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Chatman v. Pierce

United States District Court, Seventh Circuit

January 14, 2014

WILLIAM CHATMAN, Plaintiff,
v.
GUY D. PIERCE, GLADYSE TAYLOR, and JOHN HEATH, Defendants.

ORDER

MICHAEL M. MIHM, District Judge.

This cause is before the Court on Defendants Guy D. Pierce, Gladyse Taylor, and John Heath's Motion for Summary Judgment.

I.

MATERIAL FACTS

Plaintiff William Chatman is an inmate within the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC") and, at all relevant times, was housed in the Pontiac Correctional Center. Defendant John Heath was a correctional officer within the Pontiac Correctional Center. Defendant Gladyse Taylor was the Assistant Director for the IDOC. Finally, Defendant Guy Pierce was the Chief Administrative Officer at the Pontiac Correctional Center.

On August 22, 2010, Chatman submitted a grievance against Heath claiming that Heath was smuggling cigarettes into the Pontiac Correctional Center and was providing them to inmate Corey Young in exchange for adult magazines. On September 10, 2010, Chatman was transferred to a cell located on the unit in which Heath worked. On September 17, 2010, Heath issued a disciplinary report against Chatman for intimidation and insolence. Specifically, the report alleged:

On the above date and approx. time this r/o touring the gallery one in ECH when I/M Chatman #R41178 accused me of stealing his magazines and called me a "fucking liar" when I denied it. He then said he was going to "blast me in the face with shit." He proceeded to open a milk carton and I exited the gallery and informed Lt. Smith. This r/o considers his actions and words offensive and felt his threats to be taken seriously. During the course of the evening this I/M made the same threat several more times. I/M was Id'd by gallery chart. Lt. Smith notified. EOR.

Chatman claims that Heath fabricated the incident. As a result of the incident report, Chatman was transferred to cell ECH 116 and was placed behind plexi-glass doors. On September 23, 2010, the Adjustment Committee heard the disciplinary ticket issued to Chatman by Heath and found Chatman guilty of the disciplinary infractions alleged. The Adjustment Committee recommended that Chatman serve three months segregation and three months C grade.

Also on September 23, Heath issued another disciplinary ticket to Chatman for intimidation or threats and insolence. This second disciplinary ticket provided in relevant part:

On the above date and approx. time, this r/o was touring 1 gallery when I/M Chatman stopped me and stated that he was going to turn me in to "I.A." for writing him a "bogus" ticket for threats on 9/17/10 which got I/M Chatman placed in a different cell behind plexi-glass. He has made several false allegations about me and threatened to have other inmates make similar false claims against me. He stated, "motherfucker Heath, I'm gonna have your ass fired for moving me." He claims he will tell I.A. that I am doing "all kinds of shit." I/M Id'd by face and gallery chart. Lt. Reilman notified. E.O.R.

Chatman admits that he informed Heath that he was planning on turning Heath into Internal Affairs, but he maintains that Heath fabricated events supporting the disciplinary ticket. On September 29, 2010, the Adjustment Committee heard the second disciplinary ticket and found Chatman guilty of the alleged offenses. Chatman contends that Heath issued the disciplinary tickets to him, not for the reasons stated in the disciplinary tickets themselves, but in retaliation for his filing grievances against and writing letters to the warden about Heath. Although Internal Affairs investigated Chatman's allegations of misconduct by Heath, Internal Affairs determined that the Chatman's allegations of misconduct by Heath could not be substantiated.

Accordingly, Chatman filed this case against Defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. Chatman alleges that, after Heath learned that Chatman had filed grievances and had written letters to the warden about Heath, Heath retaliated against him by verbally harassing him, by tampering with his food, and by going through his mail. Chatman avers that Heath's actions violated his First Amendment rights.

Chatman further contends that Taylor and Pierce also violated his constitutional rights. Chatman claims that he and his family informed Taylor and Pierce about Heath's retaliatory conduct toward Chatman, but neither Taylor nor Pierce took any action(s) to prevent the retaliation or to protect Chatman from Heath. In short, Chatman alleges that Taylor and Pierce turned a blind eye towards Heath's unconstitutional conduct, and ...


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