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Pegues v. Orrill

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

March 5, 2015

WALTER PEGUES, Plaintiff,
v.
SHON ORRILL, et al., Defendants.

OPINION

SUE E. MYERSCOUGH, District Judge.

Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and detained in the Rushville Treatment and Detention Center, pursues a First Amendment claim for retaliation and an equal protection claim based on alleged race discrimination. (8/19/13 Order.)

The case is now at the summary judgment stage. After reviewing the parties' submissions, the Court concludes that summary judgment is warranted for Defendants. The alleged retaliatory and discriminatory acts were simply not objectively serious enough to be actionable under the United States Constitution.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

"The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). "In a ยง 1983 case, the plaintiff bears the burden of proof on the constitutional deprivation that underlies the claim, and thus must come forward with sufficient evidence to create genuine issues of material fact to avoid summary judgment." McAllister v. Price, 615 F.3d 877, 881 (7th Cir. 2010). At the summary judgment stage, evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmovant, with material factual disputes resolved in the nonmovant's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A genuine dispute of material fact exists when a reasonable juror could find for the nonmovant. Id.

FACTS

The Court notes that Defendant Orrill denies all of Plaintiff's accusations, (Orrill Aff., d/e 46-1), but the Court must accept Plaintiff's version at the summary judgment stage, as to incidents of which Plaintiff has personal knowledge.

Plaintiff alleges in his Complaint that he has been subjected to continuing harassment and retaliation for his grievances and complaints. Specifically, Plaintiff filed two grievances in February, 2010, and one grievance in August, 2010, about unsanitary conditions in the kitchen. Defendant Orrill was, according to Plaintiff, routinely assigned to supervise the kitchen area.

Plaintiff contends that, on October 7, 2010, Defendant Orrill made a "Nazi-style" salute in front of Plaintiff and said, "Sieg Heil." (Complaint, paras. 9-12; Pl.'s Dep. p. 14.) Plaintiff filed a grievance about the incident and was interviewed by Defendant Clayton, but no action was taken. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 16.)

On October 14, 2010, when Plaintiff stooped over to pick his eyeglasses off the floor, Defendant Orrill "stomped" his "military-style" boot near Plaintiff's hand, without touching Plaintiff's hand or eyeglasses. (Pl.'s Complaint, para. 17.).

Sometime in late October or early November, 2010, Defendant Orrill, according to Plaintiff, called Plaintiff a nigger and made racially degrading comments about Plaintiff's mother. (Pl.'s Complaint para. 25; Pl.'s Dep. 63-64, 66-67.)[1]

In July of 2011, Plaintiff filed a lawsuit in the Central District of Illinois, claiming a constitutionally inadequate diet. Pegues, et al., v. Dredge, et al., 11-CV-3189 (C.D. Ill.).

Plaintiff contends that, on or around October 26, 2011, Defendant Orrill came up to Plaintiff and said, "What's happening nigger?" Plaintiff got angry and then refused Orrill's order for Plaintiff to go to his room. Another officer came, and Plaintiff then went to his room. According to Plaintiff, Orrill wrote Plaintiff a false disciplinary report regarding this incident in order to cover up that Orrill had provoked Plaintiff. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 68.) Plaintiff received a verbal reprimand. Id. On or about the morning of November 24, 2011, Defendant Orrill pounded on Plaintiff's door several times while Plaintiff was sleeping. (Pl.'s Dep. pp. 64-65; Pl.'s Complaint, para. 31.)

About two months later, in February of 2012, Plaintiff was in the process of getting into a van to be transported to Cook County. According to Plaintiff, Defendant Orrill grabbed Plaintiff by the arm. Plaintiff protested and asked for someone else to help Plaintiff get in the van besides Orrill. The officer in charge directed Orrill to step out of the van, but instead Orrill poked Plaintiff in the chest with his finger and told Plaintiff that if he did not like it, that Orrill would put his "fist up" Plaintiff's ass. (Pl.'s ...


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