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Rickey Stevenson (#B-36520 v. Thomas J. Dart et al

March 22, 2012

RICKEY STEVENSON (#B-36520), PLAINTIFF,
v.
THOMAS J. DART ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Rickey Stevenson, also known as Ronnie McAtee, presently in state custody at Pontiac Correctional Center, has filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This case was originally brought in state court, but on May 4, 2009, Defendants removed it to federal court. Plaintiff has "struck-out" pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g). Stevenson alleges that Defendants Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart, Former Cook County Jail Executive Director, Salvador Godinez, and J. Maverick*fn1 , instituted an official policy at the Cook County Jail of failing to provide constitutionally adequate medical care to the prisoners, and to him specifically with respect to injuries he sustained while working in the kitchen at the Cook County Jail.

Before the Court are multiple motions, including Stevenson's motions for partial summary judgment [Doc. No. 77]; for appointment of counsel [Doc. No. 150]; to strike Defendants Local Rule 56.1 statement of undisputed facts [Doc. No. 154]; and to take judicial notice [Doc. No. 160]; as well as Defendants' motions for summary judgment [Doc. No. 140] and to strike Stevenson's response to Defendants' Local Rule 56.1 statement of undisputed facts and supporting exhibits [Doc. No. 161]. Defendants argue in their motion for summary judgment that: (1) Stevenson's state law claims are time barred under the relevant one-year statute of limitations, set forth by the Illinois Tort Immunity Act, 745 Ill. Comp. Stat. § 10/8-101; (2) Stevenson failed to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing suit, as required by the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997 e(a); (3) Stevenson has failed to show that Defendants were deliberately indifferent; and (4) Stevenson has failed to establish a widespread practice or policy sufficient to establish a claim under Monell v. Department of Social Services of City of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 694 (1978).

The record before the Court establishes that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing suit. The remaining motions are either denied in their entirety or are granted in part and denied in part as described in this opinion.

I. LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is proper "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); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). All of the evidence and the reasonable inferences that may be drawn from the evidence are viewed in the light most favorable to the non-movant. Miller v. American Family Mutual Ins., 203 F.3d 997, 1003 (7th Cir. 2000). Summary judgment may be granted when no "reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). However, a party cannot defeat summary judgment by relying on unsubstantiated facts or by merely resting on its pleadings. See Hemsworth, II v. Quotesmith.com, Inc., 476 F.3d 487, 490 (7th Cir. 2007); Greer v. Board of Educ. of the City of Chicago, 267 F.3d 723, 729 (7th Cir. 2001). Instead, the party that bears the burden of proof on an issue must affirmatively demonstrate, with admissible evidence, that a genuine issue of material fact exists that requires a trial. See Hemsworth, 476 F.3d at 490.

When Defendants filed their motion for summary judgment, they included a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment" (Doc. 141) as required by Timms v. Frank, 953 F.2d 281, 285 (7th Cir. 1992); Lewis v. Faulkner, 689 F.2d 100, 102 (7th Cir. 1982); and Local Rule 56.2. This notice clearly set out the requirements of this Court's Local Rule 56.1. In particular, the notice explains that Stevenson's response must comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(e) and Local Rule 56.1.

Local Rule 56.1(b)(3) requires a party opposing a motion for summary judgment to file:

(A) a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement, including, in the case of any disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon, and

(B) a statement, consisting of short numbered paragraphs, of any additional facts that require denial of summary judgment, including references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon. L.R. 56.1(b).

The district court may require strict compliance with Local Rule 56.1, even though the plaintiff is proceeding pro se. See Ammons v. Aramark Uniform Servs., Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2004); see also Bordelon v. Chi. Sch. Reform Bd. of Trs., 233 F.3d 524, 527 (7th Cir. 2000) (strict compliance with the local rules governing summary judgment is upheld given the importance of local rules that structure the summary judgment process); Members v. Paige, 140 F.3d 699, 702 (7th Cir. 1998) ("[R]ules apply to uncounseled litigants and must be enforced.") United States v. Dunkel, 927 F.2d 955, 956 (7th Cir. 1991) ("Judges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs."). But despite being given notice, Stevenson failed to adequately respond to many of Defendants' Rule 56.1 statement of facts. (See Pl.'s Resp. to Defs.' L.R. 56.1 Statement of Material Facts [Doc. No. 156].)

Because Stevenson is proceeding pro se, the Court will consider the factual assertions he makes in his statement of facts brought to support his motion for partial summary judgment as well as those he makes in response to Defendants' Local Rule 56.1 Statement of Material Facts, but only to the extent that they are adequately supported by reference to the record as required, or to the extent that Stevenson could properly testify about the matters at trial -- that is, only with respect to those facts within his personal knowledge. See Fed. R. Evid. 602.

II. FACTS

The following facts are taken from Defendants' Rule 56.1 statement, from the record attached to Defendants Rule 56.1 statement, from Stevenson's response to Defendant's motion for summary judgment to the extent that the facts are within his personal knowledge, and from the statement of facts Stevenson submitted with his own Motion for partial summary judgment. In this suit, Stevenson alleges that on June 25, 2007, he suffered an injury to his back when he was working in the kitchen in the Cook County Jail in Division 11. (Defs.' L.R. 56.1 ¶ 6, Plaintiff's Dep. at 7-8, 13, 15-17.)*fn2 Stevenson claims that he injured his ...


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