The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert District Judge
This matter comes before the Court on the motion for summary judgment filed by defendants Besson and Fritschle (Doc. 176). Plaintiff Jeramey R. Brown has responded to the motion (Doc. 220), and Besson and Fritschle have replied to that response (Doc. 237).
Brown was convicted of murdering Michael Keller, a resident of Granite City, Illinois. The conviction was reversed on appeal, and the case was remanded for a new trial. While awaiting a new trial, Brown was housed in the Madison County Jail from January 2006 until July 2008, the same place he had been housed prior to his conviction. Brown's complaints in this case arose from that detention. Specifically, Brown alleges that: (1) he was denied the opportunity to fast during Ramadan and, therefore, he was unable to practice his Muslim faith; (2) he was held in the segregation unit at the jail for at least 16 months without due process of law; (3) he was denied his First Amendment rights by restrictions placed on the types of books and magazines he could have delivered to him in the jail; (4) he was denied the opportunity for exercise; (5) he was deprived of adequate sleep because he was awoken every half-hour at night and also during the day due to "incessant noise" purposefully made by jail staff; (6) the jail has violated his "privacy rights" because its records include many false statements and entries concerning Brown's behavior and that such false entries may be used to determine his prison placement; (7) the jail's commissary overcharges inmates for hygiene items; (8) the jail monitored all of his telephone conversations -- including conversations with his attorneys -- and the jail (and its telephone service provider) impose "exorbitant charges" on the collect calls he made from the jail; (9) that his mail has been opened and copied and passed along to the police. Brown is currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center.
On threshold review, the Court separated Brown's complaint into ten counts and disposed of a number of them. Besson and Fritschle are named in six of the remaining counts:
C COUNT 1: for violating Brown's right to freely exercise his religion in violation of the First Amendment by denying him the opportunity to fast during Ramadan;
C COUNT 2: for violating Brown's right to due process of law by confining him in administrative segregation for sixteen months;
C COUNT 3: for violating Brown's First Amendment rights by restricting his ability to have magazines and books;
C COUNT 4: for violating Brown's right to due process of law by denying him adequate exercise;
C COUNT 5: for violating Brown's right to due process by subjecting him to conditions amounting to punishment -- specifically loud noises depriving Brown of adequate sleep; and C COUNT 10: for reading and copying Brown's outgoing mail -- including his legal mail -- in violation of his rights.
II. Summary Judgment Standard
Summary judgment is appropriate where "the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.
R. Civ. P. 56(a); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Spath v. Hayes Wheels Int'l-Ind., Inc., 211 F.3d 392, 396 (7th Cir. 2000). The reviewing court must construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of that party. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986); Chelios v. Heavener, 520 F.3d 678, 685 (7th Cir. 2008); Spath, 211 F.3d at 396.Where the moving party fails to meet its strict burden of proof, a court cannot enter summary judgment for the moving party even if the opposing party fails to present relevant evidence in response to the motion. Cooper v. Lane, 969 F.2d 368, 371 (7th Cir. 1992).
In responding to a summary judgment motion, the nonmoving party may not simply rest upon the allegations contained in the pleadings but must present specific facts to show that a genuine issue of material fact exists. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(1); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-26; Johnson v. City of Fort Wayne, 91 F.3d 922, 931 (7th Cir. 1996). 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); Michas v. Health Cost Controls of Ill., Inc., 209 F.3d 687, 692 (7th Cir. 2000). Rather, a genuine issue of material fact exists only if "a fair-minded jury could return a verdict for the [nonmoving party] on the evidence presented." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252; accord Michas, 209 F.3d at 692.
If the moving party is defending the claim at trial and does not have the burden of proof, it need not provide evidence negating the plaintiff's claim. It is enough to point to the absence of evidence to support an essential element of the plaintiff's claim for which it carries the burden of proof at trial Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-23, 325. Where the defendant has pointed to a lack of evidence for one of the essential elements of a plaintiff's claim, if the plaintiff fails to ...