if Mr. Brooks opts to appeal this Court's determination and judgment, at that time Mr. Brooks may renew his request for appointment of counsel. The Court directs the Clerk of Court to forward to Mr. Brooks the forms necessary to file an appeal in this matter.

         It is, therefore, ordered that:

1. The Court adopts the Proposed Findings and Recommendations (Dkt. No. 49). The Court grants defendants' motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 46). The Court dismisses with prejudice Mr. Brooks' claims for inadequate medical care against defendants Sergeant Jason Meadough and Sergeant Daniel Laminack, employees of the Wrightsville Unit, in both their individual and official capacities.
2. The Court declines to find that any of Judge Volpe's prior determinations on nondispositive matters were clearly erroneous or contrary to law and therefore denies Mr. Brooks' appeal of magistrate decision (Dkt. No. 50).
3. The Court denies Mr. Brooks' request for appointment of counsel (Dkt. No. 50).
4. The Court denies Mr. Brooks' request for copies (Dkt. No. 50). The Court directs the Clerk of the Court to mail a docket sheet to Mr. Brooks, who may then file a motion for copies that identifies, by docket number, the documents of which he seeks copies.
5. The Court denies Mr. Brooks' request for the form to request appointment of counsel (Dkt. No. 50). The Court directs the Clerk of the Court to mail to Mr. Brooks the forms necessary for him to file an appeal in this matter. Mr. Brooks may renew his request for the appointment of counsel on appeal.
6. The Court certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an in forma pauperis appeal from this Order adopting the recommendations and the accompanying ...

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