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Cornell v. Gubbles

September 8, 2008

ADELAIDE CORNELL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
RAY GUBBLES, ET AL. 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 defendants' motion for summary judgment. [d/e 41].

I. BACKGROUND

The plaintiff, a state prisoner, filed her complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. On June 25, 2007, the court conducted a merit review of the plaintiff's amended complaint and found the plaintiff stated the following claims:

1) Defendant Ray Gubbles violated her Eighth Amendment rights by the use of excessive force on July 9, 2004;

2) Defendant Andrew Grove violated her Eight Amendment rights when he failed to protect the plaintiff from the attack by Defendant Ray Gubbles on July 9, 2004;

3) Defendants Ray Gubbles, Andrew Grove and Barbara Hoffmeyer violated the plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights based on the unreasonable search and seizure of the plaintiff's personal mail;

4) Defendants Ray Gubbles, Andrew Grove and Barbara Hoffmeyer violated the plaintiff's First Amendment rights based on interception and public reading of the plaintiff's personal mail on July 9, 2004;

5) Defendants William Hurley and Tammy Bentley violated the plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights when they were deliberately indifferent to the plaintiff's serious medical needs;

6) Defendant Ray Gubbles committed the state law offense of assault and battery on July 9, 2004; and,

7) Defendant Ray Gubbles, Andrew Grove and Barbara Hoffmeyer committed the state law offense of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

II. FACTS

The following facts are taken from the defendants' motion for summary judgment and the plaintiff's response.

The plaintiff was housed at the Dwight Correctional Center from February of 2003 until March of 2007 when she was released from the Illinois Department of Corrections. In July of 2004, the plaintiff was housed in the segregation unit. (Def Memo, Ex.A, Plain Depo, p. 14)

On July 9, 2004, the plaintiff planned to mail out two letters, one to her mother and one to her boyfriend. She put magazine subscriptions in the letter to her mother. Defendant Officer Ray Gubbles opened at least one of the plaintiff's letters and read part of it over the prison intercom system. (Def. Memo, Ex. B, Gubbles Depo, p. 106)

The parties disagree about what was said over the intercom. The defendant claims he opened the letter with the magazine subscription and this is the letter he read over the intercom. (Def. Memo, Ex. B, Gubbles Depo, p. 106) The plaintiff and her cell mate allege the defendant instead opened the letter to her boyfriend, announced it was "story time" and read personal, sexually explicit portions over the intercom. (Plain. Memo, Ex. A, Cornell Depo., p. 41, Ex. B, Parks Depo, p. 58, 59). The court also notes in an internal affairs report on the incident, Defendant Gubbles is quoted as saying the letter was a"juicy" letter. (Plain Memo, Ex. E).

The intercom system can be used throughout the entire wing, or an individual's cell. It is not entirely clear from the record, but it appears Gubbles may have turned the intercom on only to the plaintiff's room.

The plaintiff became angry and threatened to report Gubbles to internal affairs for improper sexual contact with another female inmate and threatened to flood her cell. (Def. Memo, Ex. A. Plain Depo, p. 44) The plaintiff had flooded her cell in the past. (Def. Memo, Ex. A. Plain Depo, p. 37). A short time later, Defendant Hoffmeyer opened the plaintiff's cell and Defendant Gubbles rushed in.

Defendant Gubbles entered the plaintiff's cell without cuffing her first, and instead cuffed the plaintiff after he entered the cell. (Def. Memo, Ex. B, Gubbles Depo, p. 115). The parties disagree whether Defendant Grove was in the cell at anytime during the incident. The parties also disagree whether there was a struggle in the cell and whether Defendant Gubbles used excessive force against the plaintiff. Defendant Gubbles did not report the use of any force or notify his shift commander about the incident. Defendant Gubbles says he did not feel an incident report was warranted. (Def. Memo, Ex. B. Gubbles Depo, p. 143)

During the next round check, the plaintiff showed Defendant Bentley her arm. The officer says it looked red and irritated (Def. Memo, Ex A., Cornell Depo. p.49, Ex. C, Bentley Aff., p. 96). The plaintiff says her arm did not bleed, nor did she ...


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