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Noel Padilla v. Officer John Bailey

July 25, 2011

NOEL PADILLA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
OFFICER JOHN BAILEY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

On October 26, 2010, Plaintiff Noel Padilla filed the present ten-count First Amended Complaint against Defendant Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart, along with Defendant Cook County Correctional Officers Bailey, Galiardo, Martinez, Harris, Steadman, and Woodson, alleging claims of excessive force and failure to correct (Count I), First Amendment retaliation (Count II), First Amendment right to petition for redress (Count III), deliberate indifference to medical needs (Count IV), conspiracy to deprive him of his constitutional rights (Count V), and a claim pursuant to Monell v. Department of Social Servs., 436 U.S. 658, 691, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978) (Count VI) based on incidents that occurred in the Cook County Jail on March 15 and 16, 2009. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Padilla also alleges the state law claims of battery (Count VII), assault (Count VIII), willful and wanton conduct (Count IX), and indemnification (Count X) pursuant to the Court's supplemental jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C. § 1367(a). Before the Court is Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(b). For the following reasons, the Court grants Defendants' motion and dismisses this lawsuit in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

I. Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1

Because Padilla is a pro se litigant, Defendants served him with a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment" as required by Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.2.*fn1 The notice explains the consequences of failing to properly respond to a motion for summary judgment and statement of material facts under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 and Local Rule 56.1.

Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1 assists the Court by "organizing the evidence, identifying undisputed facts, and demonstrating precisely how each side propose[s] to prove a disputed fact with admissible evidence." Bordelon v. Chicago Sch. Reform Bd. of Trs., 233 F.3d 524, 527 (7th Cir. 2000). "The Rule is designed, in part, to aid the district court, 'which does not have the advantage of the parties' familiarity with the record and often cannot afford to spend the time combing the record to locate the relevant information,' in determining whether a trial is necessary." Delapaz v. Richardson, 634 F.3d 895, 899 (7th Cir. 2011) (citation omitted). Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) requires the moving party to provide "a statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue." Cracco v. Vitran Exp., Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009). "The opposing party is required to file '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." Id. (citing N.D. Ill. R. 56.1(b)(3)(B)). Also, Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C) requires the nonmoving party to present a separate statement of additional facts that requires the denial of summary judgment. See Ciomber v. Cooperative Plus, Inc., 527 F.3d 635, 643-44 (7th Cir. 2008).

The purpose of Rule 56.1 statements is to identify the relevant admissible evidence supporting the material facts, not to make factual or legal arguments. See Cady v. Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057, 1060 (7th Cir. 2006) ("statement of material facts did [] not comply with Rule 56.1 as it failed to adequately cite the record and was filled with irrelevant information, legal arguments, and conjecture"). Therefore, the Court will not address the parties' legal and factual arguments made in their Rule 56.1 statements and responses. See System Dev. Integration, LLC v. Computer Sciences Corp., 739 F.Supp.2d 1063, 1068 (N.D. Ill. 2010). Moreover, the requirements for responses under Local Rule 56.1 are "not satisfied by evasive denials that do not fairly meet the substance of the material facts asserted." Bordelon, 233 F.3d at 528. Also, the Court may disregard statements and responses that do not properly cite to the record. See Cichon, 401 F.3d at 809-10.

Although courts must construe pro se pleadings liberally, McGee v. Bartow, 593 F.3d 556, 566-67 (7th Cir. 2010), a plaintiff's pro se status does not absolve him from complying with the federal and local procedural rules. See Greer v. Board of Ed. of City of Chicago, 267 F.3d 723, 727 (7th Cir. 2001); see also McNeil v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113, 113 S.Ct. 1980, 124 L.Ed.2d 21 (1993) ("we have never suggested that procedural rules in ordinary civil litigation should be interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by those who proceed without counsel."). Because Padilla has failed to file a proper Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B) response to Defendants' Rule 56.1(a)(3) Statement of Facts, the Court deems Defendants' factual assertions as admitted, as discussed immediately below. See Rao v. BP Prods. N. Am., Inc., 589 F.3d 389, 393 (7th Cir. 2009); see also Delapaz, 634 F.3d at 899 ("the obligation set forth in Local Rule 56.1 'is not a mere formality.'") (citation omitted); Raymond v. Ameritech Corp., 442 F.3d 600, 604 (7th Cir. 2006) ("district courts are entitled to expect strict compliance with Local Rule 56.1.")

Padilla's Rule 56.1 Statement of Material Facts filed on June 9, 2011 is a combination of his Local Rule 56.1(b)(3) response and his own statement of additional facts pursuant to Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C). In addition, many of Padilla's responses and statements do not cite to evidence in the record, including ¶¶ 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 22, 23, 25, 26, 34, and 35. Also, Padilla admits many of Defendants' facts, but then adds additional information in his responses, including ¶¶ 5, 6, 11, 12, 14, 17, 18, 19, 25, 27, and 29. Padilla also makes factual and legal arguments in his responses, including ¶¶ 5, 6, 9, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, and 36. Finally, Padilla's responses to ¶¶ 19, 20, and 23 mischaracterize the evidence in the record. Because the majority of Padilla's Rule 56.1 statement is argumentative, not based on evidence in the record, and fails to follow the contours of Rule 56.1, the Court strikes his statements and responses as specified above. The Court also reminds the parties that district courts are not obliged to scour the record looking for facts to support their arguments. See Cracco, 559 F.3d at 632; see also Estate of Moreland v. Dieter, 395 F.3d 747, 759 (7th Cir. 2005) ("We will not scour a record to locate evidence supporting a party's legal argument.").

II. Relevant Facts

On February 19, 2009, Padilla entered the Cook County Jail ("CCJ") after being charged with residential burglary. (R. 54, Defs.' Rule 56.1 Stmt. Facts. ¶ 1.) Upon entering the CCJ, Padilla was placed in Division 11. (Id. ¶ 3.) Padilla saw Defendant Officer Bailey in Division 11 on March 15, 2009. (Id. ¶ 4.) In his First Amended Complaint, Padilla alleges that at that time, Officer Bailey recognized him from Padilla's prior civil rights lawsuit against the officer. See Padilla v. Sisco, et al., 08 C 2271 (N.D. Ill. 2008). While in Division 11 on March 15, 2009, Padilla maintains that Officer Bailey threatened him because of the 2008 lawsuit. (Id. ¶¶ 28, 29.) Padilla also alleges that Officer Bailey spit on him. (R. 33, First Am. Compl. ¶ 21.)

Thereafter, Padilla was transferred to Division 6 of the CCJ on March 16, 2009. (Id. ¶ 11.) Upon arriving at Division 6, Padilla spoke to Defendant Officer Reed. (Id. ¶ 13.) The parties dispute whether Padilla refused to enter his cell, but at that time, Officer Reed let Padilla sit in the day room of Division 6 and then called for a supervisor on his radio. (Id. ¶ 14.) Officer Galiardo, Officer Martinez, and other officers responded to Officer Reed's call. (Id. ¶ 16.) After speaking to Officer Martinez, Padilla went into his cell without incident. (Id. ¶ 18.) Padilla, however, later filed a grievance alleging that the Defendant Officers beat him up for failing to go into his cell. (Id. ¶ 31.)

SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate "if 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). A genuine dispute as to any material fact exists if "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 2510, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1986). In determining summary judgment motions, "facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party only if there is a 'genuine' dispute as to those facts." Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380, 127 S.Ct. 1769, 167 L.Ed.2d 686 (2007). The party seeking summary judgment has the burden of establishing that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). After "a properly supported motion for summary judgment is made, the adverse party 'must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255 (quotation omitted).

ANALYSIS

I. Failure to ...


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