The opinion of the court was delivered by: Michael P. McCUSKEY Chief U.S. District Judge
Tuesday, 04 October, 2011 04:44:44 PM
Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD
This case is before the court for ruling on the Motion for Summary Judgment (#29) filed by the Defendants, Sheriff of Kankakee County ("Sheriff"), Thomas Dorries ("Dorries"), Tina Carpintero ("Carpintero") and Amanda Voss ("Voss"). This court has carefully reviewed the arguments of the parties and the documents filed by the parties. Following this careful and thorough review, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (#29) is GRANTED.
On January 13, 2006, Plaintiff Brian Annoreno, a federal pretrial detainee, was transferred to the custody of the Office of the Sheriff of Kankakee County ("Kankakee County Sheriff"). Plaintiff continued to be in the custody of the Kankakee County Sheriff during April 2008, and was housed at the Jerome Combs Detention Center ("JCDC"). Late in the evening of April 18, 2008, or early in the morning of April 19, 2008, Plaintiff was involved in an incident with correctional officers at JCDC: Defendants Dorries and Carpintero. Following the incident, on April 21, 2008, Plaintiff submitted a Sick Call Slip requesting to see a nurse.*fn2 In this Sick Call Slip, Plaintiff described his request for sick call as follows: "I need to see you. I got assaulted by Officer [Dorries and] tazed by Officer [Carpintero.] My body is sore from head to toe and I have bruises all over my body and I have a sprained ankle from it. Also my good eye is messed up from Officer [Dorries] hitting me[.] This all happened on Friday night 4/18/2008. Also my bad eye is very sore[.]"
The JCDC inmate handbook explicitly provides that the grievance procedure in Kankakee County requires that an inmate submit a grievance written on an Inmate Grievance Form regarding complaints about the conditions of the jail. After receipt of an Inmate Grievance Form by a JCDC staff member, the Inmate Grievance Form is forwarded on to administrative staff. Specifically, Michael Downey, the Chief of Corrections of Kankakee County, is responsible for handling all inmate grievances. Alternatively, Sick Call Slips are not accepted as part of the grievance procedure because they are submitted directly to the medical department and are not forwarded to administrative staff. Although Plaintiff was aware that grievance forms were used in Kankakee County, and in fact filed several grievance forms between his arrival at JCDC and the time of the incident, Plaintiff never submitted an Inmate Grievance Form to the administration regarding the incident which occurred on either April 18 or 19, 2008.
On April 16, 2010, Plaintiff filed a Complaint (#1) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. On June 17, 2010, Defendants filed an Answer (#9) and alleged an affirmative defense of qualified immunity to the Plaintiff's Complaint. On September 9, 2010, Defendants filed a Motion for Leave to File an Amended Answer and Affirmative Defenses (#13), which was granted by Magistrate Judge David G. Bernthal on September 10, 2010. On September 10, 2010, Defendants filed an Amended Answer (#14) which contained an additional affirmative defense, which argued that the Plaintiff's claim was barred by the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") because the Plaintiff failed to exhaust the grievance procedure made available to him at the JCDC prior to filing this lawsuit. On March 1, 2011, Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint (#19), which simply elaborated on the injuries Plaintiff alleges he suffered as a result of the incident in question.
On July 6, 2011, Defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (#29), arguing that summary judgment was appropriate on Plaintiff's claims because the Plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies available to him prior to filing this lawsuit as required under the PLRA. On August 1, 2011, Plaintiff filed a Response (#30, #31), arguing that Plaintiff's filing of a Sick Call Slip should be treated as initiating a grievance.*fn3 On August 10, 2011, Defendants filed a Reply (#32).
I. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, 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). In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, a district court "has one task and one task only: to decide, based on the evidence of record, whether there is any material dispute of fact that requires a trial." Waldridge v. Am. Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 920 (7th Cir. 1994). In making this determination, the 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); Burwell v. Perkin Cmty. High Sch. Dist. 303, 158 F.3d ...