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Givens v. Walker

October 23, 2009

LEVAIL GIVENS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROGER E. WALKER, JR., BASHIR AHMED AMEJI, MARSHALL KEYS, MARVIN COOLEY, AND CHAPLAIN COLEMAN, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: David G. Bernthal United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the court are the defendants, LAMAR COLEMAN, MARVIN COOLEY, MARCIA KEYS (sued as Marshall Keys), and ROGER E. WALKER, JR.'s summary judgment motion [58] and the plaintiff's response [76].

Standard

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). Any discrepancies in the factual record should be evaluated in the non-movant's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986) (citing Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158-59 (1970)). The party moving for summary judgment must show the lack of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). "Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248.

"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). A party opposing summary judgment bears the burden to respond, not simply by resting on its own pleading but by "set[ting] out specific facts showing a genuine issue for trial." See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e). In order to be a "genuine" issue, there must be more than "some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Ind. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). "If [the non-movant] does not [meet his burden], summary judgment should, if appropriate, be entered against [the non-movant]." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e).

Affidavits must be based on the personal knowledge of the affiant and "set out facts that would be admissible in evidence." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e) (emphasis added). Personal knowledge may include inferences and opinions drawn from those facts. Visser v. Packer Eng. Assoc., Inc., 924 F.2d 655, 659 (7th Cir. 1991). "But the inferences and opinions must be grounded in observation or other first-hand personal experience. They must not be based on flights of fancy, speculations, hunches, intuitions or rumors remote from that experience." Visser, 924 F.2d at 659.

Background

Levail Givens, an Illinois prisoner, brings this civil rights lawsuit for constitutional violations alleged to have occurred at Danville Correctional Center ("Danville"). As his lawsuit relates to the above-named defendants, Givens claims that: (I) the defendants, Keys and Walker subjected him to inhumane conditions of confinement by distributing excessive amounts of soy; (ii) the defendants, Cooley and Walker subjected Givens to inhumane conditions of confinement by issuing tennis shoes that were not minimally adequate to protect him from the cold; (iii) the defendants, Coleman and Walker violated the First Amendment's Free Exercise Clause by preventing him from obtaining Hebrew Israelite religious services in the absence of a religious program volunteer; (iv) the defendants, Keys and Walker retaliated against Givens for past grievances; and (v) the defendant, Walker was deliberately indifferent to Givens's serious medical needs. See the plaintiff's complaint [1].

The defendants move for summary judgment on the following grounds. First, there is insufficient evidence to find that the defendants, Keys and Walker knowingly provided Givens with a nutritionally inadequate diet. Second, the restrictions on Givens's right to freely exercise his religion were reasonably related to legitimate penological interests. Third, Givens was provided clothing that is minimally adequate for the seasons. Fourth, the defendants, Keys and Walker did not retaliate against Givens. Fifth, the defendant, Walker was not deliberately indifferent to Givens's serious medical needs. Sixth, the defendants are entitled to qualified immunity.

Undisputed Material Facts*fn1

1. Givens has been incarcerated at Danville since August 9, 2006. (Defs.' Ex. E; Givens Dep. Trans. dated Nov. 19, 2008, p. 61, line 13 - p. 61, line 15.)

2. The defendant, Keys has been employed as the corrections food service manager at Danville for all times relevant to this lawsuit. (Defs.' Ex. C; Keys Aff., ¶ 1.)

3. The defendant, Cooley has been employed as the correctional supply supervisor at Danville for all times relevant to this lawsuit. (Defs.' Ex. B; Cooley Aff., ¶ 1.)

4. The defendant, Coleman served as the acting chaplain at Danville from November 1, 2006 until August 19, 2007. (Defs.' Ex. A; Coleman Aff., ¶ 1.)

5. The defendant, Coleman is no longer authorized to perform the duties of a facility chaplain at Danville. (Defs.' Ex. A; Coleman Aff., ¶ 1.)

6. Prior to 2002, the Department decided that, due to budgetary restraints and the rising costs associated with running the Department, only inmates who had outside work assignments at Danville would be issued state work boots. (Defs.' Ex. B; Cooley Aff., ¶ 3.)

7. On or about December 11, 2001, then-Warden Blair J. Leibach issued a memorandum (Inmate Bulletin 01-058) to the inmate population at Danville which provides, in part, that "[a]ll newly admitted inmates shall be issued state tennis shoes until assignment to one of the [following] job categories": runner, grounds crews, floor crews, industries, dietary, warehouse, maintenance, and Paris work camp. (Defs.' Ex. B; Cooley Aff., ¶ 4.)

8. Inmate Bulletin 01-058, which remains in effect, further provides that inmates assigned to any of the aforementioned job assignments will be issued state work boots. (Defs.' Ex. B; Cooley Aff., ¶ 4.)

9. On August 10, 2006, Givens was issued a variety of clothing items as provided by Institutional Directive 05.02.03DP. (Defs.' Ex. B; Cooley Aff., ¶ 5.)

10. Inmates are minimally provided with the following clothing items: three sets of pants, three shirts, three pairs of underwear, one pair of tennis shoes, one stocking cap, three pairs of socks, three t-shirts, two towels, one face cloth, and one winter jacket. (Defs.' Ex. B; Cooley Aff., ¶ 5; Defs.' Ex. E; Givens Dep. Trans. dated Nov. 19, 2008, p. 61, line 16 -p. 62, line 8.)

11. Inmates may purchase additional clothing items, including state work boots and other foot apparel, through commissary at Danville. (Defs.' Ex. B; Cooley Aff., ¶ 6; Defs.' Ex. E; Givens Dep. Trans. dated Nov. 19, 2008, p. 70, line 7 - p. 70, line 20.)

12. Givens has obtained additional shoes from alternative sources. (Defs.' Ex. E; Givens Dep. Trans. dated Nov. 19, 2008, p. 70, line 21 - p. 71, line 14.)

13. Givens was not issued a pair of state work boots because he was not assigned to any of the qualifying job categories. (Defs.' Ex. B; Cooley Aff., ¶ 5; Defs.' Ex. E; Givens Dep. Trans. dated Nov. 19, 2008, p. 63, line 19 - p. 63, line 23.)

14. In the defendant, Cooley's opinion, the clothing issued to Givens would not cause an increased risk to his health and safety because it is minimally adequate for the seasons. (Defs.' Ex. B; Cooley Aff., ¶ 7.)

15. Givens complains that his feet become cold in winter months because he suffers from a condition that causes his feet to sweat excessively. (Defs.' Ex. E; Givens Dep. Trans. dated Nov. 19, 2008, p. 66, line 2 - p. 66, line 18.)

16. To the defendant, Cooley's knowledge, Givens does not suffer from any medical condition that would require him to wear state work boots, nor is Cooley aware of any authorization from a medical professional that allowed Givens to receive state work boots absent ...


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