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Lee v. Mathy

October 23, 2008

JESSE LEE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOSEPH MATHY, ET.AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

SUMMARY JUDGMENT ORDER

This cause is before the court for consideration of the defendants motion for summary judgment. [d/e 28].

I. BACKGROUND

The plaintiff, a pro se prisoner, originally filed four lawsuits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 claiming that his constitutional rights were violated at the Pontiac Correctional Center. On February 4, 2008, the court consolidated the cases and found that the plaintiff had the following claims

1) Defendants Mathy, Jones, Brocket, Tangman and Gilbert violated his First Amendment right to meaningful access to the courts when they repeatedly took legal documents from his cell;

2) Defendants Mathy, Jones, Brocket, Tangman and Gilbert violated the plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights when they took his mattress, sheets and various other property;

3) Defendants Mathy, Jones, Brocket, Tangman and Gilbert violated the plaintiff's First Amendment rights when they retaliated against him for previous lawsuits; and

4) Defendants Tangman, Gilbert and Brockett used excessive force against the plaintiff when they pushed his head into his cell bars.

The claims are against the defendants in their individual capacities.

II. FACTS

The plaintiff has not directly responded to the defendants' statement of undisputed facts. The Chairperson for the Office of Inmate Issues, Sherry Benton, says she has searched the records of the Administrative Review Board (herein ARB). Benton says she looked for grievances related to the plaintiff's four claims, but found none. "Jesse Lee did write letters to the ARB, but they were returned to him because they are not the proper way to file a grievance under the Department Rules." (Def. Memo, Benton Aff, p. 4)

III. LEGAL 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 ...


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