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Munson v. Gaetz

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 17, 2013

JAMES MUNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
DONALD GAETZ, JIM WINTERS, SUZANN GRISWOLD, BROCKHOUSE, DR. FAHIM, DR. FEINERMAN, and DR. FUENTENS, [1] Defendants

James Munson, Plaintiff, Pro se, Menard, IL.

For Donald Gaetz, Warden, Menard Correctional Center, Jim Winters, Food Service Supervisor III, Menard Correctional Center, Suzann Griswold, Dietary Manager for IDOC, Brockhouse, Food Services Supervisor, Defendants: Lisa A. Cook, Illinois Attorney General's Office - Springfield, Springfield, IL.

For Dr. Fahim, Dr. Fuentens, Defendants: Douglass R Bitner, LEAD ATTORNEY, Heyl, Royster,Voelker & Allen, Springfield, IL; Joseph N. Rupcich, Heyl, Royster et al. - Springfield, Generally Admitted, Springfield, IL.

For Dr. Feinerman, Defendant: Douglass R Bitner, LEAD ATTORNEY, Heyl, Royster,Voelker & Allen, Springfield, IL; Joseph N. Rupcich, Heyl, Royster et al. - Springfield, Generally Admitted, Springfield, IL.

Page 952

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

G. PATRICK MURPHY, United States District Judge.

Before the Court is Defendants Suzann Griswold-Bailey, Ronald Brockhouse, Donald Gaetz, and Jim Winters's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 49). That motion seeks judgment for those Defendants on the issues of exhaustion of administrative remedies and qualified immunity. Defendants Doctors Fahim, Feinerman, and Fuentens have no pending motions. On Defendants' claim of failure to exhaust administrative remedies, Magistrate Judge Donald G. Wilkerson held an evidentiary hearing pursuant to Pavey v. Conley, 544 F.3d 739 (7th Cir. 2008) and has issued a Report and Recommendation on the matter (Doc. 71). That Report recommends this Court find Plaintiff has exhausted his administrative remedies, and recommends denying Defendants' motion for summary judgment on that basis. Upon consideration of the record and Magistrate Judge Wilkerson's Report, the Court ADOPTS the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge and finds that Defendants are not entitled to summary judgment on the issue of exhaustion. However, the Court GRANTS in part Defendants' motion for summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity. Moving Defendants are entitled to qualified immunity. Plaintiff's claim as against Defendants Griswold-Bailey, Brockhouse, Gaetz, and Winters for damages is DISMISSED. The motion for summary judgment is not granted in full because Plaintiff brings claims for damages and for injunctive relief--and " the defense of qualified immunity does not

Page 953

protect defendants from an action for injunctive relief." Hannemann v. Southern Door County School Dist., 673 F.3d 746, 758 (7th Cir. 2012).

Factual Background

Plaintiff James Munson filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action claiming that Defendants: failed to provide him a nutritionally adequate vegetarian diet; acted in deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs by failing to address his negative reactions to soy in his diet and by failing to treat him for pain; and infringed on his free exercise of religion by their failure to provide a soy-free vegetarian diet (Docs. 1, 11). Plaintiff is a practicing Buddhist and a vegetarian. He claims that the high soy content in the IDOC vegetarian meals caused serious medical issues including weight loss, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic diarrhea, hemorrhoids, severe stomach cramps, and gallstones. Defendant Griswold is the dietary manager for IDOC, and Plaintiff claims the menu she approves are nutritionally deficient and include harmful amounts of soy. Defendants Brockhouse and Winters are food service managers at Menard, where Plaintiff was held, and Defendant Gaetz is the warden.

Report and Recommendation on Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

Magistrate Judge Wilkerson held the Pavey hearing to take evidence on the issue of administrative exhaustion. The Report and Recommendation subsequent to the Pavey hearing recommends this Court find Plaintiff did exhaust his administrative remedies (Doc. 71). No objections to the Report and Recommendation have been filed.

Where timely objections are filed, this Court must undertake a de novo review of the Report and Recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), (C); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); SDIL-LR 73.1(b); Harper v. City of Chicago Heights , 824 F.Supp. 786, 788 (N.D.Ill. 1993); see also Govas v. Chalmers , 965 F.2d 298, 301 (7th Cir. 1992). The Court " may accept, reject or modify the magistrate judge's recommended decision." Harper , 824 F.Supp. at 788. In making this determination, the Court must look at all of the evidence contained in the record and " give 'fresh consideration to those issues to which specific objections have been ...


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