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Caffey v. Walker

August 28, 2008


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge James B. Zagel


Plaintiff, Allen Caffey, a prisoner currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center, filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against 23 Stateville and Pontiac Correctional Center officials, officers, internal affair investigators, hearing investigators, and hearing officers. Plaintiff alleges that the defendants retaliated against him in response to Plaintiff exercising his First Amendment right when he voiced his opinion about an investigation into drug use in prison and when he refused to answer questions during an interview. Plaintiff alleges that the defendants falsified disciplinary charges against Plaintiff, transferred him to another prison, refused to notify him about two disciplinary hearings, refused to call his witnesses at the hearings, and imposed disciplinary penalties Plaintiff also alleged that the defendants improperly denied his challenges to the disciplinary proceedings and decisions.

On initial review of the complaint, the Court dismissed 11 defendants. Twelve defendants remain: Maurice Lake (Major at Stateville), Darrin Hunter (Major at Stateville), Daniel Quarles (Stateville Correctional Officer), Shaun Gee (Stateville Correctional Officer), Cheri Tarr (Stateville Correctional Officer), Dennis Phillips (Stateville Correctional Officer), Tammie Howard (Stateville Hearing Investigator), Michael Range (Stateville Hearing Investigator), Jim Hollenbeck (Investigator at Central Investigation Unit in Springfield), Jason Tutko (Pontiac Correctional Officer), Eric Neal (Pontiac Correctional Officer), Jason Cremer (Pontiac Correctional Center). The remaining defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff filed a response, and the defendants have replied.

For the following reasons, the Court grants in part and denies in part the motion for summary judgment. Summary judgment is granted for Defendants Cremer, Neal, Tutko, Hollenbeck, Range, Howard, Phillips, Tarr, and Hunter. The claims against these defendants are dismissed and they are dismissed as defendants in this case. Summary judgment is denied with respect to the claims of retaliation against Defendants Quarles, Gee, and Lake. Plaintiff may proceed with his claims of retaliation against these three Defendants.


Summary judgment is appropriate where "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 judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Spath v. Hayes Wheels Int'l-Ind., Inc., 211 F.3d 392, 396 (7th Cir. 2000). In determining the existence of a genuine dispute of material fact, the Court construes all facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of that party. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986); Spath, 211 F.3d at 396. When addressing a motion for summary judgment, "[t]he evidence of the non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986).

If the moving party meets its burden, the nonmoving party has the burden "to go beyond the pleadings and affirmatively demonstrate, by specific factual allegations, that there is a genuine issue of material fact which requires trial." Borello v. Allison, 446 F.3d 742, 748 (7th Cir. 2006) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-26; Johnson v. City of Fort Wayne, 91 F.3d 922, 931 (7th Cir. 1996). A genuine issue of material fact is not demonstrated by the mere existence of "some alleged factual dispute between the parties," Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247, or by "some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Rather, a genuine issue of material fact exists only if a reasonable finder of fact could return a decision for the nonmoving party based upon the record. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252; Insolia v. Phillip Morris Inc., 216 F.3d 596 (7th Cir. 2000).


The pleadings and exhibits of this case indicate the following facts. On December 9, 2003, while incarcerated at Stateville, Plaintiff engaged in a conversation with Officer Daniel Quarles. Quarles informed Plaintiff that, pursuant to an investigation about drugs being brought into Stateville, drug testing was being conducted on Stateville prisoners and staff. Plaintiff responded that he was not staff and that Quarles could not accuse Plaintiff without witnesses or a positive drug test. Quarles then phoned Major Maurice Lake and had Plaintiff handcuffed and escorted to another unit, where Plaintiff was made to give a urine sample for drug testing. Plaintiff tested positive for marijuana. DE 87, Exh. A. Later that day, Quarles wrote a disciplinary report against Plaintiff charging him with a drug offense in violation of Rule 203 of Illinois Department of Corrections Rules. DE 87, Exh. C. Plaintiff contends that he never provided a urine sample and that the report of him testing positive was falsified by Quarles. DE 100, Pl's Memorandum of Law, p.5-7.

Also on December 9, 2003, Stateville Officer Shaun Gee conducted a search of Plaintiff's cell and found the following contraband: a homemade stinger, a bottle of Heinz mustard, a jar of peanut butter, one clove of garlic, an onion, and a radio. Officer Gee wrote a disciplinary charge against Plaintiff for violating Illinois Department of Corrections Rule 308 for his possession of contraband. DE 87, Exh. B Plaintiff was then escorted to a temporary confinement area. Plaintiff states that the Rule 308 charge was written in a way to indicate that Plaintiff was placed in segregation based upon contraband being found in his cell, when in fact, he was placed in segregation for having exercised his First Amendment rights. DE 100, Pl's Rule 56.1 Statement, p.7-8.

On December 10, 2003, Plaintiff was brought to the Internal Affairs unit, and Officer Gee questioned Plaintiff about drug use in Stateville. Plaintiff refused to answer questions and stated that he was invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. He was then escorted back to his cell.

On December 11, 2003, Plaintiff was transferred to Pontiac Correctional Center.

On December 15, 2003, Officer Gee issued a disciplinary charge against Plaintiff, charging him with violating Department Rule 110, impeding or interfering with an investigation. DE 87, Exh. D. According to Defendants, Plaintiff refused to sign the report.

All three disciplinary reports, the Rule 203 (drug offense), Rule 308 (contraband), and Rule 110 (impeding investigation), were forwarded to the Pontiac Correctional Center Adjustment Committee. The Adjustment Committee held a hearing on the Rule 203 and Rule 308 charges on December 24, 2003. Plaintiff was not present at the hearing -- according to Defendants and the verification of notification slips executed by Pontiac Officer Cremer, Plaintiff refused to attend. DE 87, Exhs. E & F. According to Plaintiff, he did not know about the hearing, and Defendant Cremer falsified the waiver to appear. DE 100, Pl's Memo of Law, p. 8-9. The Adjustment Committee found Plaintiff guilty of both charges. The hearing reports state that Investigator Michael Range spoke with Gee about the contraband violation and verified that Plaintiff had been identified by his ID card. DE 87, Exh. G. With respect to the ...

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