United States District Court, D. Montana, Great Falls Division
ORDER ADOPTING MAGISTRATE
JUDGE'S FINDINGS AND
Morris, United States District Court Judge.
Thomas Alvarado (“Alvarado”) filed his Amended
Complaint on May 28, 2015. (Doc. 9.) The Complaint alleges
denial of medical care by various employees of Crossroads
Correctional Center. Defendants filed a motion for summary
judgment on September 25, 2017. (Doc. 79.)
States Magistrate Judge John Johnston issued an Order and
Findings and Recommendations in this matter on December 18,
2017. (Doc. 92.) Judge Johnston recommended that the Court
grant Defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 79
at 8-9.) Judge Johnston further recommended that the Court
should decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over any
state law claims. Id.
Court reviews de novo findings and recommendations
to which objections are made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C).
Portions of findings and recommendations to which no party
specifically objects are reviewed for clear error.
McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Commodore Bus. Mach.,
Inc., 656 F.2d 1309, 1313 (9th Cir. 1981). Where a
party's objections constitute perfunctory responses
argued in an attempt to engage the district court in a
relitigation of the same arguments set forth in the original
response, however, the Court will review for clear error the
applicable portions of the findings and recommendations.
Rosling v. Kirkegard, 2014 WL 693315 *3 (D. Mont.
Feb. 21, 2014) (internal citations omitted).
filed an objection. (Doc. 93.) The document cites the same
cases and advances the same arguments made in Alvarado's
Response to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment.
(Doc. 87.) Judge Johnston considered these arguments in
making his recommendation to the Court. Thus, the Court finds
no specific objections that do not attempt to relitigate the
same arguments, and will review the Findings and
Recommendations for clear error.
Claims Prohibited Under Minneci v. Pollard
Johnston recommended that the Court grant Defendants'
motion for summary judgment because a prisoner cannot assert
a claim for damages against private prison employees or the
corporations who own and run private prisons where a state
tort law remedy is available. Minneci v. Pollard,
565 U.S. 118 (2012). (Doc. 92 at 4.)
claimant ordinarily may bring an action for constitutional
violations committed by federal actors in federal court under
Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau
of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971). Bivens does
not apply, however, where the claimant is a prisoner seeking
damages from privately employed personnel at a privately
operated federal prison for conduct “that typically
falls within the scope of traditional state tort law.”
Minneci, 565 U.S. at 131. The claimant must instead
seek a remedy under state tort law. Id.
amended complaint alleges denial of medical care. The Court
finds no error in Judge Johnston's finding that Montana
tort law provides a remedy for such claims. (Doc. 92 at 5.)
The Court further finds no error in Judge Johnston's
recommendation that defendants are entitled to summary
judgment on these grounds. (Doc. 92 at 6.)
State Law Claims
amended complaint contains claims arising under both the
Eighth Amendment and the Montana Constitution. Judge Johnston
recommends that the Court decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction and dismiss Alvarado's state law claims
without prejudice. (Doc. 92 at 7.)
Court may exercise its discretion to dismiss supplemental
state law claims brought in an action where the Court has
dismissed the claims over which it has original jurisdiction.
28 U.S.C. § 1367(c)(3). The Court should weigh a number
of factors in determining whether to continue to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction. Carnegie-Mellon Univ. v.
Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 353 (1988). These factors include
economy, convenience, fairness, and comity. Id.
Court finds no error in Judge Johnston's analysis of the
Carnegie-Mellon factors. The Court further finds no
error in Judge Johnston's finding that the factors weigh
in favor of dismissal. (Doc. 92 at 7.)
Court has reviewed the remainder of Judge Johnston's
Order and Findings and Recommendations for clear error. The
Court finds no error, and ...