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Todd v. Dart

October 25, 2010

NATHANIEL TODD (#2009-0024919), PLAINTIFF,
v.
THOMAS DART, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Amy J. St. Eve United States District Court Judge

Judge Amy J. St. Eve

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff, Nathaniel Todd, currently a pretrial detainee at Cook County Jail, filed suit, pro se, against Defendants -- Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart and Aramark Food Service -- alleging that he has been fed the same meals, three times a day, seven days a week, resulting in systemic malnourishment. Plaintiff also alleges that he has found foreign objects in his food. Presently before the Court are: (1) Defendants' motion for summary judgment, (2) Plaintiff's "motion for petition to prosecute," (3) Plaintiff's "motion of dispositive motions," (4) Defendants' motion to strike Plaintiff's motion of dispositive motions, and (5) Plaintiff's "motion in regarding to past and present filing of Local Rule Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(5)." For the reasons stated in this order: (1) Defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted, (2) Plaintiff's "motion for petition to prosecute" is denied, (3) Plaintiff's motion of dispositive motions is stricken, (4) Defendants' motion to strike Plaintiff's motion of dispositive motions is granted, and (5) Plaintiff's "motion in regarding to past and present filing of Local Rule Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(5)" is denied.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper if "the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(2); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-323 (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. American Family Mutual 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). A party, however, cannot defeat summary judgment by relying on unsubstantiated facts or by merely resting on its pleadings. See Hemsworth, II v. Quotesmith.com, Inc., 476 F.3d 487, 490 (7th Cir. 2007); Greer v. Board of Educ. of the City of Chicago, 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); Lewis v. Faulkner, 689 F.2d 100, 102 (7th Cir. 1982). This notice clearly sets forth the requirements of Local Rule 56.1. In particular, the notice explains that Plaintiff'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 Uniform Serv., Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2004); Bordelon v. Chicago School Reform Board of Trustees, 233 F.3d 524, 527 (7th Cir 2000) (strict compliance with the local rules governing summary judgment is upheld given the importance of local rules that structure 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"). Further, 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 nonetheless 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, *4 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 23, 2002) (Pallmeyer, J.).

Plaintiff filed a response to Defendants' motion. The response, however, does not address the 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).

Plaintiff also filed a "motion for petition to prosecute" in which Plaintiff seeks to "prosecute" a section 1983 claim of "aggravated battery" of his food/meals for serving him "food loaf while not under behavior program." Plaintiff's motion is denied as no such claim is cognizable under the law.

In addition, Plaintiff filed a "motion of dispositive motions with supportive memorandum." This motion appears to be Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. Defendants have moved to strike the motion ...


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