The opinion of the court was delivered by: Donald G. Wilkerson United States Magistrate Judge
Currently pending before the Court are Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment (Docs. 22 and 32). Also pending are Plaintiff's Motions for Extension of Time to Present Evidence (Doc. 15); Motion for Enlargement, Property, Electricity, and Protection (Doc. 27); Motion for Extension of Time to Answer Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 28); Second Motion for Enlargement of Time to Answer Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 29); and Motion to Accept Additional Exhibits and Notice of Timely Filing (Doc. 30).
EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES
The sole legal argument set forth in the Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment is that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as required under the Prison Litigation Reform Act prior to filing suit. See 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). The Seventh Circuit recently held that discovery on the merits should not begin until the question whether a plaintiff has exhausted his administrative remedies within the meaning of the Prison Litigation Reform Act has been resolved. Pavey v. Conley, 544 F.3d 739 (7th Cir. 2008).
Accordingly, the undersigned sets the following schedule:
1. The parties are granted 45 days to conduct discovery on the question of exhaustion of administrative remedies. Discovery conducted during this period shall be limited, exclusively, to whether Plaintiff exhausted his administrative remedies prior to filing suit.
2. A hearing will be set before the United States District Judge G. Patrick Murphy to make the determination whether Plaintiff has exhausted his administrative remedies.
3. Plaintiff is granted additional time to respond to the motions for summary judgment, limited to the question of exhaustion of administrative remedies. His response shall be filed by June 1, 2009.
PLAINTIFF'S PENDING MOTIONS
Based upon the limitations placed on discovery and the upcoming hearing on the exhaustion of administrative remedies, the Court resolves Plaintiff's pending motions as follows: Motion for Extension of Time to Present Evidence (Doc. 15)
In this motion Plaintiff asks 1) that he be given time to prepare and present evidence of a conflict of interest of unidentified judges on the case, 2) for additional USM-285 forms, and 3) for instruction on where to send motions. Plaintiff also alludes to his disagreement with the Court's characterization of his claims in its threshold review of the complaint. This motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part. As stated above, Plaintiff is GRANTED additional time to conduct discovery, but that discovery is limited to the question of exhaustion of administrative remedies. The Clerk is DIRECTED to send Plaintiff additional USM-285 forms. The Plaintiff is INFORMED that he should send motions and other correspondence to The United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, 750 Missouri Ave., P.O. Box 249, East St. Louis, IL 62202.
To the extent the Plaintiff is attempting to challenge the Court's threshold review of his complaint, that request is DENIED without prejudice. If Plaintiff wishes to challenge that order, he must do so in a separately-filed motion for reconsideration.
Motion for Enlargement, Property, Electricity, and Protection (Doc. 27)
Plaintiff requests that all his personal property that was confiscated by Menard Correctional Center staff be returned to him, 2) that his light be repaired and electricity to his cell turned on, 3) that he be granted additional time to prepare his motion regarding the conflict of interest of the Court, and 4) that he be granted an ...