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Boyce v. Moore

December 27, 2002


Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 96 C 3703--Sidney I. Schenkier, Magistrate Judge.

Before Posner, Ripple and Kanne, Circuit Judges.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ripple, Circuit Judge.


Chester Boyce, a prisoner incarcerated at the Cook County Department of Corrections ("CCDOC"), filed a pro se complaint against Lieutenants Jeffrey Malek and Leroy Moore, as well as the Executive Director of CCDOC ("Executive Director") and other individuals. Proceeding under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Mr. Boyce alleged that the defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights by failing to take action to protect him from attacks by fellow inmates and by refusing to provide medical care. After the completion of discovery, the district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment on all claims. For the reasons set forth in the following opinion, we affirm the judgment of the district court.



A. Facts

Mr. Boyce was incarcerated in Division 1, Tier C-4, of CCDOC from February 1993 to June 8, 1994, and in Division 1, Tier H-1, from June 8, 1994 to June 30, 1994. Lieutenants Moore and Malek were co-supervisors in Division 1 of CCDOC during 1994; Lieutenant Moore was the senior supervisor. In June 1994, there were three different shifts in Division 1, Tier C-4. Prisoners could make complaints to any officer on these different shifts. Complaints could also be made to clergy and paramedics, who visited the tiers on a regular basis, and to social workers, who visited the tiers by request. In June 1994, there was no protective custody in Division 1.

Reading the record in the light most favorable to Mr. Boyce, on June 1, 1994, he was attacked and beaten by other inmates for ten to fifteen minutes upon returning to his cell. The attackers threatened to kill Mr. Boyce if he reported the attack to officials. As a result of the attack, Mr. Boyce's eyes became swollen, and he bled from his left eye and his mouth. Mr. Boyce does not know the identity of the attackers, nor does he know the reason for the attack. Mr. Boyce did not file a grievance with the officer on duty when he made his check, and there is no mention of the incident in the Tier C-4 logbook for that day.

Although Mr. Boyce noticed that, after the attack, his eyes were growing gradually weaker, he did not seek medical attention between June 1 and June 7, 1994. On June 3, 1994, Officer Brown approached Mr. Boyce and inquired about his condition; Mr. Boyce responded that there was no problem. The logbook contains an entry on June 3, 1994, stating "Several inmates told [Reporting Officer] there is a conflict brewing on the [C-4] tier," R.95, Ex.F at 26. The entry does not mention Mr. Boyce, and there is no evidence that any defendant saw the entry.

On June 7, 1994, Mr. Boyce informed an officer during lockup that he desired to be moved off of Tier C-4; an entry was made in the logbook that states, "Boyce, Chester . . . refuses to remain on the tier. Supervisor notified. Appeared to have swollen eyes. Boyce would not elaborate on condition." Id. at 27. The logbook further contains a June 8, 1994, entry that states, "[Reporting Officer] was informed by Officer Ware that inmate Boyce, Chester, refused to lock up. Officer Ware said inmate eyes appear to be swollen. Inmate would not inform officer as to how it happened. Inmate Boyce was then removed to Cermak." Id. at 29. Mr. Boyce was treated by a physician at Cermak *fn1 on June 8, 1994, and returned to CCDOC that day. Upon his return, because Mr. Boyce refused to return to Tier C-4, he was moved to Tier H-1 on Lieutenant Malek's orders. There is no evidence that Mr. Boyce requested further protection because of any specific assault or threat.

On June 14, 1994, Mr. Boyce was attacked by fellow inmates in the H stairwell while he was returning from yard exercise. An inmate in Division 1, Tier H-1, would have been excused from yard exercise, if he had a medical reason, a physician's appointment or a fear of assault. Such an inmate would be placed in a holding cell instead of going to the yard. Mr. Boyce had requested to be excused from yard exercise; but, because he had given no reason for the request, it had been denied. No inmates from Tier C-4 participated in yard exercise with the Tier H-1 inmates. Mr. Boyce did not file a grievance, nor does the logbook mention any incidents involving Mr. Boyce on that day; nevertheless, he immediately received medical attention from a paramedic in the dispensary.

On June 30, 1994, Mr. Boyce was moved from Division 1 to Division 6, and he went to sick call several times. No officer refused to send him to the dispensary for medical attention, and Mr. Boyce was seen at Cermak Health Services on July 14, 1994. Although Mr. Boyce has undergone multiple eye surgeries, he alleges that he lost complete sight in his left eye in early September 1994.

CCDOC policy mandates that, when an officer finds an inmate in need of medical attention, he must notify a supervisor, who in turn must notify a paramedic. The paramedic makes the ultimate decision regarding whether treatment is necessary; the approval of jail staff is not required. Mr. Boyce has not presented evidence of any policy or any action by the defendants to deny inmates access to Cermak. Nor has he ...

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