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Winger v. Pierce

March 4, 2010

MARK WINGER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GUY PIERCE, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

INTRODUCTION

Before the court are defendants' motion for summary judgment, plaintiff's response to defendants' motion for summary judgment and defendants' response to plaintiff's response, [80], [88], and [92], respectively. The plaintiff, Mark Winger, pro se, has submitted a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against defendants Guy Pierce, et. al. Plaintiff alleges inhumane conditions of confinement, based on his lack of opportunity to exercise due to a year of yard restriction. The plaintiff alleges that officials at his prison violated the Constitution by restricting his opportunity for outdoor exercise for more than a year. A disciplinary infraction (soliciting a murder) led to the revocation of one year of good-time credits, a year in segregation, and a year's loss of yard privileges. According to the complaint, Winger spent at least 9 consecutive months indoors. After he complained of panic attacks, he was allowed a single hour of outdoor exercise. The plaintiff, Winger filed a grievance relating to the 365 day yard restriction on August 18, 2005.

The defendants, Guy Pierce, Roger Walker, Jr., Melody Ford, Eddie Jones, Robert Ellinger, Wesley Wiles, Erika Howard, Undrey Millsay, and Annabelle Motteler, by and through their attorney Lisa Madigan, have moved the court for an order granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants because the plaintiff has allegedly failed to exhaust all administrative remedies prior to filing .

MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper if the pleadings, answers to interrogatories, depositions, and admissions, along with affidavits, show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ.P. 56(c). An issue of material fact exists only if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In determining whether there are any genuine issues of material fact, the court must draw all inferences in the light most favorable to the non-movant.

Bartman v. Allis-Chalmers Corp., 799 F.2d 311, 312 (7th Cir.1986). Yet not every conceivable inference must be drawn, only reasonable inferences. Bartman v. Allis-Chalmers Corp., 799 F.2d 311, 312-13 (7th Cir.1986).

The party moving for summary judgment carries the initial burden of production to identify "those portions of the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The moving party may discharge this burden by "showing . . . an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case." Id., 477 U.S. at 325. When the moving party has met the burden, the nonmoving party "must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56; Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250. In determining whether the non-movant has identified a "material" issue of fact for trial, "[o]nly dispute[s] that could affect the outcome of the suit under governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." McGinn v. Burlington Northern R.R. Co., 102 F.3d 295, 298 (7th Cir. 1996). A court must enter summary judgment against the plaintiff when the plaintiff fails to come forward with evidence that would reasonably permit a finder of fact to find in plaintiff's favor on a material question. Waldridge v. Am. Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 920 (7th Cir. 1994).

FACTS

The following facts are undisputed material facts:

1. The plaintiff, Mark Winger is an inmate currently incarcerated by the Illinois Department of Corrections.

2. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that Plaintiff had stated a claim of inhumane conditions of confinement, based on his lack of opportunity to exercise due to the a year yard restriction. [52].

3. The plaintiff claims he spent nine consecutive months indoors. (Pl.'s Compl.) [81].

4. The plaintiff received a disciplinary ticket on July 11, 2005, for Soliciting a Violent Assault of Any Person, Intimidation or Threats, Dangerous ...


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