Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Michael Cooper v. John Evans

October 5, 2011

MICHAEL COOPER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN EVANS, BARB COOKSEY, JON KLINE, ANGELA WINDSOR, GARY ADAM, CHARLES CONRAD, DEANA FORTAG, G. HOPSON, M. PROCTOR, C/O ORESKOVICH, AND C/O HOWELL, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Before the Court is the Report and Recommendation of U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen C. Williams (Doc. 160) regarding Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 138). Also before the Court is Plaintiff Michael Cooper's Motion for Objections (Doc. 161), aimed at the Report and Recommendation.

I. Introduction and Factual and Procedural Background

In October 2008, Michael Cooper, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections and housed at all relevant times at Big Muddy River Correctional Center, filed suit for deprivation of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff Cooper's Amended Complaint (Doc. 29), which is now controlling, primarily alleges that, while Cooper was incarcerated at Big Muddy, he was denied the ovo-lacto diet required by his Buddhist religious beliefs, in violation of the "free exercise" clause of the First Amendment, the "equal protection" clause of the Fourteenth Amendment-- and by extension, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ("RLUIPA") ,42 U.S.C. § 2000cc-1.*fn1 Cooper also asserts related First Amendment retaliation claims, and a claim under the Eighth Amendment regarding deliberate indifference to a related serious medical need.

Defendants John Evans, Barb Cooksey, Jon Kline, Angela Windsor, Gary Adam, Charles Conrad, Deana Fortag, G. Hopson, M. Proctor, C/O Oreskovich and C/O Howell filed a motion for summary judgment and supporting memorandum (Docs. 138 and 139). Plaintiff Cooper filed a response (Doc. 144), to which Defendants filed a reply (Doc. 149). Plaintiff Cooper filed a sur-reply (Doc. 15), which is forbidden by SDIL Local Rule 7.1(c), but which, in light of Cooper's pro se status and because Magistrate Judge Williams did not strike the sur-reply, will be considered by the Court.

Magistrate Judge Williams analyzed each of the four broad claims in the Amended Complaint. He further broke Cooper's First Amendment free exercise claim into four subparts, and Plaintiff's First Amendment retaliation claim was broken into two subparts. Judge Williams recommended the following disposition:

1. First Amendment Free Exercise Claims

a. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment relative to Plaintiff's First Amendment claim regarding Timing of Request and Placement on Religious Diet should be granted in favor of Defendants Evans, Conrad, Hopson, Oreskovich and Howell, and denied relative to Defendants Cooksey, Kline, Windsor and Proctor*fn2;

b. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment relative to Plaintiff's First Amendment claim regarding Denial of Religious Diet While in Segregation should be granted relative to Defendants Evans, Conrad, Hopson, Oreskovich and Howell*fn3 ;

c. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment relative to Plaintiff's First Amendment claim regarding "Scarring" of Trays should be granted as to all Defendants, because there was no substantial burden on Plaintiff's religion and no evidence that Plaintiff was forced to choose between eating a nutritionally adequate meal and observing his religious tenants;

d. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment relative to Plaintiff's First Amendment claim regarding Use of Chapel should be denied as to Defendant Kline*fn4 ;

2. Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment regarding Plaintiff's equal protection claim should be granted as to all Defendants;

3. First Amendment Retaliation

a. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment relative to Plaintiff's First Amendment claim regarding "Scarring" in Retaliation should be granted as to all Defendants, because the evidence does not show that the scarring rose to a level that would deter Plaintiff from First Amendment activity in the future;

b. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment relative to Plaintiff's First Amendment claim regarding Retaliation Through False Disciplinary Reports should be granted as to all Defendants; and

4. Eighth Amendment Deliberate Indifference Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment relative to Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim that Defendant Nurse Fortag was deliberately indifferent to a serious medical need when she ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.