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Bennett v. Peoria County Jail

March 20, 2007

FRED BENNETT, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
PEORIA COUNTY JAIL, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harold A. Baker United States District Judge

ORDER.

This cause is before the court for consideration of the defendant's motion for summary judgment. [d/e 10] The defendant filed its motion on March 28, 2006. [d/e 10]. Both the defendant and the clerk of the court sent notice of the dispostive motion to the plaintiff at his last known address. [d/e 11, 12]. The plaintiff was also advised that he had 21 days to file a response. The plaintiff has failed to file a response.

I. BACKGROUND

The plaintiff, Fred Bennett, originally brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 alleging that his constitutional rights were violated at the Peoria County Jail. The plaintiff has named only one defendant: the Peoria County Jail. The jail is not a proper defendant. However, since the plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the defendant has assumed that the plaintiff intended to sue Sheriff Mike McCoy.

The plaintiff's complaint contains one allegation: that he "was placed on the floor for 11 or 12 days until I got a cell." (Comp., p. 5). The plaintiff has alleged a violation of his Fourteenth Amendment rights as it applies to pre-trial detainees.

II. FACTS

The following facts are taken from the defendant's motion for summary judgment and the attached exhibits.

Jail Superintendent Steven Smith says the jail occasionally has more inmates than it does cells. "When that happens and there is a shortage of beds, inmates are issued a mattress, a blanket and a sheet." (Def. Memo, Smith Aff., p. 1, para. 4).

The plaintiff was arrested on November 4, 2005 and was released on January 21, 2006. On November 4, 2005, there were not enough beds for the number of inmates at the Peoria County Jail. Therefore, the plaintiff was given a mattress, a blanket and a sheet to use on the floor.(Def. Memo, Smith Aff, p. 1, para. 5). The plaintiff was also given underclothes, a towel, a toothbrush, a uniform and shoes. (Def. Memo, Buhs Aff., para. 3) The jail did not have a standing bed for the plaintiff for ten days.

Superintendent Smith says inmates can request medical services while in the jail. During his incarceration, the plaintiff's only medical complaints were related to asthma and a toothache. Superintendent Smith says inmates can also participate in a grievance/complaint procedure. The inmates fill out an "Inmate Request Form" which can be used to request services or complain about jail conditions, services, staff or other problems. During his incarceration, the plaintiff filed two Inmate Request Forms on November 18, 2005 and November 25, 2005 asking to become a Jail Trustee.

III. LEGAL STANDARD

The entry of summary judgment is proper only "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). A "material fact" is one that "might affect the outcome of the suit." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute is genuine only if a reasonable jury could find for the nonmoving party. Id.

A party moving for summary judgment initially has the burden of showing the absence of any genuine dispute of material fact based on the evidence. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 153 (1970); Schroeder v. Barth, Inc., 969 F.2d 421, 423 (7th Cir. 1992). A nonmoving party cannot rest on its pleadings, but must demonstrate that there is admissible evidence that will support its position. Tolle v. Carroll Touch, Inc., 23 F.3d 174, 178 (7th Cir. 1994). The evidence and all reasonable inferences drawn therefrom are viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255. Nonetheless, "(s)ummary ...


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