United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JOHN ROBERT BLAKEY, District Judge.
This is a Section 1983 case alleging a lack of nutritional meals and denial of adequate bed sheets at Kane County Adult Justice Center, where Plaintiff Willie Jones was housed. Plaintiff also had alleged that commissary prices at the Center were too high, but this Court previously dismissed that claim . In his remaining claims, Plaintiff alleges that on September 26, 2013, he filed and directed grievances about these two issues to Defendant Lieutenant Wayne Carter, yet Defendant failed to take "remedial action."
Defendant now moves for summary judgment . Defendant argues that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies before bringing this lawsuit on October 8, 2013, and thus that this litigation is premature under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. That motion is granted.
I. Legal Standard
Summary judgment is appropriate 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. Spurling v. C & M Fine Pack, Inc., 739 F.3d 1055, 1060 (7th Cir. 2014). A genuine dispute as to any material fact exists if "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 party seeking summary judgment has the burden of establishing that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). In determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, this Court must construe all facts and reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. See CTL ex rel. Trebatoski v. Ashland School District, 743 F.3d 524, 528 (7th Cir. 2014).
A. Grievance Procedure
The exhaustion issue before this Court involves the grievance procedures at Kane County Adult Justice Center, where Plaintiff was housed at all relevant times. DSOF ¶ 1. Inmates at the Center received a Detainee Handbook upon arrival which, in sections titled "Grievance Procedure" and "Procedure for Filing a Grievance, " explain the grievance procedure inmates must follow at the Center. DSOF ¶¶ 13-14; Detainee Handbook [59-4] at 6-7. The Detainee Handbook also is available electronically through the computer kiosks located in each housing unit in Kane County Adult Justice Center. DSOF ¶ 21, 23-24. Inmates log onto the kiosk using their inmate number and personal PIN number. DSOF ¶ 22.
Inmates submit grievances and appeals electronically through the computer kiosks at the Center. DSOF ¶¶ 25, 28. Grievances automatically are sent to the Lieutenant in charge of inmate grievances, here, Defendant Lieutenant Wayne Carter. DSOF ¶¶ 26, 29. When the Lieutenant responds, the inmate is able to access the Lieutenant's response electronically. DSOF ¶ 27.
According to the Detainee Handbook, inmates must submit a grievance within 48 hours of an incident; however, a grievance can be submitted after that time if the inmate shows good cause. DSOF ¶ 15. Once a grievance is filed, the inmate will receive a response within 15 days unless circumstances require more time. DSOF ¶ 17. The inmate then has 48 hours to appeal any grievance decision to the Commander of Corrections. DSOF ¶¶ 18, 20. The appeal must attach the original grievance and include a valid reason for the appeal. DSOF ¶ 19. No additional appeals are permitted. DSOF ¶ 18.
B. Plaintiff's Exhaustion Efforts
Plaintiff was admitted at Kane County Adult Justice Center on February 6, 2013 and remained there until June 30, 2014. DSOF ¶ 5. Plaintiff alleges that at unidentified times during his incarceration at the Center, the breakfast meals there lacked proper nutrition, and that he did not receive adequate bed sheets. DSOF ¶¶ 6, 8.
Plaintiff's correctional records at Kane County Adult Justice Center include 13 grievances and one appeal filed before Plaintiff filed this lawsuit. DSOF ¶¶ 31-33. Of the 13 grievances, just two grievances filed September 26, 2013 are relevant to the instant dispute. DSOF ¶¶ 34, 37, 40, 42. The first grievance regards the lack of nutritional meals; the second grievance the denial of adequate bed sheets. DSOF ¶¶ 34, 37. Each one will be discussed in turn.
Breakfast meals grievance. On September 26, 2013 at 7:00 p.m., Plaintiff submitted an electronic grievance about there not being nutritional breakfast meals at Kane County Adult Justice ...