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Santiago v. Severs

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

October 31, 2014

WILLIAM SANTIAGO, Plaintiff,
v.
PATRICK SEVERS, CARLA BURNETT, and LT. JOHN DOE, Defendants.

ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL, District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge Donald G. Wilkerson (Doc. 53), recommending that Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment on the Issue of Exhaustion (Doc. 40) be granted, and that this matter be dismissed without prejudice for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The Report and Recommendation was entered on August 7, 2014. Plaintiff filed timely objections on August 15, 2014 (Doc. 60), and Defendants filed a timely response (Doc. 61). For the reasons stated below, the Court overrules Plaintiff's objections, adopts the Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Wilkerson, and dismisses this case without prejudice.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff William Santiago, an inmate in the Illinois Department of Corrections, is currently incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center. He filed this action on September 19, 2013, alleging that he received delayed and inadequate medical care after he fell in the shower at Menard (Doc. 1). The Court conducted a threshold review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and the following claims survived:

Count 1: Against Defendants Carla Burnett, Patrick Severs, and Lt. John Doe for deliberate indifference to Plaintiff's serious medical needs for leaving him lying on the floor of the shower in pain;
Count 6: Against Defendants Patrick Severs and Lt. John Doe for negligence under Illinois law in their care for Plaintiff.

(Doc. 7).

On June 5, 2014, Defendants Burnett and Severs filed a Motion for Summary Judgment on the Issue of Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies (Doc. 40). Specifically, they assert that there is one relevant grievance, and Plaintiff failed to exhaust that grievance. Plaintiff filed a timely response in opposition to the motion for summary judgment (Doc. 49). As required by Pavey v. Conley, 544 F.3d 739 (7th Cir. 2008), Magistrate Judge Wilkerson held an evidentiary hearing on the issue of exhaustion on August 5, 2014 (Doc. 54). Following the Pavey hearing, on August 7, 2014, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson issued the Report and Recommendation currently before the Court (Doc. 53). The Report and Recommendation accurately states the nature of the evidence presented by both sides on the issue of exhaustion, as well as the applicable law and the requirements of the administrative process.

CONCLUSIONS OF THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

Based upon the evidence before the Court, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson found that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. The parties agreed that Plaintiff submitted one grievance dated December 15, 2011. Magistrate Judge Wilkerson found credible Plaintiff's assertion that the grievance was submitted as an emergency grievance, and that he did not receive a response from Menard. Plaintiff then sent the grievance to the Administrative Review Board, but it was returned because it was untimely and did not contain signatures from a counselor or a grievance officer.

Magistrate Judge Wilkerson concluded that Plaintiff had exhausted this grievance, but not with respect to Defendants Burnett, Severs, or Lt. John Doe. Magistrate Judge Wilkerson found that the grievance concerned a single issue: the inappropriate medical treatment that Plaintiff received from Dr. Fe. Fuentes after he fell in the shower. While the grievance mentioned Defendants Burnett, Severs, and Lt. John Doe, it was only for the purpose of giving background information and context for Plaintiff's complaint about Dr. Fuentes. The grievance did not contain any indication that Plaintiff was also complaining about his interaction with Defendants Burnett, Severs, or Lt. John Doe. Accordingly, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson recommended granting Defendants Burnett and Severs's motion for summary judgment and sua sponte granting summary judgment in favor Lt. John Doe.

DISCUSSION

Where timely objections are filed, this Court must undertake a de novo review of the Report and Recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), (C); FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b); SDIL-LR 73.1(b); Harper v. City of Chicago Heights, 824 F.Supp. 786, 788 (N.D. Ill. 1993); see also Govas v. Chalmers, 965 F.2d 298, 301 (7th Cir. 1992). The Court "may accept, reject or modify the magistrate judge's recommended decision." Harper, 824 F.Supp. at 788. In making this determination, the Court must look at all of the evidence contained in the record and "give fresh consideration to those issues to which specific objections have been made.'" Id. (citing 12 Charles Alan Wright et al., Federal Practice and Procedure § 3076.8, at p. 55 (1st ed. 1973) (1992 Pocket Part)). According to Local Rule 73.1(b), a specific objection is one that identifies the portions of the proposed findings, recommendations, or reports to which the objection is made, and the basis for the objection. SDIL-LR 73.1(b); see also FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b).

Here, as mentioned above, Plaintiff has objected to the Report and Recommendation (Doc. 60). As best the Court can tell, there are four objections. However, three of those do not constitute specific objections to the Report and ...


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