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Earl Sidney Davis v. Larry J. Phillips

March 14, 2012

EARL SIDNEY DAVIS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
LARRY J. PHILLIPS, TARRY WILLIAMS, SHON C. ORILL,
RICHARD A. LOGAN, SETH C. WESSEL, GEORGE LAY, SANDRA SIMPSON,
GUY GROOT, JAMES HAAGE, JANE DOES 1-2, AND DONALD G. DANIELS, DEFENDANTS.



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

E-FILED

Friday, 16 March, 2012 02:57:56 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

Plaintiff is detained in the Rushville Treatment and Detention Center pursuant to the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Act. He alleges excessive force, unconstitutional application of the "black box" restraint, an unconstitutional disciplinary hearing, and the alleged refusal to remove or loosen Plaintiff's restraints so that he could use the restroom while on a court writ.

The excessive force claim against Defendants Daniels and Logan was stayed until Daniels returned from serving overseas. The other claims proceeded and are now at the summary judgment stage. Daniels has since returned and dispositive motions on the excessive force claim against him and Logan are due March 30, 2012.

Now before the Court are summary judgment motions by all the Defendants except for Defendant Daniels. For the reasons below, the motion for summary judgment by Defendants Groot and Simpson will be granted in full. The motion for summary judgment by Defendants Haage, Lay, Logan, Orrill, Phillips, Wessel, and Williams will be granted in part and denied in part. Left standing will be the excessive force claims against Daniels, Logan, and Orill arising from the events on April 24, 2008, and the restroom claim against Lay and Wessell arising from the incident on May 22, 2008. These claims will be set for trial, though the remaining Defendants will have another opportunity to file for summary judgment on them.

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 has been adjudicated a sexually violent person pursuant to the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Act. He is 69 years old (Plaintiff's Dep. p. 4) and is currently detained in the Rushville Treatment and Detention Center in Rushville, Illinois. Before that, he was detained in the Treatment and Detention Center in Joliet, Illinois.

In 2008, Plaintiff won a lawsuit against administrators at the Joliet facility regarding the application of a restraint called the "black box" to him pursuant to a policy adopted in 2000 which applied to all residents and which was adopted in response to an escape by two residents. Davis v. Peters, 566 F.Supp.2d 790 (N.D. Ill., 2008)(Judge Pallmeyer). The black box is a "rectangular device measuring approximately four inches by three inches. . . . When placed over the chain of a pair of handcuffs, it both limits a prisoner's ability to move his hands, and prevents access to the handcuffs' keyholes." 566 F.Supp.2d at 798-99 (picture included in opinion). The court in that case concluded that the facility director "failed to exercise professional judgment in determining that the highly restrictive black box system would be universally applied to TDF*fn1 detainees beyond an initial six-month period." Id. at 818-19. Plaintiff testified in that case that the black box caused his wrists to chafe and swell and claimed that the black box caused "'knots'" on his wrists along with "muscle weakness and pain." Id. at 800. Judge Pallmeyer award Plaintiff $1,102.50 in compensatory damages. Id. at 821.

In 2006, Plaintiff was transferred to Rushville Treatment and Detention Center. According to Plaintiff, the medical staff at the Joliet facility had given him one-half of an Ace bandage to wrap around each wrist while on writs and allowed him to wear larger cuffs on those writs, in light of his problems with the black box. This practice continued at Rushville initially, according to Plaintiff. However, no medical order existed at Rushville at that time for the bandages or the larger cuffs.

(Plaintiff's Dep. p. 80-81).

On April 24, 2008, Plaintiff was scheduled to travel to the Madison County Courthouse for a hearing in his commitment proceedings under the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Act. Plaintiff taped the Ace bandages to his wrists, but when he arrived at the intake cell for processing he saw that Defendant Orrill, a security guard, had "small steel cuffs" and a belly chain, with the cuffs attached to the waist chain. According to Defendants, the steel cuffs were the standard size cuffs, but Plaintiff maintains that the "standard handcuffs are not bolted to [the] waist chain." (d/e 68, p. 16). Plaintiff contends that the standard size cuffs are about 3/4" larger than the "small steel handcuffs" and are not bolted to the waist chain. (d/e 71, p. 8). The large cuffs are used when required by a medical permit. Further, Plaintiff also asserts that the large cuffs are used without a medical permit if a resident is "big boned." He additionally maintains that he was permitted to wear the large cuffs until the April, 2008 writ.

Plaintiff told Defendant Orrill that he needed the larger cuffs for his wrists. (Plaintiff's Dep. pp. 21-22). Orrill responded that he had checked with "medical," that no medical order for larger cuffs existed, and that Plaintiff was going to have to wear the smaller cuffs. Id. at 25-26. Plaintiff protested, asserting that he would prefer not going to court than wearing the smaller cuffs. According to Plaintiff, Orrill became irate:

Plaintiff: He [Orrill] run up on me so fast that I really didn't have time to move. And his feet kicked my feet, and he come straight up under my chin with them cuffs on his hands, and he hit my chin. I went back this way. I had already moved back. And he said I have a court order and you're wearing these and you're going, something to that effect. And I said oh. I knew then, I mean, his face was red and veins jumping out. I knew then I was in trouble.

Question: Did you suffer any injury from being hit in the chin?

Plaintiff: My chin didn't hurt that bad; but, I mean, he hit it, it hurt. But I didn't suffer no injuries on that.

Question: Okay.

Plaintiff: Although he did assault me. I mean, he contacted. Question: Okay. And when you say he contacted, the toes of his boots contacted the toes of your shoes?

Plaintiff: Yeah, and he had - - okay, the chain is dangling this way because they're bolted on to the waist chain. And he had one around each hand like brass knuckles. And when he come up, he ...


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