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Ruffin v. Illinois Dep't of Corrections

September 30, 2010

JOHNNY M. RUFFIN, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

Memorandum Opinion and Order

Before the court are the defendants, Margaret Brian, Kenneth Brown, Robert Davenport, Ken Deen, John Evans, Julius Flagg, James Freeman, Matthew Freeman, Jason Garnett, Illinois Department of Corrections, Lawrence Correctional Center, Sharon McCorkle, Guy Pierce, Michelle Pulley, Chad Ray, Donald Snyder, Jr., Henry Teverbaugh, Jack Townley and Roger Walker, Jr.'s summary judgment motion [178], plaintiff's amended response [232] and defendants' reply [236].

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. It is also well settled that "conclusory allegations and self-serving affidavits, if not supported by the record, will not preclude summary judgment. Keri v. Barod of Trustees of Purdue University, 458 F.3d 620, 628 (7th Cir.2006)(citing Haywood v. N. Am. Van Lines, Inc., 121 F.3d 1066, 1071 (7th Cir.1997)).

Background

Plaintiff Johnny Ruffin, is a prisoner in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC). On April 5, 2005, Plaintiff filed his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 complaint. Plaintiff was granted leave to amend his complaint on March 7, 2006 [82]. In his amended complaint, Plaintiff alleges Defendants violated Plaintiff's First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 while he was housed at Lawrence Correctional Center (Lawrence) and Pinckneyville Correctional Center (Pinckneyville). Specifically, Plaintiff alleges the following violations*fn1

1)Defendants Illinois Department of Corrections, Lawrence Correctional Center, Snyder, Walker, Pulley, Garnett, and Pierce violated the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 when Plaintiff was denied reasonable accommodation to the gym room area, including the fitness facilities and activities at Lawrence Correctional Center, and denied reasonable accommodation to his right hand/arm prosthetic on court writs;

2) Defendants Snyder, Walker, Pulley, Garnett, Pierce, and Brian violated Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment Rights by denying Plaintiff access to a physical therapist and his prosthetic for his right arm/hand during writs;

3) Defendants Pierce, Walker, Snyder, and Garnett violated Plaintiff's First and Fourteenth Amendment rights when they condoned the harassment and retaliation initiated by Defendants Pulley and McCorkle and enforced by Defendants Freeman (James), Teverbaugh, Ray, Gilreath, and Freeman (Matthew);

4) Defendants Illinois Department of Corrections, Evans, Flagg, Deen, Davenport, Townley, and Walker violated the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 when Plaintiff was denied equal benefits and meaningful access to disciplinary proceedings and the shower facilities while housed at Pinckneyville Correctional Center.

Plaintiff requests compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief. Defendants deny that they violated the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's medical needs. Plaintiff has no evidence to support his claims of a violation of the Rehabilitation Act. Defendants further deny that their actions or that their reliance on the opinion and judgment of medical professionals constituted a deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's medical needs. Defendants assert that Plaintiff has failed to prove the personal involvement of Defendants Snyder and Walker, and Plaintiff has also failed to prove that Defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights. Plaintiff's dissatisfaction with the course of his medical treatment that he received does not constitute deliberate indifference to his medical needs. The remaining Defendants deny that they violated Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights. Plaintiff has no evidence to support his claims of deliberate indifference on behalf of Defendants. Finally, Defendants contend that Plaintiff has no evidence to support his claims of retaliation or harassment by Defendants. Therefore, Defendants believe that summary judgment should be granted in their favor and against the Plaintiff.

Undisputed Material Facts*fn2

1. Plaintiff, Johnny Ruffin, #K80541, is currently incarcerated at Pinckneyville.

2. Plaintiff was incarcerated at Lawrence from December 6, 2002 through July 23, 2004. (Exh. A, Plaintiff's Deposition, p. 8, lines 9-12).

3. Plaintiff was incarcerated at Pinckneyville from August 16, 2004 through April 28, 2005. (Exh. A, p. 78, lines 10-12).

4. Defendant Snyder is the former Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections. (See Exh. B, Miller Affidavit, ¶6).

5. Defendant Walker is the current Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections. (Exh. B, ¶8).

6. Defendant Snyder did not receive or review any of Plaintiff's letters or grievances regarding violations of the Rehabilitation Act at Lawrence Correctional Center or Pinckneyville Correctional Center. (Exh. B, ¶6).

7. Defendant Snyder did not receive or review any of Plaintiff's letters or grievances regarding medical care or treatment. (Exh. B, ¶6).

8. Defendant Snyder did not receive or review any of Plaintiff's letters or grievances regarding retaliation or harassment by employees of the Illinois Department of Corrections. (Exh. B, ¶7).

9. Defendant Walker did not receive or review any of Plaintiff's letters or grievances regarding violations of the Rehabilitation Act at Lawrence Correctional Center or Pinckneyville Correctional Center. (Exh. B, ¶8).

10. Defendant Walker did not receive or review any of Plaintiff's letters or grievances regarding medical care or treatment. (Exh. B, ¶8).

11. Defendant Walker did not receive or review any of Plaintiff's letters or grievances regarding retaliation or harassment by employees of the Illinois Department of Corrections. (Exh. B, ¶9).

12. Defendant James Freeman is a Correctional Sergeant at Lawrence Correctional Center. (Exh. C, ¶1).

13 Defendant Teverbaugh was a Correctional Casework Supervisor Counselor from May 16, 2004 to June 30, 2004 at Lawrence Correctional Center. (Exh. D, ¶1).

14. Defendant Pulley was the Assistant Warden of Programs at Lawrence Correctional Center during the times alleged in Plaintiff's complaint. (Exh. E, ¶1).

15. Defendant Garnett was the Warden of Lawrence Correctional Center from January 1, 2004 until July 1, 2006. (Exh. F, ¶1).

16. Defendant Ray has been a Correctional Officer at Lawrence Correctional Center from July 16, 2001 to present. (Exh. G, ¶1).

17. Defendant Brown has been the Leisure Time Supervisor at Lawrence Correctional Center since August 1, 2001 to present. (Exh. H, ¶1).

18. Defendant Matthew Freeman has been a Correctional Officer at Lawrence Correctional Center since February 19, 2001 to present. (Exh. I, ¶1).

19. Defendant Brian is the Health Care Unit Administrator at Lawrence Correctional Center. (Exh. J, ¶1).

20. Defendant Pierce was the Warden of Lawrence Correctional Center from January 2002 until December 2003. (Exh. K, ¶1).

21. Defendant McCorkle is the Librarian at Lawrence Correctional Center and has held this position since July 1, 2001. (Exh. L, ¶1).

22. Defendant Davenport is a Lieutenant at Pinckneyville Correctional Center and has held this position since June 16, 1993. (Exh. M, ¶1).

23. Defendant Deen has been a Lieutenant at Pinckneyville Correctional Center since September of 2000. (Exh. N, ¶1).

24. Defendant Evans was Warden of Pinckneyville Correctional Center from December 16, 2003 to November 30, 2005. (Exh. O, ¶1).

25. Defendant Flagg was Assistant Warden of Programs at Pinckneyville Correctional Center from July 2001 to December 2005. (Exh. P, ¶1).

26. Defendant Townley has been employed as a Lieutenant at Pinckneyville Correctional Center since July 1996. (Exh. Q, ¶1).

27. Lawrence Correctional Center provides all offenders with equal access to the gym, as well as equal access to available exercise and recreational equipment. (See Exh. S, Boyd Affidavit, ¶3).

28. The maximum number of offenders allowed in the gym at one time is 90. (Exh. S, ¶4).

29. Due to the number of inmates on gym line at Lawrence Correctional Center, the gym was always congested. (Exh. A, p. 20, lines 9-11).

30. The Lawrence Correctional Center gyms have no architectural barriers to the weight equipment. The gym is equipped as budgetary and security issues allow. The gym is an open area in all respects and basketballs are available upon offender ...


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