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Russell v. Dart

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

March 26, 2015

MICHAEL RUSSELL, Plaintiff,
v.
SHERIFF TOM DART, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

JOHN W. DARRAH, District Judge.

Plaintiff Michael Russell filed a Complaint against Defendants Sheriff Tom Dart and three John Does, asserting various violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, stemming from the Defendants' alleged failure to protect Plaintiff from another inmate who stabbed Plaintiff on March 13, 2014. Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss under Federal Rule of Procedure 12(c) or Motion for Summary Judgment on all counts. For the reasons set forth more fully below, Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is granted.

LOCAL RULE 56.1

Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) requires the moving party to provide "a statement of material facts as to which the party contends there is no genuine issue for trial." Ammons v. Aramark Uniform Servs., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2004). Local Rule 56.1(b)(3) requires that "[a]ll material facts set forth in the statement required of the moving party will be deemed to be admitted unless controverted by the statement of the opposing party." Id. Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C) permits the nonmovant to submit "any additional facts that require the denial of summary judgment...." To overcome summary judgment, "the nonmoving party must file a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement." Schrott v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., 403 F.3d 940, 944 (7th Cir. 2005). In the case of any disagreement, the nonmoving party must reference affidavits, parts of the record, and other materials that support his stance. Id. A nonmovant's "mere disagreement with the movant's asserted facts is inadequate if made without reference to the specific supporting material." Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003). If the nonmovant's response only provides extraneous or argumentative information, the response will fail to constitute a proper denial of the fact, and the fact will be admitted. See Graziano v. Vill. of Oak Park, 401 F.Supp.2d 918, 936 (N.D. Ill. 2005). Legal conclusions or otherwise unsupported statements, including those that rely upon inadmissible hearsay, will be disregarded. Eisenstadt v. Centel Corp., 113 F.3d 738, 742 (7th Cir. 1997).

If the responding party fails to comply with Rule 56.1, its "additional facts may be ignored, and the properly supported facts asserted in the moving party's submissions are deemed admitted." Gbur v. City of Harvey, Illinois, 835 F.Supp.2d 600, 606-07 (N.D. Ill. 2011). Substantial compliance is not enough; parties must strictly comply with the rule. See Ammons, 368 F.3d at 817.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are taken from the parties' statements of undisputed material facts submitted in accordance with Local Rule 56.1.

Russell is a pretrial detainee of the Cook County Department of Corrections ("CCDC") and has been incarcerated there for all times relevant to this matter. (Dkt. 14, ¶ 1.) During Russell's detention at the CCDC, another inmate, "Detainee A, " threatened to stab Russell in the eye. ( Id. at ¶ 7.) On or about February 23, 2014, Russell filed a grievance with the CCDC, detailing the threats made by Detainee A. ( Id. at ¶ 10.) On March 13, 2014, Detainee A stabbed Russell just above the eye while Russell was talking through the chuck hole of his cell door. ( Id. at ¶ 15.)

Russell previously filed and settled an unrelated lawsuit against the Defendants, Russell v. Dart, et al. 1:11-CV-7694 (" Russell I" ). (Dkt. 28, p. 2.) Plaintiff's counsel in Russell I received a draft of the Stipulation for Compromise Settlement on February 27, 2014 (the "Settlement Agreement"). (Def. 56.1(a), ¶ 9.) The Settlement Agreement provided that Russell agreed to release all claims against the Defendants "within the two year period prior to the execution date of" the agreement. (Dkt. 28 at p. 4.) On February 28, 2014, at 9:30AM, the parties called the Court and indicated that they had settled Russell I. (Def. SOF. ¶ 10) On March 11, 2014, attorneys for the Defendants exchanged three emails discussing the ongoing status of the Russell I settlement. (Def. 56.1(a), ¶ 11.) Russell eventually signed the Settlement Agreement and dated it February 21, 2014 in two places. (Dkt. 28 at p. 4; Def. 56.1(a), ¶ 18.) Defendants, however, did not receive the signed agreement until March 19, 2014. (Def. 56.1(a), ¶ 13.)

Defendants filed their Motion to Dismiss Under Federal Rule of Procedure 12(c) or Motion for Summary Judgment and attached their statement of material facts. The majority of those facts were stipulated and agreed to by the parties. Russell filed a response to Defendants' Motion but failed to present his own statement of material facts or dispute the Defendants' material facts that were not stipulated to by the parties.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment will be granted where "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. Courts are required to view all facts and make reasonable inferences "in the light most favorable to" the nonmoving party. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007). A genuine dispute of material facts exists where "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The moving party has the initial burden of establishing that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). To overcome a motion for summary judgment "[t]he nonmoving party must point to specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Stephens v. Erickson, 569 F.3d 779, 786 (7th Cir. 2009). The nonmovant must show "that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Pugh v. City of Attica, Ind., 259 F.3d 619, 625 (7th Cir. 2001) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248).

"A party opposing a properly supported motion for summary judgment may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleading, but... must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. "It is reasonable to assume that just as a district court is not required to scour the record looking for factual disputes, '... it is not required to scour the party's various submissions to piece together appropriate arguments. A court need not make the lawyer's ...


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