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Love v. Novarro

March 18, 2009

ABDUL M. LOVE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SGT. NOVARRO, SGT. KIRK, LT. MERCADO, GARY DEL RE, GARY STRYKER, PATRICK FIRMAN, BRETT KLEIN, WAYNE HUNTER, AND DR. FATOKI, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Joan H. Lefkow

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff, Abdul M. Love, has filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants, employees of the Lake County Sheriff's Department, for violating his due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment, alleging in Count I that while he was being held in pre-trial detention at Lake County Correctional Center defendants moved him from the general inmate population to the Administrative Segregation Unit for disciplinary reasons but failed to provide him a disciplinary hearing.*fn1 The court has jurisdiction to hear this case under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343.

Before the court is defendants' motion for summary judgment. For the following reasons, the motion [#94] will be granted. STANDARDS

Summary judgment obviates the need for a trial where there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). To determine whether any genuine issue of fact exists, the court must pierce the pleadings and assess the proof as presented in the depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions, and affidavits that are part of the record. Fed R. Civ. P. 56(c) & advisory committee's notes. The party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of showing that there is no genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed. 2d 265 (1986). In response, the non-moving party cannot rest on mere pleadings alone but must use the evidentiary tools listed above to designate specific material facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. at 324; Insolia v. Philip Morris Inc., 216 F.3d 596, 598 (7th Cir. 2000). A material fact is one that might affect the outcome of the suit. Insolia, 216 F.3d at 598--99. Although a bare contention that an issue of fact exists is insufficient to create a factual dispute, Bellaver v. Quanex Corp., 200 F.3d 485, 492 (7th Cir. 2000), the court must construe all facts in a light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed. 2d 202 (1986).

BACKGROUND*fn2

In October 2005, Love was charged in Lake County with felony possession of cocaine with intent to deliver. On October 5, 2005, Love was arrested on the cocaine charge and brought to the Lake County Correctional Center ("LCCC"), where he remains as a pretrial detainee. Love was initially housed in a general population inmate pod, within which inmates are generally allowed to move around freely and are not locked in individual cells.

Subsequently, defendant Patrick Firman, Chief of Corrections for the Lake County Sheriff's Department, was advised by the Criminal Investigations Division ("CID") of the Lake County Sheriff's Department that Love, while housed in the general inmate population, had attempted to solicit the murder of a police officer involved in his pending criminal case. Love was indicted and charged with attempting to solicit murder based on this alleged conduct.

After being advised of Love's alleged conduct, Firman decided to move Love from the general inmate population to the Administrative Segregation Unit ("ASU"). The ASU houses inmates in disciplinary detention status and in "protective custody" status, the latter referred to in this case as "administrative security segregation."

The purpose of an administrative security segregation is to prevent harm to the inmate and others. The purpose of disciplinary segregation, on the other hand, is to punish and correct misbehavior within the jail.*fn3 With a disciplinary segregation, the inmate is given a hearing. After the hearing, if the inmate is placed in (or remains in) segregation, he is given a definite "out" date on which he will be returned to the general population.

With an administrative security segregation, an inmate is not given an "out" date, but his classification status in reviewed weekly by the LCCC's Classification Committee. The inmate is not given an opportunity to be present or heard during these reviews, although he may write an inmate request to bring to the Classification Committee's attention any additional information he wishes to be considered.

On January 13, 2006, Love received a letter from defendant Sergeant David Kirk advising Love that he was being transferred to ASU. That letter stated,

MR LOVE, YOU HAVE BEEN ASSIGNED TO STATUS 3 SEGREGATION. THIS IS AN ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION AND THE CURRENT CHARGES THAT YOU FACE, NESSITATES [sic] THE NEED FOR THIS SEGREGATION.

YOUR SEGREGATION STATUS IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF YOUR SAFETY AND THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF THE LAKE COUNTY SHERIFFS ADULT ...


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