United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
CHARLES P. KOCORAS, District Judge.
Plaintiff Willie Kelly ("Kelly"), a pretrial detainee at the Cook County Jail, brought this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against Cook County Jail officials and employees, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated when he was moved from Division I to Division IX "supermax" without notice or cause and was housed in a freezing cold cell without any of his personal property. Before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment. Defendants contend that summary judgment is appropriate because Kelly failed to exhaust administrative remedies before filing this federal lawsuit. Defendants also contend that Kelly had no liberty interest in remaining in Division I and that there is no record evidence showing that Defendants intended to punish Kelly when they moved him from Division I to Division IX. For the reasons discussed below, the Court grants Defendants' motion for summary judgment.
I. Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1
Under Local Rule 56.1(a)(3), as well as Rule 56(c), the moving party must provide "a statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue." Ammons v. Aramark Unif. Servs., Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir. 2004). The opposing party must then "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.'" Cracco v. Vitran Exp., Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing N.D.Ill. R. 56.1(b)(3)(B)). The opposing party may also present a separate statement of additional facts that requires the denial of summary judgment. See Ciomber v. Coop. Plus, Inc., 527 F.3d 635, 643-44 (7th Cir. 2008). A court may consider to be true any uncontested fact in the movant's Rule 56.1 Statement that is supported by the record and not addressed by the opposing party. See Raymond v. Ameritech Corp., 442 F.3d 600, 608 (7th Cir. 2006); see also Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2); Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C). A plaintiff's pro se status does not excuse him from complying with these rules. Greer v. Bd. of Educ. of City of Chicago, 267 F.3d 723, 727 (7th Cir. 2001); Cady v. Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057, 1061 (7th Cir. 2006) ("even pro se litigants must follow rules of civil procedure"). 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).
Consistent with the Local Rules, Defendants filed a statement of uncontested material facts along with their motion for summary judgment. ( See Defs. Stmt. of Fact, Dkt. No. 26 ("DSOF").) Each substantive assertion of fact in the Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) statement is supported by evidentiary material in the record. Also consistent with the Local Rules, Defendants filed and served on Kelly a Local Rule 56.2 Notice, which explains in detail the requirements of Local Rule 56.1. See Dkt. No. 28.
In response, Kelly filed a 39-page response to Defendants' motion for summary judgment. ( See Pl. Mem. of Law, Dkt. No. 31 ("Pl. Mem. of Law"). Kelly's response consists of a two-page "memorandum of law" (Pl. Mem. of Law at pp. 1-2); thirty-two pages of exhibits (Pl. Mem. of Law at pp. 7-39); and a document titled "dispute of important facts, " comprised of three enumerated paragraphs with references to case law and Kelly's exhibits (Pl. Memo of Law at pp. 3-6). Kelly did not, however, respond to Defendants' Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) statement of uncontested material facts. Accordingly, the facts set forth in Defendants' Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) statement are deemed admitted. See N.D.Ill. L.R. 56. 1(b)(3)(C) ("All 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."); Parra v. Neal, 614 F.3d 635, 636 (7th Cir. 2010); Rao v. BP Prods. N. Am., Inc., 589 F.3d 389, 393 (7th Cir. 2009); Raymond v. Ameritech Corp., 442 F.3d 600, 608 (7th Cir. 2006); Schrott v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., 403 F.3d 940, 944 (7th Cir. 2005); Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 682-83 (7th Cir. 2003).
With the above standards in mind, the Court turns to the facts of this case and will incorporate Kelly's references to his exhibits so long as they would be admissible at trial and provide additional facts relevant to the Court's analysis. The Court, however, will not dig through Kelly's filing in an effort to independently identify disputed issues of fact. See Hemsworth v. Quotesmith.com, Inc., 476 F.3d 487, 490 (7th Cir. 2007) ("In considering a motion for summary judgment, the district court is not required to scour the record in search of evidence to defeat the motion; the nonmoving party must identify with reasonable particularity the evidence upon which the party relies.").
II. Relevant Undisputed Facts
On November 19, 2013, Kelly, who currently is a pre-trial detainee in custody of the Cook County Department of Corrections, was housed in Division I, Tier H-3 at Cook County Jail. (DSOF ¶¶ 5, 6.) Detainees housed in cells 10-19, including Kelly, were out for recreation during the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift that day. (DSOF ¶¶ 6, 7.) At some point, Defendant Correctional Officer Baker ordered detainees to return to their cells. (DSOF ¶¶ 8-9.) The detainees refused to comply with Baker's order. (DSOF ¶ 10.) Higher-ranking officers were called to the tier and, after additional orders were issued, the detainees eventually returned to their cells. (DSOF ¶¶ 11-14.)
Fifteen to twenty minutes later, Defendants Superintendent Martinez and Sergeant Manos arrived at Division I, Tier H-3. (DSOF ¶ 15.) Martinez and Manos escorted Kelly from Division I to the gang unit office at Division V (DSOF ¶ 21), where Manos interrogated Kelly about the incident in Division I (DSOF ¶ 22). Kelly was then taken to Division IX and admitted to the "level system" or "ABO" because prison officials had reason to believe Kelly was involved in the refusal of detainees on Division I, Tier H-3 to return to their cells. (DSOF ¶¶ 23, 26.) Kelly was not placed in disciplinary segregation. ( See DSOF ¶ 28.)
The "level system" at Cook County Jail provides for special incarceration of inmates deemed a security threat to jail personnel, civilians, and other inmates. (DSOF ¶ 24.) While in Division IX, Kelly was restricted to visits from only immediate family members, limited phone calls, and limited commissary purchases. (DSOF ¶¶ 25, 43.) Kelly remained in Division IX from November 19, 2013, to February 19, 2014. (DSOF ¶ 45.)
Cook County Jail has a grievance system that Kelly was made aware of by a television channel available to inmates that provides information on the jail's rules, policies and procedures. (DSOF ¶ 17.) Kelly was aware of the grievance system and submitted no fewer than nine grievance forms produced during the course of this litigation. ( See Defs. Ex. E & Pl.'s Mem. of Law at pp. 17-18, 22-23, 30-36.)
Specifically, Defendants identify five grievance forms that Kelly prepared and submitted from November 19, 2013 to February 28, 2014. On November 19, 2013, Kelly prepared and submitted a grievance form to Superintendent Martinez regarding the interaction Kelly had with Defendant Baker on that same day. (DSOF ¶ 16; see Defs. Ex. E, Inmate Grievance Form Control No. 2013x5316.) Kelly complained in his November 19, 2013 grievance that Baker denied "the high side 30 min of our dayroom time" and then "called me a bitch"; Kelly requested as relief, "I would like this c.o. to stop harassing me." (Defs. Ex. E, Inmate Grievance Form Control No. 2013x5316.) On December 10, 2013, Kelly submitted an Inmate Grievance Form that was marked a non-grievance request concerning his assignment to decks in Division IX where he was "forced to walk up a lot of stairs" and indicating that he "does not want to walk up stairs." (DSOF ¶¶ 29-31; see Defs. Ex. E.) On January 28, 2014, Kelly submitted an Inmate Grievance Form concerning an alleged lack of medical care for his leg. (DSOF ¶¶ 32, 33; Defs. Ex. E, Inmate Grievance Form Control No. 2014-0566.) And on February 22, 2014, Kelly again submitted an Inmate Grievance Form concerning an alleged lack of medical ...