United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
MICHAEL J. REAGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, pro se Plaintiff Commodore
Jackson filed his complaint against Terri Bryant alleging
that she was indifferent to his nutritional needs while
Plaintiff was incarcerated at the Pinckneyville Correctional
Center. This matter is before the Court on Defendant's
motion for summary judgment (Doc. 61). Plaintiff has filed a
response in opposition to the motion (Docs. 64 and 67). For
the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Defendant's
motion for summary judgment.
was a prisoner at Pinckneyville Correctional Center from
December 2012 until he was transferred in March 2014 (Doc.
62-5). Plaintiff's complaint alleges that while he was at
Pinckneyville, Defendant implemented a brunch program that
combined breakfast and lunch and thus denied him adequate
nutrition. When Plaintiff first transferred to Pinckneyville,
the brunch program was only used on weekends, but the prison
later instituted the program on a daily basis around August
2013 (Doc. 62-1, p. 9-10; Doc. 67, p. 8). He originally
received three meals during the week and two meals on
weekends, but with the implementation of the brunch program
full-time, Plaintiff only received two meals each day
(Id. at p. 10). Plaintiff was initially placed in
segregation at Pinckneyville and received his meals in his
cell through the food slot (Id. at p. 11). He was on
lockdown twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week
(Id. at p. 12).
received a vegan diet while at Pinckneyville (Doc. 62-1, p.
13). He was not initially on a vegan diet when he arrived at
Pinckneyville as the chaplain was on vacation when Plaintiff
transferred, but he eventually was put on a vegan diet
(Id.). During the brunch program, for breakfast
Plaintiff received a breakfast patty, oatmeal, lettuce,
vegetables, bread, milk and juice (Id. at p. 14).
Plaintiff believed this amount of food was inadequate for an
adult male. The average dinner tray would consist of the same
patty in gravy, bread, rice, and vegetables (Id. at
p. 14-15). Brunch was served at 9:00 a.m. and dinner was
served at 3:00 p.m. (Id. at p. 15). As Plaintiff was
in segregation he did not have the opportunity to purchase
more food from the commissary (Id. at p. 15).
Plaintiff was also not allowed to save food off of his tray
for later, although he sometimes snuck bread from the tray
and kept it (Id. at p. 15-16).
testified that he believed that he lost weight and that the
brunch program gave power to the officers passing out the
trays who would pay inmates in extra trays to fight other
inmates (Doc. 62-1, p. 16). Plaintiff testified that he would
also be denied food for talking at night or for not tucking
in his shirt in the chow hall (Id. at p. 18).
Plaintiff testified that an adult male was supposed to have
between 2, 300 and 2, 500 calories a day (Id. at p.
22). While Plaintiff did not know the actual calorie count
for the food he received at Pinckneyville, he did not believe
that it was enough (Id. at p. 23).
Bryant was a food service manager at Pinckneyville during the
time period at issue (Doc. 62-2, p. 1). As a food manager,
Bryant supervised other personnel and inmate workers, ensured
that health codes were followed, and ensured that the kitchen
followed the master menu and adhered to any special diets
(Id.). She supervised the food supervisors who were
in charge of day-to-day operations (Id.). Bryant was
not a dietician but spent several years in the food service
industry (Id.). In 2012 to 2013, Bryant was ordered
by the warden to pilot a brunch program which required that
two meals be served to the inmates, rather than the
traditional three meals per day. The Illinois Department of
Corrections' Registered Dietician, Suzann Bailey, wrote
the master menu to comply with the two meal plan, in order to
ensure that sufficient calorie needs were met for the inmates
(Id. at p. 1-2). The master menus were then provided
to Bryant and she followed those menus in making the meals,
only substituting items when necessary (Id. at p. 2;
62-3; 62-4). If substitutions were made, it was for a similar
item. For example, if Bryant had to substitute a vegetable,
she would substitute that vegetable with another vegetable of
the same portion size (Doc. 62-2, p. 2).
states that, as a result of the brunch program, Plaintiff was
denied 183 meals as he only received two meals a day during
the relevant time period (Doc. 67, p. 9). Plaintiff refers to
the exhibits in his complaint as evidence of his
claims. One affidavit from Plaintiff states that
he spoke to the assistant warden on January 6, 2014 about the
brunch program and told the warden that inmates needed 2, 300
calories per day, but the warden replied that inmates were
only required to receive 1, 800 calories (Doc. 1, p. 24).
Further, an affidavit from inmate Darnell Carraway states
that he was also at Pinckneyville and was subjected to the
brunch program. Carraway testified that for dinner on one
occasion he received two tamales and a small portion of
macaroni and lettuce with no cheese or chili for dinner (Doc.
1, p. 25). He did not receive another tray until the next day
for brunch (Id.). Carraway also testified that prior
to the brunch menu, inmates received two milks for breakfast
and one milk and one juice for lunch, but when the prison
switched to the brunch menu the inmates did not receive juice
(Id.). Plaintiff also points out that numerous
inmates Dated: to his grievance complaining about the brunch
program and the denial of three meals per day (Doc. 1, p.
judgment is proper only “if the admissible evidence
considered as a whole shows there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Dynegy Marketing & Trade v.
Multiut Corp., 648 F.3d 506, 517 (7th Cir. 2011)
(citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a)). A fact is material
if it is outcome determinative under applicable law, and a
genuine issue of 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).
party seeking summary judgment bears the initial burden of
demonstrating-based on the pleadings, affidavits, and the
other information submitted-the lack of any genuine issue of
material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 323 (1986). After a proper motion for summary judgment
is made, the adverse party “must set forth specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250 (quoting Fed. R.
Civ. P. 56(e)(2)). A mere scintilla of evidence in support of
the nonmovant's petition is insufficient; a party will be
successful in opposing the motion when it presents definite,
competent evidence to rebut it. Szymanski v. Rite-Way
Lawn Maintenance Co., Inc., 231 F.3d 360, 364 (7th Cir.
summary judgment, the Court considers the facts in the light
most favorable to the non-movant, and adopts reasonable
inferences and resolves doubts in the non-movant's favor.
Srail v. Vill. of Lisle, 588 F.3d 940, 948 (7th Cir.
2009). Even if the material facts are not in dispute, summary
judgment is inappropriate when the information before the
Court reveals that “alternate inferences can be drawn
from the available evidence.” Spiegla v. Hull,
371 F.3d 928, 935 (7th Cir. 2004), abrogated on other
grounds by Spiegla II, 481 F.3d at 966 (7th Cir. 2007).