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Carpenter v. Clayton

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

March 17, 2015

JAMES C. CLAYTON, et al., Defendants.



Plaintiff proceeds pro se on this civil rights case regarding Plaintiff's access to mental health treatment and sex offender treatment at the Rushville Treatment and Detention Center. His claims are: (1) Defendants refused or delayed in providing sex offender treatment to Plaintiff after he consented to that treatment; (2) Defendants refused to assign Plaintiff a therapist; and, (3) Defendants failed to have an adequate procedure for Plaintiff to obtain help during a mental health crisis Plaintiff allegedly experienced when a resident on his unit committed suicide. (Judge Myerscough's 2/29/13 order, d/e 7.) The defendants are involved in Plaintiff's mental health treatment. This case is not about retaliation against Plaintiff for Plaintiff's exercise of his First Amendment rights: that claim proceeds in another pending case before Judge Myerscough. Carpenter v. Clayton, et al., 13-CV-3073.

This case is now at the summary judgment stage, before this Court by the consent of the parties. After careful consideration of the parties' submissions, the Court concludes that Defendants' motion for summary judgment must be granted on all claims except the Plaintiff's claim about his delay in access to sex offender treatment after he consented to that treatment in September of 2011. The Court needs more information to make a determination on that claim. Accordingly, Defendants will be directed to file a supplemental motion for summary judgment.


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. "In a § 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). "Summary judgment is appropriate when the admissible evidence shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact such that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Taylor-Novotny v. Health Alliance Plans, Inc., 772 F.3d 478, 488 (7th Cir. 2014).


Pursuant to the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Act, 725 ILCS 207/1, et seq., Plaintiff has been detained at the Rushville Treatment and Detention Center since March 17, 2009. He was committed to the facility in August of 2013. (Plaintiff's Dep. p. 5.; Jumper Aff. para. 74.) When Plaintiff was admitted to the facility in 2009, he was assigned a primary therapist and a master treatment plan was developed for him pursuant to the standard procedures. Id. at p. 7.

In general, there are five phases to the treatment program at Rushville: "(1) assessment, (2) accepting responsibility, (3) self-application, (4) incorporation, and (5) transition." (Jumper Aff. para. 68.) Participation in the treatment is voluntary, and a resident must sign a consent form to participate in the treatment. (Jumper Aff. para. 61.) Every resident receives a master treatment plan, updated biannually, whether or not the resident agrees to participate in treatment. (Jumper Aff. para. 63.)

Even if a resident does not consent to participate in the treatment plan, the resident still may put in a request slip to talk to a therapist. (Pl.'s Dep. pp. 22-24.) Plaintiff had a therapist assigned to him at all times until the facility changed to a "team" approach. (Pl.'s dep. p. 22.) Under the team approach, a therapist might not be assigned to a resident who has not consented to treatment, but that resident can still talk to a therapist by submitting a request. (Caraway Aff. paras. 17-18.) Plaintiff does not dispute that he "has had access to a therapist and an entire treatment team during his time at the Rushville TDF, including the time that he did not consent to treatment." (Jumper Aff. para. 85.) The treatment team consists of clinical therapists, health staff, and security staff. (Prezell Aff. para. 1.)

Plaintiff did not sign a consent to treatment until September 19, 2011, about two and ½ years after his placement at the facility. (5/2/13 treatment plan, d/e 87-4, TDF 471 (sealed)). Plaintiff did participate in an orientation group in the Fall of 2009 (which does not require a consent), but did not complete the orientation group because of absences due to behavior issues and rule violations. (Defs.' Undisputed Facts, 90-96.) Plaintiff completed the orientation group in April of 2010, but still did not consent to treatment at that time. (Defs. Undisputed Fact 103.)

After Plaintiff signed the consent form in September of 2011, Plaintiff was told that he would be put on a waiting list to get in treatment groups due to limited staffing and resources. (Pl.'s Aff. pp. 10-11.) "[T]hinking that [he] would be waiting for 2 or 3 yrs to get in groups or treatment the plaintiff kind of became discouraged and uninterested in treatment." (Pl.'s 11/7/14 Aff. p. 11, d/e 103-1). Plaintiff does not dispute that he then decided not to consent, a decision reflected in reviews of Plaintiff's treatment plan from January 26, 2012 to around March of 2013, which all state that Plaintiff had not consented to treatment. Plaintiff does not dispute that his Non-Treatment Resident Review dated 1/26/12 states that Plaintiff "does not feel that he needs sexual offender treatment...." (d/e 87-4, TDF 467 (sealed)).

Defendants "agree that certain groups and classes may be full at certain times for various reasons so that a particular resident may not be able to join a particular group." (Defs.' Response, p. 8, d/e 105.) Defendants also agree that "Plaintiff may have been placed on waiting lists at certain times to get into treatment groups." (Defs.' Resp. p. 11, d/e 105.)

On October 16, 2012, a resident living across the hall from Plaintiff committed suicide. Plaintiff was traumatized: he could see the resident's deceased body on the floor and staff in the vicinity were allegedly laughing. (Complaint, pp. 9-10). Plaintiff asked to speak to a therapist immediately but was told to submit a request. (Pl.'s Dep. pp. 24-25.) Before this incident Plaintiff had been able to orally tell a guard on the unit that he needed to see a therapist; the guard would relay the message, and the therapist would come. (Pl.'s Dep. p. 25; Pl.'s Affidavit p. 18.)

On October 17, 2012, the day after the suicide, Plaintiff was transported for a court hearing. On his return he was evaluated by a nurse per the standard procedure, with no abnormal findings. (Jumper Aff. para. 132.) Several residents sought counseling after the suicide, ...

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