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Marion v. Veltri

March 3, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge


A. Introduction

In October 2006, Kelvin Marion filed suit in this District Court under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), alleging violations of his federally-secured constitutional rights while incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Greenville, Illinois, within this Judicial District.*fn1

Marion claims that prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, thereby contravening the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Marion seeks, inter alia, $100,000 in damages and "lifetime medical treatment" for his feet.

Marion's initial complaint alleged that from August 9, 2000 to October 17, 2004, prison officials were deliberately indifferent to his medical needs by refusing repeated requests for orthopedic shoes for his "hurting feet, painful swelling, painful corns, painful callouses, painful bunching of toes ... and possible permanent foot deformity" (Doc. 1, p. 1).

Marion further alleged that after a cursory examination by a Physician's Assistant ("T. Adesanya") at sick call in January 2003, Marion had to wait over a year to see a foot doctor and was constantly denied the "soft shoes" he needed, all of which forced him to wear ill-fitting boots, endure pain, lose sleep, miss work opportunities, suffer verbal abuse for being "lazy" while not working, and gain roughly 60 pounds (Doc. 1, pp. 3-6).

Marion's July 2007 amended complaint named two Defendants:

(1) Darlene Veltri, Warden of FCI-Greenville from January 2003 to February 2005, and (2) Timothy Adesanya, a Physician's Assistant at FCI-Greenville. In December 2007, Marion's amended complaint survived threshold review, and the case was referred to the Honorable Philip M. Frazier, United States Magistrate Judge, for pretrial proceedings. After Defendants were served, had entered or had appeared, Judge Frazier issued a Scheduling Order.

In keeping with that Order, Defendants moved for summary judgment in October 2008. After obtaining an extension of time, Marion timely responded to the motion on January 12, 2009. On February 2, 2009, Judge Frazier submitted a Report recommending that the undersigned District Judge deny Defendants' summary judgment motion.

Judge Frazier reached this conclusion after resolving two issues against Defendants. First, he rejected Defendants' argument that Marion failed to exhaust administrative remedies on all claims save one, prior to filing this suit. Second, Judge Frazier rejected Defendants' argument that a statute of limitations bars Marion's only exhausted claim. On February 20, 2009, Defendants filed objections to Judge Frazier's Report.

Timely objections having been filed, the undersigned District Judge undertakes de novo review of the portions of the Report to which specific objection was made. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B); FED.R.CIV.P.72(b); Southern District of Illinois Local Rule 73.1(b); Govas v. Chalmers, 965 F.2d 298, 301 (7th Cir. 1992). The Court may accept, reject or modify the recommended decision, or recommit the matter to the Magistrate Judge with instructions. FED.R.CIV.P. 72(b); Local Rule 73.1(b); Willis v. Caterpillar, Inc., 199 F.3d 902, 904 (7th Cir. 1999).

In the case sub judice, Defendants object to Judge Frazier's determinations on exhaustion and the statute of limitations. So the task before the undersigned Judge is to freshly review whether summary judgment is warranted on either of those grounds.

B. Applicable Legal Standards

Summary judgment is appropriate where 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." FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE 56(c).

To defeat summary judgment, the nonmoving party must do more than raise a metaphysical doubt as to the material facts. Instead, she "must come forward with specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Keri v. Board of Trustees of Purdue Univ., 458 F.3d 620, 628 (7th Cir. 2006), cert. denied, 549 U.S. 1210 (2007), citingMatsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986).

This Court can find a genuine issue of material fact precluding summary judgment "only if sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party exists to permit a jury to return a verdict for that party." Argyropoulos v. City of Alton, 539 F.3d 724, 731 (7th Cir. 2008), quoting Sides v. City of Champaign, 496 F.3d 820, 826 (7th Cir. 2007). Bearing these standards in mind, the Court assesses the record before it, having carefully reviewed the materials submitted by the parties.

C. Analysis

The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("PLRA") requires prisoners to exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit in federal court.

That requirement applies to suits challenging prison conditions under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, as well as actions under "any other Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility." 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a).

Exhaustion of administrative remedies under the PLRA is a condition precedent to suit in federal court. Dixon v. Page, 291 F.3d 485, 490 (7th Cir. 2002). The law of this Circuit establishes that the inmate must comply with the rules and procedures governing grievances in the particular institution of ...

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