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Hill v. Phillips

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

February 18, 2014

KENNETH HILL (#M-39008), Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICER PHILLIPS, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

RONALD A. GUZMAN, District Judge.

Plaintiff was attacked by another detainee at Cook County Jail and seeks to hold defendant, a correctional officer at the Jail, liable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for his injuries. Defendant has filed a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 56 motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants the motion.

Local Rule 56.1

Local Rule 56.1(b) requires that a party opposing a motion for summary judgment file:

(3) a concise response to the movant's statement that shall contain
(A) a response to each numbered paragraph in 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). Defendant gave plaintiff a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment" [document no. 34], warning him that his failure to properly dispute any fact asserted in defendant's LR 56.1 statement results in the fact being admitted. Nonetheless, plaintiff failed to file a response.

The Court is entitled to enforce Local Rule 56.1 strictly, even against pro se parties. See Ammons v. Aramark Uniform Serv., Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2004); Cady v. Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057, 1061 (7th Cir. 2006) (stating that even pro se plaintiffs must comply with procedural rules). Even so, because plaintiff is proceeding pro se, the Court will consider any factual assertions he makes in his summary judgment materials to which he can competently testify.

Facts

In 2011, plaintiff was a pretrial detainee at Cook County Jail, and defendant was a Cook County Sheriff's Deputy assigned to plaintiff's cell house and tier. (Def.'s LR 56.1 Stmt. ¶¶ 2, 5.) On September 25, 2011, when plaintiff returned to his cell after a trip to the commissary, another detainee, Beasley, asked to borrow plaintiff's shampoo. ( Id. ¶¶ 8-10.) Plaintiff refused, and Beasley then demanded that plaintiff give him all of his commissary purchases. ( Id. ) Plaintiff told Beasley to "get out of his face, " which ended the encounter. ( Id. ¶ 12.) This was the first time plaintiff had had a problem with Beasley, and he did not report the encounter to any prison official that day. ( Id. ¶¶ 11, 14, 35.)

The next morning, defendant let plaintiff, Beasley and five other inmates out of their cells to use the bathrooms and showers. ( Id. ¶¶ 14-15, 17.) Plaintiff, who was one of the last detainees to leave his cell, told defendant he wanted to be moved to a different tier because Beasley had "gotten in his face" the night before. ( Id. ¶¶ 18, 20; Def.'s Ex. A, Pl.'s Dep. at 26.) Plaintiff did not, however, go into specifics about the problem or request protective custody. (Def.'s LR 56.1 Stmt. ¶¶ 20, 36; Pl.'s Dep. at 26-27.) Defendant, who thought plaintiff and Beasley were "friendly" with one another, did not think that Beasley posed a threat to plaintiff. (Def.'s LR 56.1 Stmt. ¶ 37.) Defendant told plaintiff to "give him a second" because he was busy unlocking other inmates' cells. (Pl.'s Dep. at 28.)

After speaking with plaintiff and supervising the inmates' release from their cells, defendant left the deck and stationed himself in the "observation bubble." (Def.'s LR 56.1 Stmt. Facts ¶ 21.) Meanwhile, plaintiff went to the shower room, and while he was brushing his teeth, Beasley stabbed him in the back. ( Id. ¶¶ 22-24, 26.) Plaintiff, who had not seen or heard anything that put him on guard, was not expecting the attack. ( Id. ¶ 27.)

From the bubble, defendant saw plaintiff and Beasley fighting. ( Id. ¶ 28.) He immediately radioed that there was a fight in progress, and within a minute, other officers arrived on the scene. ( Id. ¶¶ 29-30.) They restored ...


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