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Young v. Monahan

August 31, 2009


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

Hon. Harry D. Leinenweber


Plaintiff, Ricky Young (hereinafter, "Plaintiff"), a detainee committed under Illinois' Sexually Violent Person Act (the "SVPA"), is currently in custody at the Rushville Treatment and Detention Facility. From 2000-2006, Plaintiff was detained at the Joliet Treatment and Detention Facility (the "Joliet Facility"). In 2007, he filed this civil rights action against mental health care professionals and employees at the Joliet Facility: Thomas Monahan, Darrell Sanders, Shan Jumper, Lea Chankin, Tarry Williams Judy Roth, Liberty Health Care Corporation, Tony Humphrey, Steven Strock, Scott Maieritsch, Mark A. Brenzinger, Moore, and Franzin (hereinafter, the "Defendants"). In January 2008, addressing a Motion to Dismiss by the Defendants, the Honorable John W. Darrah dismissed three of Plaintiff's five claims. Two claims remain: whether the Defendants acted with deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's safety by forcing him to share a room with a detainee referred to as D.M., and whether the Defendants treated Plaintiff differently and refused to allow him to choose his roommate because Plaintiff is African American. In May 2008, the Executive Committee reassigned the case from Judge Darrah to this Court.

The Defendants have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiff has filed a response in his answer to the Defendants' Summary Judgment Motion, and the Defendants have replied. For the following reasons, the Court grants the Motion for Summary Judgment. This case is dismissed and terminated. All other pending motions are denied as moot.


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, 599-98 (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.

Because Plaintiff is a pro se litigant, the Defendants 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.

The purpose of a Local Rule 56.1 Statement is to identify the relevant evidence supporting the material facts, not to make factual or legal arguments. See Cady v. Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057, 1060 (7th Cir., 2006). The types of evidentiary material available to support a Local Rule 56.1 statement vary, but most commonly include affidavits, deposition transcripts, and business documents. Malec v. Sanford, 191 F.R.D. 581, 584 (N.D.Ill., 2000). A litigant's failure to respond to a Local Rule 56.1 Statement results in the Court considering the uncontested statement as true. Raymond v. Ameritech Corp., 442 F.3d 600, 608 (7th Cir., 2006). Also, the Court may disregard statements and responses that do not properly cite to the record. See Cichon v. Exelon Generation Co., L.L.C., 401 F.3d 803, 809-810 (7th Cir., 2005); Brasic v. Heinemann's Inc., 121 F.3d 281, 284 (7th Cir., 1997). 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.

Although courts must construe pro se pleadings liberally, see Kaba v. Stepp, 458 F.3d 678, 681 (7th Cir., 2006), a plaintiff's pro se status does not excuse him from complying with these Local Rules. See Greer v. Board of Educ. of City of Chicago, Ill., 267 F.3d 723, 727 (7th Cir., 2001); see also McNeil v. U.S., 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993) ("we have never suggested that procedural rules in ordinary civil litigation should be interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by those who proceed without counsel."). With these standards in mind, the Court turns to the claims and evidence of this case.


In this case, the Defendants forwarded their Rule 56.1 Statement and a Rule 56.2 Notice to Pro Se Litigants to Plaintiff at least twice. (R. 84-86, 89, 93.) The Court also forwarded to Plaintiff copies of the Defendants' summary judgment motion, Rule 56.1 Statement, and a Rule 56.2 Notice. (R. 92.) Despite being served several times with a Rule 56.2 Notice, Plaintiff did not respond to the Defendants' Rule 56.1 Statement. Accordingly, the Court may consider the uncontested statements in the Rule 56.1 Statement to be true. Raymond v. Ameritech Corp., 442 F.3d 600, 608 (7th Cir., 2006). The Court notes, however, that the facts listed in the Defendants' Rule 56.1 Statement are supported by the record, such that the statements in the Rule 56.1 Statement of Facts may be considered true regardless of Plaintiff's failure to respond. The uncontested facts show the following.

A. Deliberate Indifference to Plaintiff's Safety

Plaintiff is a civilly committed person under Illinois' SVPA, and was housed at the Joliet Facility from December 2000 to July 2006. (R. 86, Defs.' Rule 56.1 Statement ΒΆ 2; R. 87-2, Exh. B, Pl.'s Depo., 6.) Plaintiff was attacked by his roommate, D.M., on March 10, 2006, shortly after Plaintiff reported a fight between D.M. and another detainee. D.M. walked up behind Plaintiff as they entered their cell and struck him several times on the right side of his head. Officers broke up the fight, and Plaintiff was immediately treated at the health care facility. Plaintiff sustained a cut above his ...

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