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Moore v. Lemke

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

August 30, 2016

Antoine L. Moore (#B-68521), Plaintiff,
Michael Lemke, Defendant.


          SHARON JOHNSON COLEMAN United States District Court Judge

         Plaintiff Antoine Moore, an Illinois state prisoner, has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims that Defendant Michael Lemke, the former Warden of the Stateville Correctional Center, violated Plaintiff's constitutional rights by subjecting him to cruel and unusual conditions of confinement. More specifically, Plaintiff alleges that he was forced to live in filthy and sometimes overcrowded conditions during the nineteen days or so that he spent in Stateville's Northern Reception and Classification Center. This matter is before the Court for ruling on Defendant's motion for summary judgment. For the following reasons, the motion is granted.

         I. Summary Judgment Standard

         “The Court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Hanover Ins. Co. v. Northern Bldg. Co., 751 F.3d 788, 791 (7th Cir. 2014). In determining whether there are factual questions, the Court must view all the evidence and draw all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Weber v. Univ. Research Assoc., Inc., 621 F.3d 589, 592 (7th Cir. 2010). The Court does not “judge the credibility of the witnesses, evaluate the weight of the evidence, or determine the truth of the matter. The only question is whether there is a genuine issue of fact.” Gonzalez v. City of Elgin, 578 F.3d 526, 529 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 249-50 (1986)).

         To survive summary judgment, the nonmoving party must make a sufficient showing of evidence for each essential element of his case on which he bears the burden at trial. Kampmier v. Emeritus Corp., 472 F.3d 930, 936-937 (7th Cir. 2007) (citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-23). “Where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no genuine issue for trial.” Blythe Holdings, Inc. v. DeAngelis, 750 F.3d 653, 656 (7th Cir. 2014) (citations omitted). “A genuine issue of material fact arises only if sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party exists to permit a jury to return a verdict for that party.” Egonmwan v. Cook County Sheriff's Dept., 602 F.3d 845, 849 (7th Cir. 2010) (quoting Faas v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 532 F.3d 633, 640-41 (7th Cir. 2008)).

         II. Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1

         “Under the Local Rules of the Northern District of Illinois, a party filing a motion for summary judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 must serve and file ‘a statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue and that entitle the moving party to a judgment as a matter of law.'” Judson Atkinson Candies, Inc. v. Latini-Hohberger Dhimantec, 529 F.3d 371, 382 (7th Cir. 2008) (quoting Koszola v. Bd. of Educ. of City of Chicago, 385 F.3d 1104, 1107-08 (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)); Fabiyi v. McDonald's Corp., No. 11 CV 8085, 2014 WL 985415, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 13, 2014) (Kim, Mag. J.) (aff'd 595 F. App'x 621 (7th Cir. 2014)). 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 plaintiff's pro se status does not excuse him from complying with these rules. Morrow v. Donahoe, 564 F. App'x 859, 860 (7th Cir. 2014) (unpublished opinion) (citing Pearle Vision, Inc. v. Romm, 541 F.3d 751, 758 (7th Cir. 2008) (inter alia)).

         Consistent with the Local Rules, Defendant filed a Statement of Material Facts along with his motion for summary judgment. (See Dkt. No. 48, Defts. Stmt. of Facts.) Each substantive assertion of fact in Defendant's Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) Statement is supported by evidentiary material in the record. Also in accordance with the Local Rules, Defendant filed and served on Plaintiff a Local Rule 56.2 Notice, which explains in detail the requirements of Local Rule 56.1. (See Dkt. No. 50, “Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment.”)

         Plaintiff has submitted multiple documents in response to Defendant's motion for summary judgment; however, he has failed to specifically respond to Defendant's Statement of Uncontested Facts, to include his own Statement of Additional Facts, or to provide a list of disputed facts that require a trial to resolve. Because Plaintiff has failed to controvert Defendant's facts, the Court may deem those facts admitted for summary judgment purposes. See, e.g., Apex Digital, Inc. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 735 F.3d 962, 965 (7th Cir. 2013); Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003). Indeed, Plaintiff does not contest the essential facts underlying this opinion; he disputes only whether Lemke can be held liable under the circumstances of this case. Accordingly, the following facts, all supported by the record, are undisputed for purposes of the summary judgment motion:

         III. Relevant Facts

         Plaintiff Antoine Moore is an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (hereinafter, “IDOC”). (Defendant's Statement of Facts, ¶ 1.) Upon his admission to IDOC custody, Plaintiff was placed at Stateville's Northern Reception and Classification Center (“NRC”) for about nineteen days, from May 30, 2014, to June 18, 2014. (Id., ¶ 2.) Plaintiff challenges several aspects of the conditions of his confinement at Stateville NRC. (Id., ¶¶ 6-12.)

         On arrival at Stateville NRC, Plaintiff was initially housed in a “medical room” along with eight other men. (Id., ¶ 6.) The medical room was located in the health care unit. (Id.) The room had a shower, toilet, and sink. (Id.) Correctional officials furnished Plaintiff with a “tub boat raft”-like mattress, a blanket, a jumpsuit, over-sized boxers, state shoes, a toothbrush, soap, toothpaste, and deodorant. (Id., ¶ 7.) The toilet in the medical room was functional and it flushed, but there was built-up mold and mildew on the fixture. (Id., ¶ 8.)

         On June 1, 2014 (about three days later), Plaintiff was transferred to a regular cell. (Id., ¶ 10.) Plaintiff maintains that neither the lights nor the call button in the cell worked, the cell's floor was dirty and trash-strewn, the toilet was “filthy with mold and stuff, ” and the sink was “nasty, ” with built-up dirt and mold. (Id.) Although the cell had no interior lights, Plaintiff was still able to read his Bible with ambient light. The cell had a functioning toilet, and Plaintiff's bed had a mattress. (Id.) Plaintiff requested cleaning supplies, but no one ever provided any means for him to scrub down his cell. (Id., ¶12.)

         On June 17, 2014, Plaintiff was moved out of his cell and placed in a bullpen along with fifty other men. (Id., ΒΆ 11.) The bullpen reeked of urine, birds flew about, and cockroaches and other bugs were ...

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