Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Richardson v. Zimmerman

September 29, 2008

CURTIS RICHARDSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROGER ZIMMERMAN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the court is the defendants' unopposed*fn1 summary judgment motion [69] brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 56.

Standard

Summary judgment "should be rendered if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). Any discrepancies in the factual record should be evaluated in the non-movant's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986) (citing Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158-59 (1970)). The party moving for summary judgment must show the lack of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). "Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.

"Summary judgment is the 'put up or shut up' moment in a lawsuit, when a party must show what evidence it has that would convince a trier of fact to accept its version of events. Johnson v. Cambridge Indus., Inc., 325 F.3d 892, 901 (7th Cir. 2000). A party opposing summary judgment bears the burden to respond, not simply by resting on its own pleading but by "set[ting] out specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial." See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). In order to be a "genuine" issue, there must be more than "some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Ind. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). "If [the non-movant] does not [meet his burden], summary judgment should, if appropriate, be entered against [the non-movant]." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e).

Affidavits must be based on the personal knowledge of the affiant and "set out facts that would be admissible in evidence." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e) (emphasis added). Personal knowledge may include inferences and opinions drawn from those facts. Visser v. Packer Eng. Assoc., Inc., 924 F.2d 655, 659 (7th Cir. 1991). "But the inferences and opinions must be grounded in observation or other first-hand personal experience. They must not be based on flights of fancy, speculations, hunches, intuitions or rumors remote from that experience." Visser, 924 F.2d at 659.

Background

Plaintiff, Curtis Richardson, is in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (the "Department") at Lawrence Correctional Center ("Lawrence"). Plaintiffs bring this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 lawsuit against current and former prison officials for the alleged violation of Plaintiff's right to exercise his religion under the First Amendment and alleged violations of equal protection of the law under the Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiff seeks relief in the form of compensatory and punitive damages, along with a permanent injunction. Defendants move for summary judgment on the following grounds: First, Defendants have not substantially burdened Plaintiff's observation of his religion nor have they subjected him to any actionable discrimination. Second, Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as to his claims against Defendants Griswold and Twaddell. Third, Defendant Zimmerman had no personal involvement in the alleged constitutional violations. Fourth, Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. Fifth, Plaintiff is not entitled to injunctive relief because he is no longer incarcerated at Western Illinois.

Undisputed Material Facts

1. Plaintiff was transferred from Western Illinois Correctional Center ("Western Illinois") to Lawrence on May 9, 2007. (Defs.' Ex. E; Fairless Aff., ¶ 2.) As of October 10, 2007, Plaintiff remains incarcerated at Lawrence. (Defs.' Ex. E; Fairless Aff., ¶ 2.)

2. Plaintiff is a practicing member of the African Hebrew Israelite religion. (Defs.' Ex. A; Griswold Aff., ¶ 4.)

3. A central tenet and practice of the African Hebrew Israelite religion is adherence to a vegan diet. (Defs.' Ex. A; Griswold Aff., ¶ 4.) On July 12, 2005, Defendant Twaddell recommended approval of Plaintiff's request to obtain a vegan diet in accordance with his faith. (Defs.' Ex. C; Twaddell Aff., ¶ 8.) Plaintiff was advised of the guidelines and stipulations of the vegan diet and he agreed to abide by those guidelines and stipulations. (Defs.' Ex. C; Twaddell Aff., ¶ 8.)

4. On July 13, 2005, Plaintiff was approved to receive a vegan diet in accordance with his faith. (Defs.' Ex. C; Twaddell Aff., ¶ 9.) Among other things, Plaintiff was informed that portion size and food selection would be made in accordance with the diet guidelines. (Defs.' Ex. C; Twaddell Aff., ¶ 9.)

5. A vegan diet is one in which a person does not consume any foods which come from animals or animal byproducts. (Defs.' Ex. A; Griswold Aff., ¶ 5.) Vegans cannot eat any meat, dairy products, eggs or any products made from or with any part of an animal. (Defs.' Ex. A; Griswold Aff., ¶ 5.)

6. Defendant Griswold is the Food Service Administrator for the Department and has held this position since August 16, 2002. (Def's Ex. A; Griswold Aff., ¶ 1.) Defendant Griswold is a Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist by the State of Illinois. (Defs.' Ex. A; Griswold Aff., ¶ 1.) Defendant Griswold is also a registered ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.