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Tittelbach v. McAdory

February 24, 2010

JOHN TITTELBACH, PLAINTIFF,
v.
EUGENE MCADORY, DEFENDANT.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the court are the defendant's summary judgment motion [17] and the plaintiff's response [23].

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). Further, "[t]he plaintiff cannot merely allege the existence of a factual dispute to defeat summary judgment .. Instead, he must supply evidence sufficient to allow a jury to render a verdict in his favor." Basith v. Cook County, 241 F.3d 919, 926 (7th Cir. 2001). Specifically, the non-moving party "must present sufficient evidence to show the existence of each element of its case on which it will bear the burden at trial." Filipovic v. K&R Express Systems, Inc., 176 F.3d 390, 390 (7th Cir. 1999). Failure by the non-movant to meet all of the above requirements subjects him to summary judgment on his claims.

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

Plaintiff is civilly committed to the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services ("Department") pursuant to the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, 725 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 207/1 et seq. (West 2008) ("SVP Act"). Plaintiff brings this civil rights action against Eugene McAdory ("McAdory"), a former shift commander, concerning events that occurred at the Rushville Treatment & Detention Facility ("Rushville Facility") on March 12, 2007. On that date, McAdory ordered Plaintiff, along with several other resident dietary workers, to be placed in handcuff restraints for approximately 10-15 minutes after they had become disruptive in response to staff inquiries related to ongoing food shortage problems at the Rushville Facility. Plaintiff claims that McAdory's actions were arbitrary or excessively punitive and that they constituted battery.

Undisputed Material Facts

1. Plaintiff is civilly committed to the custody of the Department pursuant to the SVP Act. (Defs.' Ex. B; Tittelbach Dep. Trans. dated Feb. 26, 2009, p. 38, line 23 - p. 39, line 13, attached hereto.)

2. As of March 12, 2007, Plaintiff worked as a dietary cook at the Rushville Facility. (Defs.' Ex. B; Tittelbach Dep. Trans. dated Feb. 26, 2009, p. 8, line 21 - p. 9, line 10.)

3. McAdory served as shift commander at the Rushville Facility from May 2006 until November 16, 2007. (Defs.' Ex. A; McAdory Aff., ¶ 1, attached hereto.)

4. The Department provides by rules for the nature of the Rushville Facility, the level of care to be provided, and the custody and discipline of persons placed in the Rushville Facility. (Defs.' Ex. A; McAdory Aff., ¶ 2.)

5. The Rushville Facility is the only secure residential facility for persons committed to the custody of the Department for control, care, and treatment pursuant to the SVP Act. (Defs.' Ex. A; McAdory Aff., ¶ 2.)

6. The Rushville Facility provides treatment specially designed for sex offenders in a safe, structured, residential environment. (Defs.' Ex. A; McAdory Aff., ¶ 2.)

7. Treatment and security staff are trained to focus on the needs of each resident, and to treat each resident respectfully, professionally, and with dignity. (Defs.' Ex. A; McAdory Aff., ¶ 2.)

8. On March 12, 2007, McAdory was advised by staff that the dietary unit had run out of french fries at lunch, with residents in two pods and security staff still waiting to be fed. (Defs.' Ex. A; McAdory Aff., ¶ 4.)

9. Food shortages had been an ongoing problem which had persisted for weeks. (Defs.' Ex. A; McAdory Aff., ΒΆ 4; Defs.' Ex. B; Tittelbach Dep. Trans. dated Feb. ...


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