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Henderson v. Williamson

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

November 24, 2014

DMYTRYCK HENDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
NEIL M. WILLIAMSON, JACK CAMPBELL, ROBERT BEIERMAN, TAMMY POWERLL, TODD KRUGER, GUY BOUVET, and COUNTY OF SANGAMON, Defendants.

OPINION

TOM SCHANZLE-HASKINS, Magistrate Judge.

This cause comes before the Court on Defendants' motion for summary judgment. As explained more fully infra, Defendants are entitled to summary judgment because there are no genuine issues of material fact that must be determined by a trier of fact and Defendants have shown that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

I.

LEGAL STANDARDS GOVERNING SUMMARY JUDGMENT

All Defendants (moving parties) have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (d/e 90). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) provides that summary judgment "shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving parties are entitled to judgment as a matter of law." FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c); Ruiz-Rivera v. Moyer, 70 F.3d 498, 500-01 (7th Cir. 1995). The moving parties have the burden of providing proper documentary evidence to show the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986). The Court must consider the evidence presented in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Any doubt as to the existence of a genuine issue for trial must be resolved against the Defendants. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986). Once the moving parties have met their burden, the plaintiff must come forward with specific evidence, not mere allegations or denials of the pleadings, which demonstrates that there is a genuine issue for trial. Gracia v. Volvo Europa Truck, N.V., 112 F.3d 291, 294 (7th Cir. 1997). "[A] party moving for summary judgment can prevail just by showing that the other party has no evidence on an issue on which that party has the burden of proof." Brazinski v. Amoco Petroleum Additives Co., 6 F.3d 1176, 1183 (7th Cir. 1993).

Accordingly, the plaintiff cannot rest on the pleadings alone, but must designate specific facts in affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories or admissions that establish that there is a genuine triable issue; he "must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material fact.'" Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256-57 (1986)(quoting Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986)); Hot Wax, Inc. v. Turtle Wax, Inc., 191 F.3d 813, 818 (7th Cir. 1999). Finally, a scintilla of evidence in support of the non-movant's position is not sufficient to oppose successfully a summary judgment motion; "there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the [non-movant]." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250.

II.

DEFENDANTS WILLIAMSON, CAMPBELL, POWELL, KRUEGER, AND BOUVET ARE ENTITLED TO SUMMARY JUDGMENT

A. Defendants Williamson, Campbell, Powell, Krueger, and Bouvet lacked the personal involvement necessary to be liable to Henderson under § 1983.

In July 2011, Plaintiff was an inmate within the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC") who had been returned to the Sangamon County Jail ("the Jail") in order to be arraigned on an indictment from Sangamon County. Henderson was housed at the Sangamon County Jail starting on July 20, 2011.

During the relevant time, Defendant Neil Williamson was the Sheriff of Sangamon County, Illinois. Defendant Jack Campbell was the Undersheriff for Sangamon County. Defendant Todd Krueger was a shift sergeant at the Jail. Defendant Tammy Powell was a lieutenant at the Jail. Defendant Guy Bouvet was a sergeant at the Jail. Finally, Defendant Robert Beierman was a correctional officer at the Jail. Beierman was the only Jail official present at the time of the search that forms the basis for this suit.

"[I]ndividual liability under § 1983 requires personal involvement in the alleged constitutional deprivation.'" Minix v. Canarecci, 597 F.3d 824, 833 (7th Cir. 2010)(quoting Palmer v. Marion County, 327 F.3d 588, 594 (7th Cir. 2003)). Indeed, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has explained that the doctrine of respondeat superior (a doctrine whereby a supervisor may be held liable for an employee's actions) has no application to § 1983 actions. Gayton v. McCoy, 593 F.3d 610, 622 (7th Cir. 2010). Instead, in order for a supervisor to be held liable under § 1983 for the actions of his subordinates, the supervisor must "approve[] of the conduct and the basis for it." Chavez v. Illinois State Police, 251 F.3d 612, 651 (7th Cir. 2001); Gentry v. Duckworth, 65 F.3d 555, 561 (7th Cir. 1995)("An official satisfies the personal responsibility requirement of section 1983... if the conduct causing the constitutional deprivation occurs at [his] direction or with [his] knowledge and consent.")(internal quotation omitted). "[S]upervisors must know about the conduct and facilitate it, approve it, condone it, or turn a blind eye for fear of what they might see. They must in other words act either knowingly or with deliberate, reckless indifference." Backes v. Village of Peoria Heights, Illinois, 662 F.3d 866, 870 (7th Cir. 2011) (quoting Chavez, 251 F.3d at 651)). "In short, some causal connection or affirmative link between the action complained about and the official sued is necessary for § 1983 recovery." Gentry, 65 F.3d at 561.

Here, Henderson has admitted that there are no questions of fact surrounding Defendants Williamson, Campbell, Powell, Krueger, and Bouvet's lack of involvement in his strip search. (See Defendants' Statement of Material Undisputed Facts (d/e 91), paragraphs 84-107, Plaintiff's Response to Motion for Summary Judgment (d/e 93). These Defendants did not have anything to do with the search about which Henderson complains. The only officer in the room when the search occurred was Beierman. As such, Henderson tacitly concedes that summary judgment is appropriate as to Defendants Williamson, Campbell, Powell, Krueger, and Bouvet, and the Court agrees. Accordingly, Defendants Williamson, Campbell, Powell, Krueger, and Bouvet's motion for summary judgment is granted because they lacked the personal involvement necessary to impose liability upon them under § 1983.

B. Considering the evidence in the light most favorable to Henderson, no question of fact exists that requires a jury trial.

Statement of Facts

The following facts are either undisputed or are viewed in a light most favorable to Henderson. When an inmate/detainee/arrestee arrives, the Jail's personnel follow certain intake procedures in accepting that person for holding at the Jail. All inmates are searched before they are housed in the Jail's general population. (Krueger deposition, pg. 13, lines 15-20, pg. 16, lines 4-5, Durr Declaration, para. 6). In general, the booking procedures for an inmate at the Jail begin when either an arresting agency transports an inmate to the Jail or the inmate is transferred from another correctional facility. (Krueger deposition, pg. 6, lines 20-24, pg. 7, line 1). The inmate's personal belongings are removed with the exception the inmate's clothing, and then, the inmate is placed in a booking cell. Id.

The booking procedure entails searching the inmate for illegal items and contraband. All of the inmate's personal belongings are logged and secured in a property bag. (Kirby Declaration, para. 11, Beierman deposition, pg. 6, lines 8-12). An inmate is allowed to keep only a pair of pants and socks and only after those items have been searched to ensure that there is nothing concealed therein. (Beierman deposition, pg. 6, lines 12-13). The booking officer, then, questions the inmate and obtains all directory information about the inmate such as age, date of birth, address, dependents, medication, medical conditions, and required prescriptions. (Kirby Declaration, para. 12). Id.

Next, the inmate is photographed and fingerprinted and placed in a holding cell. If the inmate is charged with a felony, the inmate must remain in the holding cell until arraignment by a judge. Id . at para. 13. After an arraignment, if the inmate cannot bond out, the classification officer will interview the inmate and will classify the inmate for appropriate housing in the Jail based on a variety of factors, including whether an inmate committed a felony or a misdemeanor against a person. Id . at para. 15. Once the classification officer has finished questioning the inmate, the property officer will perform a search procedure with the inmate before placing the inmate in the Jail's general population. Id . at para. 16.

Strip searches are typically conducted in the property room of the jail. (Defendants' Undisputed Facts (d/e 91), paragraph 35). A search is performed for every inmate or pretrial detainee before that person is placed in the Jail's general population. (Durr Declaration, para. 13, Beierman deposition, pg. 6, line 24, pg. 7, lines 1-2, pg. 8, lines 21-24). While the Defendants, in their Motion and statements of fact, refer to the search as a "dressing out" or "trans up", taking the evidence in the light most favorable to the Plaintiffs, the procedure followed in this case is construed and referred to as a group strip search as ...


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