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Barghouti v. Holder

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

September 23, 2013

DAVID HOLDER, et al., Defendants.


G. PATRICK MURPHY, District Judge.

This case comes before the Court on a motion for partial summary judgment filed by Defendants Frank Eovaldi, David Holder, Wesley Monroe, and Todd Scott (Doc. 141). Plaintiff, Eiad Barghouti, has filed a response in opposition to Defendants' motion (Docs. 150 and 151). The Court has carefully considered the papers. For the reasons that follow, Defendants' motion for partial summary judgment (Doc. 141) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART


Plaintiff, an inmate currently incarcerated at Pontiac Correctional Center, filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against certain prison officials for constitutional deprivations Plaintiff allegedly suffered while incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center ("Menard"). The third amended complaint is the operative complaint (Doc. 108). Count one of Plaintiff's complaint contains a claim for excessive force in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments against Eovaldi, Monroe, and Scott (Doc. 108). Count two of Plaintiff's complaint contains conspiracy claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985 against Holder, Eovaldi, Monroe, and Scott (Doc. 108).

This case centers on several incidents that occurred on August 14, 2007 at Menard. Plaintiff claims Holder called Plaintiff a racially derogatory name after a verbal dispute between the two men. Holder subsequently warned Plaintiff that when the tactical unit known as "orange crush" arrived later that day, Plaintiff would be dealt with according to Holder's liking. Defendant Scott later asked if Plaintiff had a problem with a correctional officer and allegedly told Plaintiff: "Spic your ass is mine."

Later in the day, Eovalidi, Monroe and four other members of the orange crush tactical unit removed Plaintiff from his cell. A planned institutional shakedown had been occurring throughout the week at Menard, which allows personnel to inspect the inmates' cells. According to Plaintiff, Eovaldi, Monroe, and the members of the orange crush unit assaulted Plaintiff near the end of the gallery. Once in the yard, the assault continued by Eovaldi and Monroe, while Scott allegedly directed and encouraged the others.

After the assault, Plaintiff needed medical care for his injuries but Defendants denied him medical care. Additionally, Eovaldi and Monroe created false disciplinary charges against Plaintiff for assault, insolence, and intimidation. When the disciplinary charges were issued, Holder told Plaintiff: "Who's your daddy now bitch."

The members of the adjustment committee, Mitchell and Lee, subsequently failed to properly investigate the charges, according to Plaintiff. Then Walker, the director of the department of corrections and Ford, of the administrative review board, improperly rejected Plaintiff's grievance.


Legal Standard

The standard applied to summary judgment motions under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 is well-settled and has been succinctly stated as follows:

Summary judgment is proper when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. In determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, [the Court] must view the record in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Because the primary purpose of summary judgment is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims, the nonmovant may not rest on the pleadings but must respond, with affidavits or otherwise, setting forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.... A mere scintilla of evidence in support of the nonmovant's position is insufficient; a party will be successful in opposing summary judgment only when it presents definite, competent evidence to rebut the motion.

Albiero v. City of Kankakee, 246 F.3d 927, 931-32 (7th Cir. 2001) (citations and quotations omitted). Summary judgment is the "put up or shut up moment in a lawsuit, when a party must show what evidence it has that would convince a trier of fact to accept its version of events." Koszola v. ...

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