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Nathaniel Kennard (#2008-0010243 v. Cook County Dept. of Corr.

January 27, 2011

NATHANIEL KENNARD (#2008-0010243), PLAINTIFF,
v.
COOK COUNTY DEPT. OF CORR., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. James B. Zagel

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

The plaintiff, an inmate in the custody of the Cook County Department of Corrections, has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff claims that the defendants, jail health care providers, violated the plaintiff's constitutional rights by denying him needed dental treatment. More specifically, the plaintiff alleges that extraction of his wisdom teeth was denied or unduly delayed (the record is unclear as to whether the extraction was eventually performed). This matter is before the court for ruling on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment. For the reasons stated in this order, the plaintiff's motion is denied and the defendants' motion is granted.

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 moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Vision Church v. Village of Long Grove, 468 F.3d 975, 988 (7th Cir. 2006). In determining whether factual issues exist, the court must view all the evidence and draw all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Walker v. Northeast Regional Commuter Railroad Corp., 225 F.3d 895, 897 (7th Cir. 2000).

Rule 56(c) "mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. "Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no genuine issue for trial." Sarver v. Experian Information Solutions, 390 F.3d 969, 970 (7th Cir. 2004) (citations omitted).

FACTS

The defendants filed a statement of uncontested material facts pursuant to Local Rule 56.1 (N.D. Ill.). Together with their motion for summary judgment, the defendants included a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment," as required by circuit precedent. [See document no. 35-1; see also document 35-2, copies of the court's Local Rules pertaining to summary judgment.] That notice outlined the requirements of the Local Rules and warned the plaintiff that a party's failure to controvert the facts as set forth in the moving party's statement results in those facts being deemed admitted. See, e.g., Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003). The notice specifically provides:

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 in view of the importance of the governing rules' importance in structuring the summary judgment process. 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). Although pro se plaintiffs are entitled to lenient standards, compliance with procedural rules is required. Cady v. Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057, 1061 (7th Cir. 2006); see also Koszola v. Bd. of Educ. of the City of Chicago, 385 F.3d 1104, 1108 (7th Cir. 2004). "We have ... repeatedly held that a district court is entitled to expect strict compliance with [Local] Rule 56.1." Cichon v. Exelon Generation Co., 401 F.3d 803, 809 (7th Cir. 2005).

Despite these admonitions, the plaintiff has not responded in any fashion to the defendants' statement of uncontested facts. Instead, he has simply filed a cross-motion for summary judgment consisting of an excerpt from a recent report on the Cook County Jail, along with copies of multiple grievances the plaintiff submitted at the jail concerning his dental care. The plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment is consequently denied for failure to comply with the requirements set forth in Local Rule 56.1 (N.D. Ill.). Furthermore, the following facts set forth in the defendants' statement of facts are therefore deemed uncontested for purposes of this motion:

The plaintiff is a pretrial detainee, confined at the Cook County Jail at all times relevant to this action. (Amended Complaint, p. 1.) Defendant Thomas Prozorovsky is a dentist at the facility. (Ibid.) Defendant Nagib Ali is a staff physician. ...


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