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Montjoy v. Gallardo

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

December 18, 2014

ADAM MONTJOY, Plaintiff,
v.
SERGEANT GALLARDO, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Marvin E. Aspen, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Adam Montjoy, a pretrial detainee at Cook County Jail, brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants, correctional staff at Cook County Jail, were deliberately indifferent to his safety and used excessive force when trying to break up an altercation between several detainees. Before the Court is Defendants’ motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a). For the following reasons, the Court grants Defendants’ summary judgment motion in part and denies it in part.

BACKGROUND

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. [Dkt. 73]. 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).

Plaintiff responded to the motion for summary judgment with a memorandum in opposition to the motion and a response to certain of the Defendants’ statement of material facts [Dkt. 80]. While Plaintiff failed to cite to specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, or any other supporting materials in support of some of his opposition to Defendants’ statement of material facts, he did properly cite to his deposition testimony and an attached affidavit in opposition to several statements. The Court has carefully reviewed the Defendants’ statement of material facts, Plaintiff’s response to those statements, Defendants’ reply to Plaintiff’s responses, and the supporting documentation provided by all parties. The relevant facts stated below are derived from reviewing the filings and the materials cited to support, or in objection to, the proposed statement of material facts.

In addition, Plaintiff’s failure to fully comply with Local Rule 56.1 as to some of Defendants’ statement of material facts 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 Facts

Plaintiff Adam Montjoy was detained at Cook County Jail in Division 9, Tier 1C, on September 12, 2012. (Defs.’ 56.1 Stmt. [Dkt. 72] ¶¶ 2-4.) Division 9 is the maximum security division at Cook County Jail. (Id. ¶ 5.) This division houses violent offenders, offenders charged with violent crimes, and detainees with disciplinary issues within the jail. (Id.)

On September 12, 2012, Plaintiff was let out of his cell and allowed into the day room for a three-hour period beginning at approximately 6:00 p.m. (Id. ¶ 6.) At approximately 6:00 p.m. that evening, Plaintiff told Defendant Correctional Officer Phillips that “somebody told me that I was gonna be attacked by some detainees.” (Id. ¶ 7.) Plaintiff told Officer Phillips that he needed to be moved so he would not get hurt. (Id.) At approximately 8:00 p.m. that same evening, Plaintiff told Officer Phillips and Defendant Correctional Officer Tedesco that he needed to be moved because he was going to be attacked. (Id.; Plaint.’s Dep. pgs. 106-07.) Officer Tedesco responded to Plaintiff, “Fight like a man, you know, stop being a pussy.” (Plaint.’s Dep. pgs. 106-07.) Officer Phillips also told Plaintiff she was not going to call a sergeant for Plaintiff to speak to about the threat or be moved. (Id.) Plaintiff did not inform Officer Phillips or Officer Tedesco who was going to attack him, when the attack would occur or how the attack would occur. (Defs.’ 56.1 Stmt. [Dkt. 72] ¶ 8.) Plaintiff never informed the other Defendants, Sergeant Gallardo, Sergeant Ross, Correctional Officer Sable or Officer Meller that he had received a threat of a possible attack. (Id. ¶ 11.)

At approximately 8:00 p.m. that evening, Plaintiff placed a telephone call. (Id. ¶ 12.) At the time, there were approximately twenty detainees in the day room. (Id. ¶ 14.) While on the telephone, Plaintiff observed another detainee get punched by at least one other detainee. (Id. ¶ 13; Plaint.’s Resp. ¶ 13.) After punching the other detainee, the men advanced on Plaintiff and he began running to the “control bubble.” (Defs.’ 56.1 Stmt. [Dkt. 72] ¶ 16.) At this time, Officer Phillips and Officer Tedesco were the only officers present in the control bubble. (Id. ¶ 15.) A “10-10" call for all available officers to respond to the division was made. (Id.) A multi-person fight ensued within the day room, causing a high risk, dangerous situation involving detainees with weapons that threatened Plaintiff as well as the other detainees in the day room. (Id. ΒΆ 18.) When such an ...


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