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Gregory Morris v. Larry Phillips

February 24, 2012

GREGORY MORRIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LARRY PHILLIPS, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough United States District Judge

E-FILED

Friday, 24 February, 2012 04:34:58 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION SUE E. MYERSCOUGH, U.S. District Judge:

On June 28, 2011, Judge Harold A. Baker granted summary judgment on all claims except for Plaintiff's First Amendment retaliation claim against Defendants Phillips, Kulhan, McCalla, and McAdory. Plaintiff maintains that these defendants orchestrated shake downs of his cell and the confiscation of his property in retaliation for his grievances and this lawsuit. Judge Baker directed Defendants to file a supplemental summary judgment motion on the remaining retaliation claim. The case was then transferred to this Court. For the reasons below, Defendants' supplemental summary judgment motion will be granted.

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.

FACTS

Plaintiff is detained as a sexually violent person in Rushville Treatment and Detention Center.

On April 9, 2009, Plaintiff's room was shaken down and the following property was confiscated: 160 envelopes with stamps; seven books of matches; one bottle of petroleum; three aluminum pieces; and 17 typewriter disks. (Defendants' Undisputed Fact12). Plaintiff filed grievances, complained to staff members, contacted his attorney representing him in his sexual detention proceeding, and contacted his family and friends, all in an attempt to recover his confiscated property.

On May 21, 2009, Plaintiff's room was shaken down again; 330 pieces of carbon paper were taken along with three "cigarette rolling machines." (Defendants' Undisputed Fact 13).

The following property was confiscated in a shakedown of Plaintiff's cell the next month on June 20, 2009:

(a) 876 postage stamps hidden in typewriter cartridges; (b) 9 paper clips; (c) 1 pair broken nail clippers; (d) 1 push pin; (e) 1 screw; (f) 1 broken piece of metal; (g) 1altered safety pin; (h) 1 excess container; (i) 28 plastic bags; (j) 1 1/2 loafs moldy bread; (k) about 80 packets of sugar; (l) 1 large piece carbon paper; (m) 18 floppy discs; (n) 4 black markers; (o) 1 broken antenna connector; (p) tan cable cord; (q) 1 pornographic drawing; (r) 1 razor-blade type pencil sharpener; (s) 1 cardboard box; (t) a map of Chicago; (u) 8 pieces of ...


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