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Junior v. Dart

May 18, 2010

UVION JUNIOR (M-01324), PLAINTIFF,
v.
TOM DART, ET AL. DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Marvin E. Aspen

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff, Uvion Junior, currently incarcerated at the Menard Correctional Center, filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against Cook County Jail Officer Summer Anderson and several jail supervisory officials. Plaintiff alleges that, on June 18, 2008, Officer Anderson allowed out of their cells inmates who were supposed to be confined, and that Plaintiff was subsequently attacked and stabbed 10 to 12 times by several of these inmates. On preliminary review, the court found that Plaintiff had not stated claims against the supervisory officials and dismissed them as Defendants. Officer Anderson, the only remaining Defendant, has filed a motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff has responded. For the following reasons, the court denies Defendant's motion for summary judgment without prejudice to her submitting another motion that addresses the unresolved issues discussed herein.

I. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

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)(2); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Spath v. Hayes Wheels Int'l-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, 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. 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. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252; Insolia v. Phillip Morris Inc., 216 F.3d 596 (7th Cir. 2000).

B. Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1 Statements

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 N.D. Ill. 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.

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 Sch. Reform Bd. of Trs., 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 Servs., 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).

A court may consider to be true any uncontested fact in the movant's Rule 56.1 Statement that is not addressed by the non-movant. Raymond v. Ameritech Corp., 442 F.3d 600, 608 (7th Cir. 2006). Also, a court may disregard statements and responses that do not properly cite to the record. Cichon v. Exelon Generation Co., L/L.C., 401 F.3d 803, 809-10 (7th Cir. 2005); Brasic v. Heinemann's Inc., 121 F.3d 281, 284 (7th Cir. 1997). Furthermore, "evasive denials that do not fairly meet the substance of the material facts asserted" do not satisfy a litigant's obligation to properly respond to a Rule 56.1 factual statement. 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 Ed. of City of Chicago, 267 F.3d 723, 727 (7th Cir. 2001); see also McNeil v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993).

In the instant case, Defendant filed a Rule 56.1 Statement of Facts ("SOF"), (R. 34.) Plaintiff responded with his own SOF, which responds to only certain statements in Defendant's SOF. (R. 41.) The court may consider to be true those statements in Defendant's SOF to which there is no response. Raymond, 442 F.3d at 608. With respect to the statements to which Plaintiff did respond, Defendant, in her reply, objects to Plaintiff not properly providing record citations. However, the court is able to discern easily enough from the exhibits attached to Plaintiff's SOF and from the portions of his deposition submitted as exhibits what evidence supports Plaintiff's SOF statements. (R. 34, Exh. B, Pl's Depo; R. 41, Pl's SOF and attached exhibits.) Accordingly, the court will consider both Plaintiff's and Defendant's SOFs.

II. FACTS

The summary judgment evidence shows the following. In 2008, Plaintiff was incarcerated in the maximum security area of the Cook County Jail because he faced a charge of murder. (R. 34, Def.'s SOF ¶ 6.) Officer Anderson was assigned as a tier officer on the 3-11 p.m. shift for Plaintiff's area of the jail on June 18, 2008. (Id. at ¶ 5.) On that tier, half of the inmates (Plaintiff and 19-20 other inmates) were let out of their cells for three-hour periods. When their three-hour period ended, those ...


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