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Worthem v. Boyle

July 29, 2009


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Harry D. Leinenweber, Judge United States District Court

Hon. Harry D. Leinenweber


Plaintiff, James Worthem, a state prisoner currently incarcerated at Pontiac Correctional Center, filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 suit against Officer Joseph Boyle. Plaintiff alleges that on September 26, 2009, Officer Boyle used excessive force at an Illinois courthouse in Skokie while Plaintiff was there for his state criminal proceedings. Plaintiff named several other parties as Defendants, who the Court dismissed on initial review. Only the excessive force claim against Officer Boyle remains. Defendant has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and contends that Plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies with this claim. Plaintiff filed a response to Defendant's summary judgment motion and Local Rule 56.1 Statement, as well as numerous other pleadings, most of which have been denied pending a ruling on the motion for summary judgment. Defendant has replied. For the following reasons, the Court grants the Motion for Summary Judgment and dismisses the Complaint for failure to exhaust administrative remedies.


A. Summary Judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56

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); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Spath v. Hayes Wheels Intern.-Indiana, Inc., 211 F.3d 392, 396 (7th Cir., 2000). In determining the existence of a genuine issue of material fact, the Court construes all facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of that party. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986); Spath, 211 F.3d at 396.

The movant bears the initial burden of demonstrating that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that judgment based upon the uncontested facts is warranted. See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 325. If the movant meets this burden, the nonmoving party must "go beyond the pleadings and affirmatively demonstrate, by specific factual allegations, that there is a genuine issue of material fact which requires trial." Borello v. Allison, 446 F.3d 742, 748 (7th Cir., 2006) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-26. A genuine issue of material fact is not demonstrated by the mere existence of "some alleged factual dispute between the parties," Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247, or by "some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Rather, a genuine issue of material fact exists only if a reasonable finder of fact could return a decision for the nonmoving party based upon the record. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252; Insolia v. Phillip Morris Inc., 216 F.3d 596 (7th Cir., 2000).

B. Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1 Statements

When addressing summary judgment motions, the Court derives the background facts from the parties' Local Rule 56.1 Statements, which assist the Court by "organizing the evidence, identifying undisputed facts, and demonstrating precisely how each side propose[s] to prove a disputed fact with admissible evidence." Bordelon v. Chicago School Reform Bd. of Trustees, 233 F.3d 524, 527 (7th Cir., 2000). Specifically, Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) requires the moving party to provide "a statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue." Ammons v. Aramark Uniform Services, Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir., 2004).

The nonmoving party must admit or deny each factual statement proffered by the moving party and concisely designate any material facts that establish a genuine dispute for trial. Schrott v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., 403 F.3d 940, 944 (7th Cir., 2005). Each party's statement should contain short numbered paragraphs including references to the record, affidavits, and other supporting materials.

Id.; see also Ammons, 368 F.3d at 817. A litigant's failure to respond to a Local Rule 56.1 Statement results in the Court considering uncontested statements as true. Raymond v. Ameritech Corp., 442 F.3d 600, 608 (7th Cir., 2006). Furthermore, a party may not satisfy his or her Local Rule 56.1 requirements for responses with "evasive denials that do not fairly meet the substance of the material facts asserted." Bordelon, 233 F.3d at 528.

Because Plaintiff is a pro se litigant, the Defendant served him with a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment" as required by Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.2. The notice explains the consequences of failing to properly respond to a motion for summary judgment and to a statement of material facts under FED. R. CIV. P. 56(e) and Local Rule 56.1. (R.

60, Def.'s Rule 56.1 Statement and Notice to Pro Se Litigant.) Plaintiff has submitted his own Local Rule 56.1 Statement. (R. 71, Pl.'s Rule 56.1 Statement.) With these standards in mind, the ...

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