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Brandy Surratt v. Roger Walker

March 29, 2011

BRANDY SURRATT, PLAINTIFF,
v.
ROGER WALKER, DIRECTOR OF IDOC, DEBBIE DENNING, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF IDOC,
MARY SIGLER, WARDEN OF DWIGHT CORRECTIONAL CENTER,
DEBBIE WINTERS, LIEUTENANT AT DWIGHT CORRECTIONAL CENTER,
RONALD ROBINSON, CORRECTIONAL OFFICER, IN THEIR INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES. DEFENDANTS,



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael M. Mihm United States District Judge

E-FILED

Tuesday, 29 March, 2011 03:55:06 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

ORDER

Now before the Court is Defendants Roger Walker, Debbie Denning, Mary Sigler, and Debbie Winters' ("Individual Defendants") Motion for Summary Judgment [#38]. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is GRANTED.

JURISDICTION

The Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343, as the claim asserted in the Complaint presents a federal question under the United States Constitution.

BACKGROUND

On September 9, 2006, Plaintiff Brandy Surratt ("Surratt") was housed in Dwight Correctional Center in Illinois for armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. At this time, Defendant Roger Walker ("Walker") was the Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC"), and Defendant Debbie Denning was the deputy director of IDOC. Defendant Mary Sigler ("Sigler") was the warden of Dwight Correctional Center ("Dwight"), and Defendant Debbie Winters was a lieutenant at Dwight. Defendant Ronald Robinson was a correctional officer employed by IDOC and working at Dwight.

On September 10, 2006, at approximately 9:00 a.m., Defendant Robinson entered Surratt's cell at Dwight and allegedly sexually assaulted her. Surratt did not report the incident until April 2007 when she discussed the incident with a Dwight counselor who formally made a report to Lieutenant Debbie Winters ("Winters") of internal affairs. During the investigation, Surratt learned that she was not the only female inmate to report Robinson for inappropriate conduct.

On March 4, 2005, an inmate known as "A.M." reported that Robinson had sexually assaulted her. These allegations were investigated, and Mary Hodge, the Chief of the Investigations and Intelligence Unit found the claims were unsubstantiated. During the investigation into Robinson, other inmates discussed Robinson's inappropriate and flirtatious behavior while some inmates stated that Robinson behaved professionally. On April 25, 2006, Robinson allegedly made sexual advances toward Dwight inmate Shawntay Wright ("Wright"). Wright's case was investigated, and her claims were found to be unsubstantiated. She was disciplined for filing an allegedly false report against Robinson.

This action was filed on September 5, 2008, by Brandy Surratt against Individual Defendants and Robinson. Surratt also named Assistant Warden of Dwight Pamela Harris and two investigators for internal affairs for IDOC, Grant Ogburn and Lynn Hodges. Surratt voluntarily dismissed her claims against these three parties on December 22, 2010. Surratt is suing Individual Defendants as a result of their alleged deliberate indifference to the need for protection under section 1983 (Count Two). Surratt also brough the following claims against Defendant Robinson, who is not a party to this motion and has not answered or otherwise responded to Plaintiff's complaint: (1) Eighth Amendment violation for unnecessary and unwanted infliction of pain (Count One); (2) assault and battery (Count Three); (3) sexual abuse (Count Four); and (4) intentional infliction of emotional distress as a result of the sexual abuse (Count Five). Individual Defendants now move for summary judgment on the pending claim against them. The matter has been fully briefed, and this Order follows.

DISCUSSION

Summary judgment should be granted where 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). The moving party has the responsibility of informing the Court of portions of the record or affidavits that demonstrate the absence of a triable issue. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). The moving party may meet its burden of showing an absence of material facts by demonstrating "that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case." Id. at 325. Any doubt as to the existence ...


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