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Seneca Smith (#K-76299 v. Dr. Hallberg

September 25, 2012


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge Elaine E. Bucklo


Seneca Smith (hereinafter, "Plaintiff" or "Smith"), presently in state custody at Stateville Correctional Center has filed suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Smith alleges that from March 25, 2009, to January 23, 2010, Defendants, Dr. Hallberg, Dr. Stein, Dr. Jones, and Dr. Morjal, violated his constitutional rights by failing to provide adequate medical care for a serious medical condition at the Cook County Jail when he was denied medication for a serious mental health condition. More specifically, Plaintiff alleges he was denied medication for depression and ultimately attempted suicide.

Presently pending before the court are Defendants' motion for summary judgment (Doc. 65) and motion to strike Plaintiff's amended response to Defendants' material statement of facts and supporting exhibits (Doc. 79), as well as Plaintiff's motion in response to Defendants' motion for summary judgment (Doc. 75). In their motion for summary judgment Defendants argue that Dukes has: (1) failed to show that Defendants were deliberately indifferent; and (2) 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). The record before the court establishes that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing suit, and that notwithstanding the question of whether he exhausted, the totality of care he received precludes a finding that Defendants were deliberately indifferent. Thus, for the reasons stated herein, Defendants' motion to strike is granted in part and denied in part and their motion for summary judgment is granted.


STANDARD OF REVIEW ON A MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT "The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Vision Church v. Village of Long Grove, 468 F.3d 975, 988 (7th Cir. 2006). In determining whether factual issues exist, the court must view all the evidence and draw all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Weber v. Universities Research Assoc., Inc., 621 F.3d 589, 592 (7th Cir. 2010). The court does not "judge the credibility of the witnesses, evaluate the weight of the evidence, or determine the truth of the matter. The only question is whether there is a genuine issue of fact." Gonzalez v. City of Elgin, 578 F.3d 526, 529 (7th Cir. 2009), citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 249-50 (1986).

However, Rule 56 "mandates the entry of summary judgment, after adequate time for discovery and upon motion, against a party who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322. "Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no genuine issue for trial." Sarver v. Experian Information Solutions, 390 F.3d 969, 970 (7th Cir. 2004) (citations omitted). "A genuine issue of material fact arises only if sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party exists to permit a jury to return a verdict for that party." Egonmwan v. Cook County Sheriff's Dept., 602 F.3d 845, 849 (7th Cir. 2010), quoting Faas v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 532 F.3d 633, 640-41 (7th Cir. 2008).

Local Rule 56.1 (N.D. Ill.)

Defendants filed statements of uncontested material facts pursuant to Local Rule 56.1 (N.D. Ill.). Together with their motion for summary judgment, Defendants included a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment" (Doc. 66), as required by Local Rule 56.2. That notice clearly explained the requirements of the Local Rules and warned Plaintiff that a party's failure to controvert the facts as set forth in the moving party's statement results in those facts being deemed admitted. See, e.g., Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003).

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

(3) a concise response to the movant's statement that shall contain

(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 rigorously enforce compliance with Local Rule 56.1. See, e.g., Stevo v. Frasor, 662 F.3d 880, 886-87 (7th Cir. 2011) ("Because of the high volume of summary judgment motions and the benefits of clear presentation of relevant evidence and law, we have repeatedly held that district judges are entitled to insist on strict compliance with local rules designed to promote the clarity of summary judgment filings") (citing Ammons v. Aramark Uniform Serv., Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2004). Although pro se plaintiffs are entitled to lenient standards, compliance with procedural rules is required. Cady v. Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057, 1061 (7th Cir. 2006); see also Koszola v. Bd. of Educ. of the City of Chicago, 385 F.3d 1104, 1108 (7th Cir. 2004). "We have ... repeatedly held that a district court is entitled to expect strict compliance with Rule 56.1." Cichon v. Exelon Generation Co., 401 F.3d 803, 809 (7th Cir. 2005).

While Plaintiff disputes 21 of Defendants' 48 proposed statements of fact (statements ##8,9, 12, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, 30, 32, 33, 35, 37, 38, 40, 42, 44, and 46-48), Defendants have filed a motion to strike Plaintiff's response, citing a variety of reasons as to why Plaintiff's responses were improper, including that some are argumentative, make conclusory statements, are based on statements from an affidavit that contradict prior testimony, are not based on personal knowledge, and are predicated on the findings in the U.S. Justice Department's letter of July 11, 2008, regarding iterating the findings of the investigation of the inadequate provision of medical care to detainees at the Cook County Jail, which Defendants contend is inadmissible as hearsay, lacks trustworthiness, is prejudicial, and has been held by other courts to be inadmissible.


The following facts are taken from Defendants' Rule 56.1 statement, from the record attached to Defendants Rule 56.1 statement, and from Plaintiff's response to Defendant's motion for summary judgment to the extent that the facts are within his personal knowledge. See FED.

R. EVID. 602. Smith was a pre-trial detainee at the Cook County Department of Corrections ("CCDOC"). (See Defendants' statement of facts #1). Plaintiff was incarcerated at the CCDOC from ...

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