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William O. Spivey v. Lt. Chapman

May 10, 2013


The opinion of the court was delivered by: J. Phil Gilbert District Judge


This matter comes before the Court on the Report and Recommendation ("R & R") (Doc. 150) of Magistrate Judge Philip M. Frazier recommending this Court (1) grant in part and deny in part plaintiff William O. Spivey's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 132); (2) deny defendants Lt. Chapman and Warden Flag's (collectively "Defendants") motion for summary judgment (Doc. 135); and (3) deny as moot Spivey's motions for injunctive relief (Docs. 113-115, 119, 143, 149). Defendants filed an objection to the R & R (Doc. 152) to which Spivey responded (Doc. 155). For the following reasons, the Court adopts in part and rejects in part the R & R.

1.Alleged Facts

Spivey, currently an inmate at Menard Correctional Center ("Menard"), identifies his religion as Reform Judaism. His religion requires that he rest on Shabbat, his religion's Sabbath, which lasts from Friday to Saturday. The Illinois Department of Corrections' ("IDOC") records incorrectly list Spivey's religious affiliation as Protestant. Spivey was incarcerated at Centralia Correctional Center ("Centralia") from March 11, 2010, to February 16, 2011. While incarcerated at Centralia, Spivey worked as a laundry porter and was scheduled to work on Friday and Saturday. Spivey asked Chapman, his supervisor with authority over Spivey's work schedule, to change his schedule so that he could rest on his Sabbath. Chapman refused to alter Spivey's work schedule and told Spivey to update his religious affiliation in his prison records.*fn1

Spivey then told Flag that his religion was Reform Judaism and asked that Flag adjust his schedule so he could rest on his Sabbath. Flag told Spivey to "sue the prison." Upset that his request was denied, Spivey spit on the wall. As a result, Sager wrote Spivey a disciplinary ticket. He was found guilty and sent to segregation.

Spivey originally filed his complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on August 31, 2010, under case number 10-cv-689-JPG, listing unrelated causes of action against multiple defendants. The Court severed the unrelated claims, and this case is one of those severed claims. In its referral order, this Court divided Spivey's case into two counts as follows: (1) Count One was his freedom of religion claims against Defendants; and (2) Count Two was his claims related to the disciplinary ticket against Sager. The Court found that Count Two did not survive threshold review and dismissed that count and Sager from the case. Spivey's freedom of religion claims stated in Count One remain pending against Defendants.

The parties filed cross motions for summary judgment and Spivey filed several motions for injunctive relief. Judge Frazier took up these motions in the instant R & R. Specifically, the R & R recommends this Court grant Spivey's motion for summary judgment with respect to his Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ("RLUIPA") claim and deny his motion for summary judgment with respect to his First Amendment free exercise claims.*fn2 The R & R further recommends the Court deny Defendants' motion for summary judgment in its entirety and deny all six of Spivey's motions for injunctive relief. The Court will consider each recommendation and the relevant objections from Defendants in turn.

2.R & R Standard

The Court may accept, reject or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations of the magistrate judge in a report and recommendation. Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). The Court must review de novo the portions of the report to which objections are made. The Court has discretion to conduct a new hearing and may consider the record before the magistrate judge anew or receive any further evidence deemed necessary. Id. "If no objection or only partial objection is made, the district court judge reviews those unobjected portions for clear error." Johnson v. Zema Sys. Corp., 170 F.3d 734, 739 (7th Cir. 1999).

Ordinarily, arguments raised for the first time in an objection to a report and recommendation are waived. See United States v. Melgar, 227 F.3d 1038, 1040 (7th Cir. 2000); Divane v. Krull Elec. Co., 194 F.3d 845, 849 (7th Cir. 1999). "Failure to raise arguments will often mean that facts relevant to their resolution will not have been developed; one of the parties may be prejudiced by the untimely introduction of an argument . . . . Additionally, a willingness to consider new arguments at the district court level would undercut the rule that the findings in a magistrate judge's report and recommendation are taken as established unless the party files objections to them." Melgar, 227 F.3d at 1040. The Court will first consider the R & R with respect to the parties' cross motions for summary judgment.

3.The Parties' Motions for Summary Judgment

Summary judgment is appropriate where "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); see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Spath v. Hayes Wheels Int'l-Ind., Inc., 211 F.3d 392, 396 (7th Cir. 2000). The reviewing court must construe the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of that party. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986); Chelios v. Heavener, 520 F.3d 678, 685 (7th Cir. 2008); Spath, 211 F.3d at 396.Where the moving party fails to meet its strict burden of proof, a court cannot enter summary judgment for the moving party even if the opposing party fails to present relevant evidence in response to the motion. Cooper v. Lane, 969 F.2d 368, 371 (7th Cir. 1992).

Where the non-movant bears the burden of persuasion, "the movant's initial burden 'may be discharged by 'showing' -- that is, point out to the district court -- that there is an absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case.'" Modrowski v. Pigatto, No. 11-1327, 2013 WL 1395696, at *2 (7th Cir. Apr. 8, 2013) (citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 325). In such a case, the movant need not "support its motion with affidavits or other similar materials negating the opponent's claim." Modrowski, 2013 WL 1395696, at *2 (citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323).

In responding to a summary judgment motion, the nonmoving party may not simply rest upon the allegations contained in the pleadings but must present specific facts to show that a genuine issue of material fact exists. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(2); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-26; Johnson v. City of Fort Wayne, 91 F.3d 922, 931 (7th Cir. 1996). A genuine issue of material fact is not demonstrated by the mere existence of "some alleged factual dispute between the parties," Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247, or by "some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts," Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Rather, a ...

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