United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Southern Division
ANNEMARIE CARNEY AXON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Michael Lee Davis, a pro se prisoner, filed suit
against a number of defendants, alleging that, while he was
incarcerated in the Jefferson County Jail, they violated his
constitutional rights by failing to provide him with kosher
meals. Mr. Davis asserts that Captain David Agree, Sergeant
Kenneth Fells, fiscal management supervisor Darryl Tavel,
kitchen steward Daphne Parker, and Robert Yarbough (the CEO
of Yarbrough Company, which provides inmate food service to
the jail), violated his constitutional rights to freely
exercise his religion, due process, and equal protection and
violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons
Act (“RLUIPA”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1.
filed a special report, which the magistrate judge construed
as a motion for summary judgment. (Docs. 49, 51). The
magistrate judge recommended granting the motion for summary
judgment and entering judgment in favor of Defendants and
against Mr. Davis on all counts. (Doc. 57). Mr. Davis
objected to parts of the report. (Doc. 59). He did not object
to the recommended resolution of his Equal Protection claim
or his claims against Mr. Tavel and Mr. Yarbrough. (See
id.). But he did object to the rest of the report and
recommendation on the basis that he needed more time to do
discovery, as well as to the magistrate judge's
description of some of the facts. (See id.).
court reviews de novo the parts of the report and
recommendation to which a party objects. See 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). After reviewing the pleadings and
the evidence, the court OVERRULES Mr.
Davis' objections, ADOPTS the report,
and ACCEPTS the recommendation. The court
WILL DISMISS AS MOOT Mr. Davis' requests
for declaratory and injunctive relief. The court WILL
GRANT Defendants' motion for summary judgment
and WILL ENTER SUMMARY JUDGMENT in favor of
Defendants and against Mr. Davis on all counts for monetary
January 2018, Mr. Davis moved to file a second amended
complaint. (Doc. 36). The second amended complaint listed
five witnesses “who wish[ ] to testify amicus
curiae”: deputies Stanford, “Duke, ” Watts,
Stapleton, and Finely. (Doc. 36-1 at 5). In February 2018,
the magistrate judge granted the motion to amend, making the
second amended complaint the operative pleading. (Doc. 37).
2018, Defendants filed a special report contending that they
were entitled to summary judgment on all of Mr. Davis'
claims. (Doc. 49). On August 31, 2018, the magistrate judge
entered an order construing Defendants' special report as
a motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 51). The order advised
Mr. Davis that he had twenty-one days to respond to the
motion for summary judgment with evidence demonstrating the
existence of a genuine dispute of material fact.
(Id.). Mr. Davis moved for a sixty day extension of
time so that he could obtain testimony from witnesses. (Doc.
54). The magistrate judge granted the motion for an extension
of time and gave Mr. Davis until December 3, 2018, to file
his response to the motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 55).
January 3, 2019-a month after the deadline to respond to the
motion for summary judgment-Mr. Davis filed a “motion
for subpoena and notification.”(Doc. 58). In it, Mr. Davis
stated that had not heard anything about his case since
September 2018 and that he needed a subpoena form so that he
could obtain affidavits from witnesses. (Id.).
Although Mr. Davis signed that pleading on January 3, 2019,
the court did not receive it until January 11, 2019. (See
id.). In the meantime, on January 4, 2019, the
magistrate judge entered the report recommending that the
court grant summary judgment in favor of Defendants. (Doc.
57). Mr. Davis then filed his objections to parts of the
report and recommendation. (Doc. 59).
Davis contends that the court did not give him an opportunity
to obtain the discovery he needed to oppose the motion for
summary judgment. (Doc. 59 at 1-2, 4). But Mr. Davis has
known about the five deputies he wanted to depose since he
filed his proposed second amended complaint in January 2018.
(See Doc. 36-1 at 5). In other words, by the time he
requested subpoena forms in January 2019, he had known for
almost a year that he needed to subpoena those witnesses. Mr.
Davis' argument that he did not receive the court's
order granting him an extension of time does not change the
event, Mr. Davis does not dispute any of the facts supporting
the magistrate judge's conclusion that Defendants
employed the least restrictive means of furthering compelling
penological interests without substantially burdening Mr.
Davis' exercise of religion. Although he complains that
jail staff failed to fully implement the accommodations, he
has not alleged-even in his unsworn objections-that any of
the named defendants personally denied him accommodations or
that they were aware of any failure to implement the promised
accommodations. See, e.g., Cottone v.
Jenne, 326 F.3d 1352, 1360 (11th Cir. 2003)
(“[S]upervisory liability under [42 U.S.C.] § 1983
occurs either when the supervisor personally participates in
the alleged unconstitutional conduct or when there is a
causal connection between the actions of a supervising
official and the alleged constitutional deprivation.”).
Mr. Davis filed a notice indicating that he has been
transferred out of the Jefferson County Jail and to a
different facility. (See Doc. 66). His requests for
injunctive and declaratory relief are therefore moot. See
Spears v. Thigpen, 846 F.2d 1327, 1328 (11th Cir. 1988)
(explaining an inmate's § 1983 claim for injunctive
or declaratory relief are moot once the inmate has been
transferred to another facility).
these reasons, the court ADOPTS the
magistrate judge's report and ACCEPTS
his recommendation. The court WILL DISMISS AS
MOOT Mr. Davis' requests for declaratory and
injunctive relief. The court WILL GRANT
Defendants' motion for summary judgment and WILL
ENTER SUMMARY ...