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Patterson v. McKoy

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

July 28, 2014

SAM LEE PATTERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
OFFICER McKOY, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JOAN H. LEFKOW, District Judge.

Plaintiff, Sam Lee Patterson (hereinafter, "Plaintiff" or "Patterson"), filed suit, pro se, against Cook County Correctional Officers McKoy and Johnson (hereinafter, "Defendants"). Plaintiff alleges that Defendants subjected him to deliberate indifference to a serious medical condition on April 8, 2013, while he incarcerated at the Cook County Jail.

Presently pending before the Court is Defendant's motion for summary judgment [#27]. Defendants argue in their motion that the Plaintiff has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing suit. For the reasons stated herein, the Defendants' motion for summary judgment is granted.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are taken from Defendants' Rule 56.1 statement and from the record attached to Defendants Rule 56.1 statement. Plaintiff is currently housed in Cook County Jail, Division 10, awaiting trial. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 1). At the time Plaintiff filed his Complaint on June 25, 2013, and during the relevant time period referenced therein, he was detained in the Cook County Department of Corrections ("CCDOC"). (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 2). During the time covered in Plaintiff's allegations, Plaintiff was assigned to Division 9, a general population division that also holds people who have been issued disciplinary tickets. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 4). Plaintiff was housed in the general population area of Division 9. Id.

On April 8, 2013, Plaintiff was in the day room during the morning shift for a period of two and a half to three hours. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 5). During this time, Plaintiff was able to walk around the day room but Plaintiff's cell was locked. Id. Plaintiff told Defendant Officer McKoy that he was not feeling well and that he would like to see a "psych." (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 6). Officer McKoy called the doctor but "nobody got back with him" and he was told that "they going to call back later." (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 7). Officer McKoy was shortly thereafter relieved by Defendant Officer Johnson for his lunch break. Id.

Plaintiff told Officer Johnson that he didn't feel well, that he needed to see a psych doctor, and that he didn't want to go back in his cell. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 8). Plaintiff did not fill out a medical request slip on April 8, 2012, but he was scheduled to see a mental health specialist on April 9, 2012. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 9). At the end of Plaintiff's "time out" he was let back in his cell and the door was locked behind him. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 10).

Shortly after being let back in his cell, Plaintiff unscrewed a light bulb from his cell and cut himself on his upper arms. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 11). When Cook County Officers discovered Plaintiff, he was promptly taken to the dispensary in Division 9 for triage and eventually to Cermak Health Services for further treatment. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 12). After the incident and throughout the rest of the day of April 8, 2012, and into the early morning hours of April 9, 2013, doctors treated Plaintiff for his physical injuries. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 13). Plaintiff was also seen by mental health specialists. Id.

CCDOC had a grievance procedure that was in effect and available to all detainees/inmates in 2013. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 16). Filing an appeal of a grievance is required to exhaust administrative remedies under CCDOC's Inmate Grievance Procedure. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 17). Plaintiff was familiar with the process of filing a detainee grievance. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 18).

During the period from September 5, 2012, when he was first incarcerated, to August 26, 2013, Plaintiff filed a total of seven grievance forms. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 19). Of those seven grievance forms, two of those grievances concerned incidents involving mental health care. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 20).

On March 18, 2013, Plaintiff submitted a grievance form requesting mental health care. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 21). This grievance was given a control number 2013x0829. Id. Plaintiff received a response for this grievance on April 3, 2013, which stated that, per his requests, he had received mental health treatment on March 15, 2013, and March 20, 2013. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 22). Plaintiff received and signed this response on April 3, 2013. Id. Plaintiff did not file an appeal of this grievance. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 23). Moreover, no one prevented him from filing an appeal of his grievance. Id.

On April 28, 2013, Plaintiff submitted a grievance form regarding the April 8, 2013, incident that is the subject of the instant case and requesting that a light bulb be put back in his room. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 24). This grievance was given a control number 2013x1374. Id. Plaintiff received a response for this grievance on May 7, 2013. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 25). The response stated that he had received prompt medical treatment for his arm and that he had been placed in a cell that did not require a light bulb. Id. Plaintiff received and signed this response on May 7, 2013. Id. Plaintiff did not file an appeal of this grievance. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 26). Moreover, no one prevented him from filing an appeal of his grievance. Id.

Each of the responses that Plaintiff received contained the language, "to exhaust administrative remedies, appeals must be made within 14 days of the date the inmate received the response" in the portion of the grievance form titled, "Inmate's Request for an Appeal." (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 27). Plaintiff completed three years of high school and is literate. (Defendant's L.R. 56.1 statements of fact ¶ 28). These were the only two grievances Plaintiff filled out ...


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