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Shelton v. Neal

August 24, 2007

KENNETH SHELTON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
D. NEAL, DEFENDANT.



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

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

Plaintiff Kenneth Shelton filed suit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against a number of defendants. Summary judgment was granted in favor of defendants on all claims except plaintiff's claim for retaliation against defendant. See, Doc. 48.

The parties filed consents to final disposition by a magistrate judge, and the case was assigned to the undersigned pursuant to 29 U.S.C. §636(c). See, Docs. 51 & 52. The parties waived their jury demands. Doc. 55.

The case was tried on July 16, 2007. At the close of the evidence, the defendant made an oral motion for judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 52. (Doc. 59). The court took the motion under advisement.

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.

Findings of Fact

The court makes the following findings of fact:

1. The final pretrial order states that the nature of the case is that plaintiff alleges that his supervisor, defendant Neal, refused to call him out to work in the dietary unit at Pinckneyville Correctional Center in retaliation for his having filed grievances. (Tr. 5-6; Doc. 54).

2. Plaintiff Kenneth Shelton is an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections. He has been assigned to Lawrence Correctional Center since November 9, 2006. Before Lawrence, he was at Menard and Pinckneyville. (Tr. 7).

3. Shelton testified that Neal "made little threats at me about quit asking the officers about raises and this and that and we'll start leaving you in. And it just lead to me, you know, I couldn't say nothing to him or the officers so I did file the grievance was [sic] my proof." (Tr. 8).

4. Shelton also testified that his state pay was short on two occasions. (Tr. 8-9).

5. Plaintiff filed a grievance on March 16, 2004, in which he stated that he was not being called out to work at rolling spoons because other inmates, who were not physically challenged, were being assigned to the spoon rolling jobs. Plaintiff stated that these inmates should be assigned to other jobs, and that the spoon rolling jobs should be given only to the physically challenged inmates. (Defendants' exhibit 1a.)

6. Shelton is severely visually impaired, and is unable to do any job in the dietary unit other than rolling silverware due to his disability. (Final Pretrial Order, Doc. 54, Stipulated Facts, p. 2). That job consisted of putting salt and pepper packets on a spoon and folding it up in a napkin. The roll was then put in a plastic container which holds about 750 spoons. (Tr. 13).

7. Shelton was assigned to Pinckneyville from March, 1999, to around the end of 2006. He started working in the dietary unit on September 20, 2000. He was given that job because he went to the warden and ...


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