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Goldsmith v. C/O Zolecki

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

October 18, 2013

ROBERT GOLDSMITH, Plaintiff,
v.
C/O ZOLECKI, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

ARLANDER KEYS, Magistrate Judge.

Plaintiff, presently a pre-trial detainee at the Will County Adult Detention Facility (hereinafter, "WCADF), brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. Plaintiff claims that Defendant, Correctional Officer Zolecki (hereinafter, "Defendant"), violated his Eighth Amendment rights by subjecting him to excessive force during a cell shake-down sometime in the Spring of 2011. This matter is before the court for ruling on Defendant's motion for summary judgment for failure to exhaust administrative remedies prior to filing suit [19]. For the reasons stated below, the motion is granted.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate "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); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). In determining the existence of a genuine issue of material fact, a court construes all facts in a light most favorable to the non-moving party and draws all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986); Weber v. Universities Research Assoc., Inc., 621 F.3d 589, 592 (7th Cir. 2010). "The evidence of the non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255. 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, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (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).

LOCAL RULE 56.1

Defendant filed a statement of uncontested material facts pursuant to Local Rule 56.1 (N.D. Ill.). Together with his motion for summary judgment, Defendant included a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment" [23] that 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 [*4] 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 Servs., 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).

Plaintiff submitted a response to Defendant's statement of uncontested facts that is, in part, deficient. For instance, several (responses 24-25, and 28-33) are not supported by citation to the record, and Defendant's statements 24-25, 28-33 must be deemed admitted. See, e.g., Johnson v. McCann, No. 08 C 4684, 2010 WL 2104640, *1 (N.D. Ill. May 21, 2010) ...


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