United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
SEAN T. WILEY, Plaintiff,
PATRICK PEREZ, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
AMY J. ST. EVE, District Judge.
On June 25, 2014, pro se Plaintiff Sean T. Wiley, a federal inmate who was held in the Kane County Adult Justice Center during the relevant time period, filed an Amended Complaint alleging Eighth Amendment violations. See 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Before the Court are Defendants' motions for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a). For the following reasons, the Court grants Defendants' summary judgment motions because Plaintiff has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies.
I. Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1
Because Plaintiff is a pro se litigant, Defendants served him with a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment" as required by Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.2. The notice explains the consequences of failing to properly respond to a motion for summary judgment and statement of material facts under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 56.1.
Local Rule 56.1 "is designed, in part, to aid the district court, which does not have the advantage of the parties' familiarity with the record and often cannot afford to spend the time combing the record to locate the relevant information, ' in determining whether a trial is necessary." Delapaz v. Richardson, 634 F.3d 895, 899 (7th Cir. 2011) (citation omitted). Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) requires the moving party to provide "a statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue." Cracco v. Vitran Exp., Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009). "The opposing party is required to file 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." Id. (citing N.D.Ill. R. 56.1(b)(3)(B)). Local Rule 56. 1(b)(3)(C) requires the nonmoving party to present a separate statement of additional facts that requires the denial of summary judgment, including references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon to support the statement of additional facts. See Ciomber v. Cooperative Plus, Inc., 527 F.3d 635, 643-44 (7th Cir. 2008).
In general, the purpose of Local Rule 56.1 statements and responses is to identify the relevant admissible evidence supporting the material facts, not to make factual or legal arguments. See Cady v. Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057, 1060 (7th Cir. 2006) ("statement of material facts did [ ] not comply with Rule 56.1 as it failed to adequately cite the record and was filled with irrelevant information, legal arguments, and conjecture"). "When a responding party's statement fails to dispute the facts set forth in the moving party's statement in the manner dictated by the rule, those facts are deemed admitted for purposes of the motion." Cracco, 559 F.3d at 632; see also Frey Corp. v. City of Peoria, Ill., 735 F.3d 505, 513 (7th Cir. 2013). In addition, district courts, in their discretion, may "choose to ignore and not consider the additional facts that a litigant has proposed" if the litigant failed to comply with Local Rule 56.1. Cichon v. Coop. Plus, Inc., 401 F.3d 803, 809-10 (7th Cir. 2005) (citing Midwest Imports, Ltd. v. Coval, 71 F.3d 1311, 1316 (7th Cir. 1995)).
In sum, "[f]or litigants appearing in the Northern District of Illinois, the Rule 56.1 statement is a critical, and required, component of a litigant's response to a motion for summary judgment. The purpose of the local rule is to make the summary judgment process less burdensome on district courts, by requiring the parties to nail down the relevant facts and the way they propose to support them." Sojka v. Bovis Lend Lease, Inc., 686 F.3d 394, 398 (7th Cir. 2012).
Courts must construe pro se pleadings liberally, see Ambrose v. Roeckeman, 749 F.3d 615, 618 (7th Cir. 2014), but a plaintiff's pro se status does not absolve him from complying with the federal and local procedural rules. See Pearle Vision, Inc. v. Romm, 541 F.3d 751, 758 (7th Cir. 2008); Greer v. Board of Ed. of City of Chicago, 267 F.3d 723, 727 (7th Cir. 2001). As the Supreme Court instructs, "we have never suggested that procedural rules in ordinary civil litigation should be interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by those who proceed without counsel." McNeil v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113, 113 S.Ct. 1980, 124 L.Ed.2d 21 (1993).
Plaintiff responded to the motions for summary judgment with a memorandum in opposition to the motions and a statement of additional facts that requires the denial of summary judgment. Plaintiff did not respond to either of the movants' statement of material facts. As such, the Court accepts all properly supported assertions in Defendants' statements of material facts at true to the extent that the facts are supported in the record. See L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(C); Apex Digital, Inc. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 735 F.3d 962, 965 (7th Cir. 2013); Keeton v. Morningstar, Inc., 667 F.3d 877, 880 (7th Cir. 2012).
As to Plaintiff's statement of additional facts, Plaintiff failed to reference any affidavits, parts of the record, or other supporting materials upon which he relies in support of his statement of additional facts for all but six of his additional facts. (R. 71 ¶¶ 1-74.) The Court disregards the Plaintiff's additional facts that lack citation to the record or that contain improper legal arguments. ( See id. ¶¶ 1-4, 6-38, 41-58, 60-63, 64[b], 65[b], 67-73 [Plaintiff included some additional statements with the same number, i.e., 64, 65].)
In addition, the Court is not required to scour the record looking for factual disputes nor is the Court required to piece together Plaintiff's arguments for him. See Diadenko v. Folino, 741 F.3d 751, 757 (7th Cir. 2013); see also Herman v. City of Chicago, 870 F.2d 400, 404 (7th Cir. 1989) ("A district court need not scour the record to make the case of a party who does nothing."). Plaintiff's failure to comply with Local Rule 56.1, however, does not result in an automatic grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendants. Instead, the Court still must evaluate all facts in the light most favorable to him, the non-moving party. See Fed. R. Civ, P. 56(e)(2); Keeton, 667 F.3d at 884. With these standards in mind, the Court turns to the relevant facts of this case.
II. Relevant ...