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Jones v. Quinn

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

September 24, 2013

GERALD JONES, Plaintiff,
PATRICK QUINN, et al., Defendants.


JAMES E. SHADID, Chief District Judge.

This cause is before the Court for case management. Specifically, Plaintiff has filed a number of motions including a Motion for Clarification of the Plaintiff's Claims and Remaining Defendants [d/e 38], and Defendants Brockett, Buchenau, Griffith, Hobart, and Joyner have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on the issue of exhaustion [d/e 31].

I. Plaintiff's Motion for Clarification [d/e 38]

While Plaintiff filed his Motion for Clarification of the Plaintiff's Claims and Remaining Defendants [d/e 38] after Defendants filed their Motion for Summary Judgment on the issue of exhaustion, Plaintiff states in his Motion for Clarification that "this Court error have confused the Defendants in this case and other cases pending against them... thus therefore the Plaintiff states as follow [sic] his claims and Defendants in this case, and will not and is not seeking relief for no other issues or claims but as follows." Thus, the Court will first consider Plaintiff's Motion for Clarification before it addresses any other of Plaintiff's pending Motions, especially where his indication of what claims and Defendants remain in his case does not reflect the Court's Merit Review Order pertaining to Plaintiff's Amended Complaint. In its Merit Review Order, the Court determined that Plaintiff could proceed on claims for retaliation, deliberate indifference to his serious medical need, and a violation of 720 ILCS 5/12-7.1(c), and determined that the only remaining Defendants were Jason Brockett, Zachary Buchenau, Douglas Brown, Tracy Nodine, Angelica Joyner, Patrick Hobart, Ms. Jones, Ms. Holly, Helen Hamilton, Tranchant, and Griffith. See 9/18/2012 Merit Review Order.

Plaintiff's Motion for Clarification will be granted in part and denied in part as set forth below. In the Motion, Plaintiff clearly states his intention to proceed against only certain individuals and to proceed on only certain claims. Plaintiff says that the only Defendants in this case are Jason Brockett, Douglas Brown, Angelica Joyner, Helen Hamilton, Amanda Jones, Kelly Hardy, Mr. Tranchant, and Zachary Buchenau. He says that he did not sue Mr. "Griffin"[1] and that he filed a motion to have Tracy Nodine voluntarily dismissed from this case. He next says that the only issues in this case are only the two incidents that allegedly occurred on August 20, 2011 and November 14, 2011. Finally, Plaintiff says that he is not pursuing any state law claims against the Defendants, as those claims are pending in state court.

As for Kelly Hardy, Plaintiff did not name Hardy in his Amended Complaint, the Court did not identify any claims against Hardy in its Merit Review, and so Hardy has not at any time been a Defendant in this case. The Court will not construe Plaintiff's Motion as to Hardy as a motion to add that person as a Defendant. As for Defendant Nodine and Plaintiff's state law claim, Plaintiff did, indeed, earlier file a Motion to Dismiss Tracy Nodine as a Defendant and the Plaintiff's State Law Claims [d/e 27]. Defendants filed a Response thereto indicating no objection. The Motion will be granted. As for Defendant Griffith, because Plaintiff now says he did not sue Griffith, that Defendant will be dismissed. As for Hobart and Holly, because Plaintiff did not include them in his list of Defendants in his Motion for Clarification, they will be dismissed. Based upon Plaintiff's statements, this case now proceeds against only Defendants Brockett, Brown, Joyner, Hamilton, Jones, Tranchant, and Buchenau, and the case proceeds only on Plaintiff's allegations of events that occurred on August 20, 2011[2] and November 14, 2011. Furthermore, Plaintiff's allegations regarding an incident on April 23, 2011 will no longer be considered as part of this case, and Plaintiff's state law claim is dismissed from this case. The Court will limit its consideration of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and Plaintiff's Response thereto accordingly. Plaintiff's Motion for Reconsideration and to Vacate Judgment Dismissing Any Defendant [d/e 22] and Motion to Vacate Judgment of this Merit Review Order dated September 18, 2012 [d/e 28] are rendered moot given Plaintiff's Motion for Clarification. The Court will next address Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment on the issue of exhaustion.

II. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment on the Issue of Exhaustion [d/e 31]


Summary judgment should be granted "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). All facts must be construed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and all reasonable inferences must be drawn in his favor. Ogden v. Atterholt, 606 F.3d 355, 358 (7th Cir. 2010). The party moving for summary judgment must show the lack of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). In order to be a "genuine" issue, there must be more than "some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). "Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).


Each of the Defendants who has moved for summary judgment makes a different argument with regard to exhaustion. The Prison Litigation Reform Act (herein PLRA) provides:

No action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative remedies as are available are exhausted.

42 U.S.C. ยง 1997e(a).

The Seventh Circuit has taken a strict compliance approach to exhaustion requiring a prisoner to pursue all available administrative remedies and comply with the prison's procedural rules and deadlines. Pozo v. McCaughtry, 286 F.3d 1022, 1025 (7th Cir. 2002). Therefore, if an inmate fails to follow the grievance procedure rules, his claims will not be considered to be exhausted, but instead forfeited, and he will be barred from filing suit in federal court even if ...

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