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Santiago v. Walker

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


August 26, 2009

FABIAN SANTIAGO, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROGER WALKER, ET. AL., DEFENDANTS.

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

ORDER

This cause is before the court on the plaintiff's motion to reconsider the Court's September 17, 2008 Court Order granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants. [d/e 123]. The plaintiff says he has filed his motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59. A Rule 59(e) motion "may only be granted if there has been a mistake of law or fact or new evidence has been discovered that is material and could not have been discovered previously." Figgie Int'l, Inc. v. Miller, 966 F.2d 1178, 1180 (7th cir. 1992).

The plaintiff had four surviving claims at summary judgment against 23 defendants. The plaintiff alleged that:

1) the defendants retaliated against the plaintiff in violation of his First Amendment rights when they repeatedly interfered with grievances by refusing to make copies, refusing to respond, failing to forward or destroying them;

2) the defendants violated the plaintiff's right to meaningful access to the courts under the First Amendment when the interfered with his grievances;

3) the defendants violated the plaintiff's First Amendment rights when they repeatedly interfered with his outgoing mail in retaliation for previous lawsuits and grievances; and,

4) the defendants violated the plaintiff's First and Fourth Amendment rights based on repeated delays and/or tampering and/or censoring of his outgoing mails.

The motion for summary judgment was granted because the plaintiff failed to meet his burden of "set[ting] out specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial." See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). The plaintiff failed to show that he was prevented from filing any grievance or that any grievance was tampered with. The plaintiff failed to show that any defendant refused to provide him a copy of his grievances. Instead, he was refused multiple copies. The plaintiff failed to show he was denied meaningful access to the courts, because he failed to show that he suffered any actual injury. The plaintiff failed to show that many defendants were personally involved in is claims. The plaintiff also failed to provide any specific evidence in support of his claims concerning his mail.

In his motion, the plaintiff repeats his claims and argues that he did demonstrate a pattern of retaliation and interference with mail and grievances. It is not enough to make broad, unsubstantiated claims. 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). The motion for reconsideration is denied.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the plaintiff's motion for reconsideration is denied. [d/e 123]

20090826

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