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Franklin v. Godinez

August 12, 2010

MICHAEL FRANKLIN (M-05209), PLAINTIFF,
v.
DIRECTOR GODINEZ, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James F. Holderman, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Michael Franklin ("Franklin"), presently an inmate at Vienna Correctional Center, filed suit, pro se, alleging that the conditions of his confinement while housed at Cook County Jail violated his constitutional rights. Specifically, Franklin alleged in his amended complaint that sometimes he was confined to his cell for twenty-six hours at a time, that the time that he was allowed out of his was not long enough to make important phone calls, and that the fifteen minutes after recreation time to shower was inadequate because there were only three working showers. Presently pending before the court is defendants Director Godinez, Chief Moreci, and Superintendent Plaxico's (collectively "Defendants") "Motion for Summary Judgment" (Dkt. No. 36). For the reasons stated in this order, the motion is granted.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper if "the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). All of the evidence and the reasonable inferences that may be drawn from the evidence are viewed in the light most favorable to the non-movant. Miller v. Am. Family Mut. Ins., 203 F.3d 997, 1003 (7th Cir. 2000). Summary judgment may be granted when no "reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). However, a party cannot defeat summary judgment by relying on unsubstantiated facts or by merely resting on its pleadings. See Hemsworth v. Quotesmith.com, Inc., 476 F.3d 487, 490 (7th Cir. 2007); Greer v. Bd. of Educ., 267 F.3d 723, 729 (7th Cir. 2001). Instead, the party that bears the burden of proof on an issue must affirmatively demonstrate, with admissible evidence, that a genuine issue of material fact exists that requires a trial. See Hemsworth, 476 F.3d at 490.

When Defendants filed their motion for summary judgment, they included a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment" as required by Timms v. Frank, 953 F.2d 281, 285 (7th Cir. 1992), and Lewis v. Faulkner, 689 F.2d 100, 102 (7th Cir. 1982). This notice clearly sets out the requirements of this Court's Local Rule 56.1. In particular, the notice explains that Franklin's response must comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(e) and Local Rule 56.1.

Local Rule 56.1(b) requires a party opposing a motion for summary judgment to file:

(3) a concise response to the movant's statement that shall contain

(A) a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement, including, in the case of any disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon, and

(B) a statement, consisting of short numbered paragraphs, of any additional facts that require denial of summary judgment, including references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon.

L.R. 56.1(b).

The district court may require strict compliance with Local Rule 56.1. See Ammons v. Aramark Unif. Serv., Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2004); Bordelon v. Chic. Sch. Reform Bd. of Trs., 233 F.3d 524, 527 (7th Cir. 2000) (strict compliance with the local rules governing summary judgment is upheld given the importance of those rules in structuring the summary judgment process); United States v. Dunkel, 927 F.2d 955, 956 (7th Cir. 1991) ("Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs."). The court may disregard statements and responses that do not comply with Local Rule 56.1. See Cichon v. Exelon Generation Co., 401 F.3d 803, 809-10 (7th Cir. 2005).

Although pro se plaintiffs are entitled to lenient standards, compliance with procedural rules is required. Members v. Paige, 140 F.3d 699, 702 (7th Cir. 1998) ("[R]ules apply to uncounseled litigants and must be enforced."); Jones v. Phipps, 39 F.3d 158, 163 (7th Cir. 1994); Fischer v. Ameritech, No. 98 C 7470, 2002 WL 1949726, at *4 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 23, 2002) (Pallmeyer, J.).

Franklin filed a two-page response to Defendants' motion. Franklin's opposing brief does not include a specific response to Defendants' proposed undisputed facts. Accordingly, Defendants' proposed undisputed facts are deemed admitted. See Chelios v. Heavener, 520 F.3d 678, 687 (7th Cir. 2008); L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(B). Instead, Franklin argues that several conditions of his confinement were unconstitutional because they constituted "punishment" in violation of the Constitution. However, most of the conditions that Franklin argues were unconstitutional were not pled in his amended complaint. For example, he argues that the cells were filthy, overcrowded, and lacked proper ventilation. These newest claims are not included in Franklin's amended complaint. Franklin cannot defend the claims he brought with new claims, and he cannot amend his complaint via his response to the pending motion. See ...


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