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Zarnes v. Rhodes

August 24, 1995




Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. No. 91-3344 -- Richard C. Mills, Judge.

Before COFFEY, FLAUM, and MANION, Circuit Judges.

FLAUM, Circuit Judge.



Marina Zarnes, presently incarcerated in a federal penitentiary in California, appeals from the district court's dismissal of two of her claims and grant of summary judgment on her remaining claims, all brought under 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983, against defendant Randall Rhodes alleging deprivations of her due process rights while a pre-trial detainee at the Sangamon County, Illinois, Jail. Zarnes also appeals from the court's denial of her motion for appointment of counsel. We now affirm all of the court's rulings except its dismissal of Zarnes's claim alleging knowing endangerment, on which we reverse and remand.


On July 14, 1989, Marina Zarnes was indicted on federal drug charges and, pursuant to an agreement between the United States Marshall's Service and the Sangamon County Sheriff's Department, was housed at the Sangamon County Jail pending trial. On January 15, 1990, Zarnes argued with other inmates about the selection of the television channel. The fight did not include any physical contact, but upon hearing from one inmate that Zarnes was to blame, Rhodes, the guard in charge at the time, placed Zarnes in "lock-down." He did not then give Zarnes any reason for his action.

Zarnes remained segregated from the general population for nineteen days without receiving any explanation other than a pre-printed form stating:

In that you are an inmate . . . under a PRE-TRIAL DETAINEE status, . . . it has been determined that your conduct within the confines of General Population Housing Unit is unacceptable.

Authority of this change in your status, is warranted without the 'Due-Process' clauses of a Hearing before the Disciplinary Council of this facility because of your non-convicted disposition and the fact that your presence in a General Population Unit, gives cause for the safety of other Inmates, the Staff and/or the security of this facility.

Zarnes shared a segregation cell with Cathy Crowder, a mentally-ill inmate. On Zarnes's second day, Crowder physically attacked Zarnes, knocking her off her bunk, hitting her head against the concrete wall, and kicking her. Zarnes suffered injuries to her head and back that continue to cause her pain.

After the assault, guards took Zarnes to a hospital where she was treated. Upon returning to the jail, Zarnes continued to complain of pain and was given pain relievers several times during that night and the next day. Zarnes then notified defendant United States Marshall Don Lamb of her persistent pain. Lamb ordered two marshals to transport Zarnes to the hospital where x-rays were taken, although not of her head.

Eventually, Zarnes was convicted and sentenced on various federal drug charges. See United States v. Zarnes, 33 F.3d 1454 (7th Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 115 S.Ct. 2286 (1995). On December 6, 1991, Zarnes filed a pro se complaint against Rhodes, Lamb, and twenty unnamed defendants. She alleged that Rhodes had placed her in lockdown for punitive reasons and without a hearing in violation of her right to due process. Zarnes further asserted that Rhodes had violated her due process rights by knowingly endangering her safety and by failing to provide adequate medical care after Crowder's assault. Zarnes also brought the latter claim against Lamb.

On October 20, 1992, the district court granted Zarnes's motion to amend her complaint *fn1 and then dismissed the claims against Rhodes. On May 5, 1993, the court sua sponte reinstated Zarnes's claim alleging placement in segregation without due process. Rhodes subsequently filed a motion to dismiss that the court converted to a motion for summary judgment. The court forwarded this motion to Zarnes in California, where she was incarcerated, giving her fourteen days from the day it was sent in which to respond. Zarnes prepared a motion for an extension of time but mailed it to the United States Attorney instead of the court. One day after her response was due but not filed, May 6, 1994, the district court granted summary judgment for Rhodes. The court had previously granted summary ...

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