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William D. Skelton v. Steve Nichols and Mary Shafer

November 15, 2011

WILLIAM D. SKELTON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
STEVE NICHOLS AND MARY SHAFER, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge:

E-FILED

Tuesday, 15 November, 2011 02:14:23 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, pursues a claim that the cold temperatures during his confinement at the Logan County Jail violated his constitutional rights. Now before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff offers no evidence that he exhausted his administrative remedies. Nor does he offer evidence that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to the cold temperatures. Accordingly, summary judgment will be granted for Defendants.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

"The court shall grant summary judgment 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 movant may demonstrate the absence of a material dispute through specific cites to admissible evidence, or by showing that the non-movant "cannot produce admissible evidence to support the [material] fact." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)(B). If the movant clears this hurdle, the non-movant may not simply rest on his or her allegations in the complaint, but instead must point to admissible evidence in the record to show that a genuine dispute exists. Id.; Harvey v. Town of Merrillville, 649 F.3d 526, 529 (7th Cir. 2011). "In a § 1983 case, the plaintiff bears the burden of proof on the constitutional deprivation that underlies the claim, and thus must come forward with sufficient evidence to create genuine issues of material fact to avoid summary judgment." McAllister v. Price, 615 F.3d 877, 881 (7th Cir. 2010).

At the summary judgment stage, evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the non-movant, with material factual disputes resolved in the non-movant's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A genuine dispute of material fact exists when a reasonable juror could find for the non-movant. Id.

ANALYSIS

Plaintiff does not respond to Defendants' evidence that Plaintiff failed to file a grievance about the cold temperatures. Because Plaintiff filed this case while incarcerated, he was required to exhaust his administrative remedies before filing.

42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). Thus, the case could be dismissed without prejudice on exhaustion grounds.

However, the better path in this particular case is to address the merits of the claim, since the parties have already conducted discovery.

To prove his constitutional claim, Plaintiff must have evidence showing that the conditions he suffered were serious and that Defendants were deliberately indifferent to those conditions. Sain v. Wood, 512 F.3d 886, 893-94 (7th Cir. 2008).

Plaintiff alleges that, during his incarceration in Logan County Jail, the heat was off during the coldest days of winter. He alleges that ice ...


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