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Green v. Hartman

September 18, 2006


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable David H. Coar


Before this Court is defendant Sergeant Hartman's ("Defendant" or "Hartman") motion for summary judgment against plaintiff Gregory Thomas Green ("Plaintiff" or "Green"). For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.


On April 26, 2004, Plaintiff was housed in Division II, Dorm 2, M house, at the Cook County Department of Corrections ("CCDOC"). On that date, Defendant*fn1 was assigned to the 11pm-7am shift as supervisor for Division II, Dorm 2. He was working with Officer Kenneth Allen Dames. At approximately 4:30 a.m., Plaintiff was involved in an altercation with fellow detainee Sonny Gardner, where he suffered injuries to his mouth. Officer Dames responded to the altercation. Both Defendant and Dames observed the Plaintiff had a bloody lip.

Following the altercation, Defendant had a five-minute conversation with Gardner, after which he spoke with the Plaintiff. Plaintiff alleges that he waited in the hallway for approximately 45 minutes before being taken to Cermak Health Services ("Cermak") for medical attention. Defendant claims that Plaintiff was taken to Cermak in less than ten minutes. At Cermak, an X-ray was taken of the Plaintiff's mouth, and Plaintiff was prescribed antibiotics and pain medication.

Upon return from Cermak, Plaintiff was given a new housing assignment with different correctional officers. Plaintiff remained in the new housing assignment for two or three days, and then was moved to Division I of the CCDOC for disciplinary segregation. Defendant remained an officer in Division II.

On April 28, 2004, Plaintiff filed a grievance with the CCDOC. On April 29, 2004, Plaintiff sent a letter to Internal Affairs regarding the altercation. On June 21, 2004, Plaintiff filed his complaint in this lawsuit.


Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, along with any affidavits, show there is no genuine issue of fact. Such a showing entitles the moving party to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56; Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242 (1986); Lucas v. Chicago Transit Authority, 367 F.3d 714, 720 (7th Cir. 2004). A genuine issue of material fact exists only when a reasonable factfinder could find for the nonmoving party, based on the record as a whole. The court does not weigh the evidence and it does not make credibility determinations. Instead, the court makes all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prod., Inc., 530 U.S. 133 (2000); EEOC v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 233 F.3d 432, 436 (7th Cir. 2000). If a party fails to present proof on an essential element of his or her case, then all other facts become necessarily immaterial. Ribando v. United Airlines, Inc., 200 F.3d 507, 509 (7th Cir. 1999).


A. Did Plaintiff Fail To Exhaust All Administrative Remedies?

Plaintiff has brought a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. Under 42 U.S.C. §1997e(a), a federal suit may be brought with respect to prison conditions, including inadequate medical attention, only if the plaintiff has exhausted the available administrative remedies. Perez v. Wisconsin Dept. Of Corrections, 182 F.3d 532 (7th Cir. 1999). The exhaustion requirement was further explained in Massey v. Helman, 196 F.3d 727, 733 (7th Cir. 1999), which stated:

[I]f a prison has an internal administrative grievance system through which a prisoner can seek to correct a problem, then the prisoner must utilize that administrative system before filing a claim. The potential effectiveness of an administrative response bears no relationship to the statutory requirement that prisoners first attempt to obtain relief through administrative procedures.

Prisoners and detainees are required to exhaust all administrative remedies by completing all the rules established by the institution for the process. See Pozo v. McCaughtry, 286 F.3d 1022, 1025 (7th Cir. 2002); Brengettcy v. Horton, 423 F.3d 674, 682 (7th Cir. 2005); Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516 (2002). The CCDOC has a grievance process which is found in the Rules and Regulations for Detainees. The failure of prison officials to respond to a prisoner's claim "can render administrative remedies unavailable." Brengettcy, 423 F.2d at 682 (citing Lewis v. Washington, 300 F.3d 829, 835)(7th Cir. 2002). The Seventh Circuit has noted that the PLRA should not be ...

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