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Freeman v. Uchtman

March 23, 2006

GEOFFREY W. FREEMAN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ALAN UCHTMAN,*FN1 DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Proud, Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

In Counts 4 and 5 of his Amended Complaint, plaintiff claims that his equal protection rights were violated in the segregation unit at Menard Correctional Center by various race-based procedures. See, Doc. 8. He seeks injunctive relief only. The claims were tried to the Court on December 13, 14, and 15, 2005. Thereafter, the Court granted the parties time in which to submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. See, Doc. 192. Defendant has done so. (Doc. 198).

At the close of the evidence, defendant orally moved for judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 52. See, Tr. Vol. 3, p. 39.

Pursuant to Rule 52(a), in a case tried to the Court without a jury, "the court shall find the facts specially and state separately its conclusions of law thereon." Rule 52(c) provides that:

If during a trial without a jury a party has been fully heard on an issue and the court finds against the party on that issue, the court may enter judgment as a matter of law against that party with respect to a claim or defense that cannot under the controlling law be maintained or defeated without a favorable finding on that issue, or the court may decline to render any judgment until the close of all the evidence. Such a judgment shall be supported by findings of fact and conclusions of law as required by subdivision (a) of this rule.

Plaintiff claims that his equal protection rights are violated by the following race-based policies of Menard Correctional Center:

1) Inmates in the segregation unit are celled together on the basis of race, such that white inmates are not celled together with black inmates;

2) Black inmates are placed in solid door cells, while white inmates are placed in cells with barred doors; and

3) Counselors treat white inmates better than they treat black inmates in that they are more responsive to the grievances and inquiries of white inmates.

Findings of Fact

The Court makes the following findings of fact:*fn2

1. In 2001, plaintiff, who is African-American, was housed in the segregation unit at Menard Correctional Center. He had difficulties with members of the Gangster Disciples and the Vice Lords. As most of the members of those gangs are black, he requested a white inmate. He was told by his counselor that "that was not permitted." (Tr. Vol 3, 27-28).

2. From 2001 to the date of the hearing, plaintiff had never seen a black inmate housed with a white inmate. (Tr. Vol. 3, 29).

3. The segregation unit is in north one and north two cellhouses. (Tr. Vol 2, 4; Tr. Vol 3, 3, 13).

4. Inmate Steven Frieson is white. (Tr. Vol. 3, 36). He was called as a witness by plaintiff. He was in the protective custody unit at Menard in 2001. He had ...


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