Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

TURLEY v. CATCHINGS

September 15, 2004.

GREGORY J. TURLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
CATCHINGS, ET AL., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES NORGLE, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

The Plaintiff, currently an inmate at Menard Correctional Center, brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He claims that the defendants, officials at Stateville Correctional Center, violated his constitutional rights by retaliating against him after he filed a lawsuit. For the reasons stated in this order, the motion is denied.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

  In considering a motion to dismiss, the court must accept as true all well-pleaded facts and must draw all reasonable inferences from those allegations in plaintiff's favor; a complaint shall only be dismissed if it is beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no facts which would entitle him to relief. MCM Partners, Inc. v. Andrews-Bartlett & Assoc., Inc., 62 F.3d 967, 972 (7th Cir. 1995). Furthermore, when confronted with a pro se complaint, the court must employ a more liberal standard of review than would be used where an attorney prepared the complaint. Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972); Whitford v. Boglino, 63 F.3d 527, 535 (7th Cir. 1995). Despite this liberal review of pleadings, federal rules still require that the complaint allege facts which would provide an adequate basis for each claim. Gray v. Dane County, 854 F.2d 179, 182 (7th Cir. 1988). On a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff's well-pleaded allegations of fact are taken as true and all reasonable inferences are drawn in the plaintiff's favor. Leatherman v. Tarrant County Narcotics Intelligence and Coordination Units, 507 U.S. 163 (1993); Swofford v. Mandrell, 969 F.2d 547, 549 (7th Cir. 1992). Additionally, as long as they are consistent with the allegations of the complaint, a party may assert additional facts in his or her response to a motion to dismiss. Travel All Over the World, Inc. v. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 73 F.3d 1423, 1428 (7th Cir. 1996); Highsmith v. Chrysler Credit Corp., 18 F.3d 434, 439-40 (7th Cir. 1994). Furthermore, the court can take judicial notice of matters of public record without converting a motion to dismiss into one for summary judgment. Henson v. CSC Credit Services, 29 F. 3d 280, 284 (7th Cir. 1984).

  Background

  Plaintiff, formerly an inmate at Stateville Correctional Center, sued officials at that institution on a variety of claims. In a December 15, 2003 order of this court, all claims were dismissed except the claim for retaliation against defendant Robert Catchings, Assistant Warden of Programs, and defendants Louis Kovach and Joshua Slaughter, both Internal Affairs Officers.

  Reading Plaintiff's complaint and accompanying pleadings in the light most favorable to him, we take the following facts as true, for the purpose of this motion to dismiss. Plaintiff claims that defendants removed him from his job in the prison law library in retaliation for his having filed a lawsuit in this court dealing with inadequate medical care at the prison. Further, he states that he exhausted administrative remedies prior to filing this suit. He states that defendant Catchings was responsible for overseeing the law library and the medical unit at the prison and that he was aware of Plaintiff's lawsuit dealing with his allegations of inadequate medical care at Stateville. Further, Plaintiff alleges that he was an informant working for the superintendent and the warden, and that Catchings was involved in gang issues in the law library that Plaintiff was apparently investigating. Additionally defendants Kovach and Slaughter disliked the superintendent to whom Plaintiff was reporting.

  Defendants' Motion to Dismiss

  Defendants first argue that Plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies prior to filing this suit, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). (Defendants provide the wrong citation subsection). In support of this position, they submit evidence in the form of an affidavit. Such evidence, not appropriate for a motion to dismiss, could be allowed and the case converted to a motion for summary judgment, if the evidence was a matter of public record, but it is not. They further argue that Plaintiff failed to file any grievances specifically against these defendants and that he must have done so to properly exhaust his claims.

  Next defendants argue that Plaintiff has failed to state a claim for retaliation, arguing that since the medical suit Plaintiff filed was not against these defendants, therefore there is no basis for a retaliation claim. In support of this position they cite only two cases, one from 1987 and one from 1988. Defense counsel might not be aware that subsequently, the law on retaliation has been greatly developed. The court will examine current case law to evaluate the retaliation claim.

  Finally, defendants cite the doctrine of qualified immunity, claiming that it should apply to them.

  DISCUSSION

  Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies According to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), "[n]o action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 of this title . . . by a prisoner . . . until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted." See Porter v. Nussle, 122 S. Ct. 983 (2002); Massey v. Helman, 259 F.3d 641 (7th Cir. 2001); Johnson v. Litscher, 260 F. 3d 826 (7th Cir. 2001). Plaintiff alleges in his complaint that he did exhaust administrative remedies. Further, in his complaint and response to the motion to dismiss, he attaches copies of his grievances, and states in the response that he did exhaust on the issue of retaliation.

  At this point the court could do one of two things: deny defendants' motion on this issue because their evidence cannot be considered in a motion to dismiss, or convert the motion into one for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R. Civ. P. 12(c), and give Plaintiff the required LR56.1 warning and give him time to respond appropriately. The court denies defendants' motion to dismiss as to the failure to exhaust claim. Defendants' arguments that he must have specifically stated the names of the defendants in his grievances is not an accurate depiction of what is required in an inmate grievance. As the Seventh Circuit made clear in Strong v. David, 297 F. 3d 646, 649 (7th Cir. 2002):
When the administrative rulebook is silent, a grievance suffices if it alerts the prison to the nature of the wrong for which redress is sought. As in a notice-pleading system, the grievant need not lay out the facts, articulate legal theories, or demand particular relief. All the grievance need do is object intelligibly to ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.