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Henderson v. Brimble

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

March 19, 2015

MARCO HENDERSON, #K-58827, Plaintiff,
v.
VALERIE BRIMBLE, et al., Defendants.

OPINION

MICHAEL M. MIHM, District Judge.

Now before the Court is the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (ECF No. 32) filed by Defendants Tammy Bennett, Correctional Lieutenant[1] ("Bennett"), Valerie Brimble, Correctional Officer ("Brimble"), Gregg Gossett, Warden of Operations ("Gossett"), Michelle Pulley, Warden of Programs ("Pulley"), Wayne Steele, Correctional Major ("Steele"), and Joseph Yurkovich, Warden of Henry Hill Correctional Center ("Yurkovich") (collectively Bennett, Brimble, Gossett, Pulley, Steele, and Yurkovich referred to as "Defendants")[2] arguing that summary judgment in their favor is appropriate because Plaintiff Marco Henderson ("Henderson" or "Plaintiff") failed to exhaust his administrative remedies related to his claim against the Defendants. For reasons stated herein, the Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 32) is DENIED. The stay on merit discovery is now lifted and a new scheduling order shall be entered forthwith. Parenthetically, Plaintiff has filed a Motion for Status Update (ECF No. 59). The current status of the case is contained herein; therefore, the Motion for Status Update (ECF No. 59) is MOOT.

BACKGROUND

In his Complaint, [3] Henderson alleges that on February 14, 2012, his wife came to visit him at the Henry Hill Correctional Center ("HHCC") where he was then being housed by the Illinois Department of Corrections. (ECF No. 1 at 5). During their visit, Henderson alleges that Defendant Brimble, a Correctional Officer at HHCC, stared at him and his wife to such a degree that it made Henderson's wife feel uncomfortable. Id . Henderson informed his wife that she could file a complaint with the warden about Brimble's conduct. Id .

On or around March 20, 2012, Henderson received two disciplinary tickets based upon Brimble's allegations that he made inappropriate comments to her. (ECF No. 1 at 6). Henderson alleges that he could not have made the comments because he was at his school assignment at the time the event occurred. Id . On March 27, 2012, Henderson appeared before the HHCC's Adjustment Committee and informed the Committee that Brimble had lied about him making inappropriate comments and further explained that his wife had called HHCC and complained about Brimble's conduct during the February 14, 2012, visit. Id . In late March or early April 2012, Henderson filed a grievance about the harassment that he had been receiving from Brimble. (ECF No. 1 at 7).

On or around September 18, 2012, Henderson alleges that he was attacked by another inmate. (ECF No. 1 at 9). Henderson alleges that Brimble coerced and solicited the inmate to attack him, and as a result, he sustained physical injuries. (ECF No. 1 at 10). Despite being the victim of the attack, Henderson received two disciplinary tickets as a result of the fight. (ECF No. 1 at 13).

On or around September 29, 2012, Henderson went before the Adjustment Committee to address the fight with the other inmate. (ECF No. 1 at 14). Defendant Bennett, a Lieutenant at HHCC, served as chair of the Committee. Id . Henderson objected to Bennett serving on the Committee because she had previously investigated the fight between the other inmate and Henderson. Id . Bennett did not recuse herself from the Committee, and Henderson received various disciplinary measures, including one year in segregation. (ECF No. 1 at 14).

On or around October 9, 2012, Henderson was again called before the Adjustment Committee where he received more disciplinary measures, including another year of segregation. (ECF No. 1 at 15). On or around October 31, 2012, Henderson was transferred to the Pontiac Correctional Center.

On September 13, 2013, Henderson filed his Complaint against several employees of HHCC, including the Defendants seeking summary judgment. On October 8, 2013, this Court entered its Merit Review Order pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 1915A, finding that Count I of Plaintiff's Complaint stated a claim against Defendants Brimble, Steele, Gossett, Yurkovich, and Pulley for breaching their duty to protect him from known risks under the Eighth Amendment. (ECF No. 8). The Court also found that Count III of Plaintiff's Complaint stated a claim against Defendant Brimble for conspiracy. These were the only claims that survived the Court's initial Merit Review Order. Id . On November 18, 2013, this Court entered an order reinstating Henderson's cause of action for deprivation of his due process rights against Defendant Bennett. (ECF No. 18). The Defendants now move for partial summary judgment in their favor arguing that Henderson failed to exhaust his administrative remedies; however, Defendants concede Plaintiff has exhausted his administrative remedies as to Counts I and III against Defendant Brimble. (ECF No. 33 at 7). Defendants also concede that Plaintiff exhausted his administrative remedies as to Count II against Defendants Bennett and Yurkovich. Id .

In support of their Motion, Defendants provide that the records of the Administrative Review Board ("ARB") were searched for grievances filed by Henderson relating to his claims against the Defendants. (ECF No. 33 at 2). While Henderson does not admit this fact, he does not provide any evidence to the contrary. (See ECF No. 51 at 3, Plaintiff states that he "lack (sic) sufficient information to admit or deny whether a search was done."). Furthermore, the Defendants provide that the ARB has only received four sets of grievances from Plaintiff relating to his claims against Defendants. (ECF No. 33 at 2). Plaintiff again does not provide any contrary evidence to Defendants' statement regarding results. (ECF No. 51 at 3). Finally, Defendants' undisputed material facts include that Plaintiff submitted no other grievances to the ARB regarding the claims at issue in this lawsuit. (ECF No. 33 at 2). Plaintiff does not provide any response to this statement. ( See ECF No. 51 at 3).

SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

A motion for summary judgment will be granted where there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c). A material fact is one that might affect the outcome of the suit. Insolia v. Philip Morris, Inc., 216 F.3d 596, 598-99 (7th Cir. 2000). The moving party may meet its burden of showing an absence of material facts by demonstrating "that there is an absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's case." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986). If the moving party meets its burden, the non-moving party then has the burden of presenting specific facts to show there is a genuine issue of material fact. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp ., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986).

On summary judgment, the inferences to be drawn from the underlying facts must be viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd., 475 U.S. at 588. Any disputed issues of fact are resolved against the moving party. GE v. Joiner, 552 U.S. 136, 143 (1997). The moving party has the responsibility of informing the Court of portions of the record or affidavits that demonstrate the absence of a triable issue. Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 323. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(e) requires the non-moving party to go beyond the pleadings and produce evidence of a genuine issue for trial. Id . at 324. Where a proposed statement of fact is supported by the record and not adequately rebutted, a court will accept that statement as true for purposes of summary judgment; an adequate rebuttal requires a citation to specific support in the record. Drake v. Minnesota Mining & Mfg. Co., 134 F.3d 878, 887 (7th Cir. 1998). This Court must then determine whether there is a ...


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