United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
ORDER ON MOTION FOR SUMMARY TUDGMENT
DARROW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a former prisoner, proceeds pro se on a complaint he
filed while incarcerated at the Vandalia Correctional Center.
The action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleges
that Defendant James Bailey, an officer at the Rock Island
County Jail, exerted unnecessary excessive force against him.
Defendant denied the claim and has filed a Motion for Summary
Judgment, [ECF 43]. Plaintiff filed a one-page response,
requesting that the Court "grant a lie detector"
and asserting that "all charges were dropped per the
judge". He filed an amended response at [ECF 49] to
which Defendant file a combined Response/Motion to Strike
[ECF 50]. For the reasons indicated herein, Defendant's
Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF 43] is GRANTED.
December 26, 2011, Plaintiff was arrested by the Rock Island
City Police and transported to the Rock Island County Jail.
Defendant alleges that the police department had called ahead
advising jail personnel that Plaintiff was combative.
Defendant's superior, Sgt. Lindsey, made the decision to
place Plaintiff in a restraint chair upon arrival. Defendant
Bailey was one of several officers who received Plaintiff at
the jail sally port and escorted him into the building.
Defendant denies using excessive force and asserts that his
interactions with Plaintiff were without harm or incident. He
states, further, that to the best of his recollection neither
he, nor the other officers, had tasers on their person at the
provides a video recording taken at the time of the transfer.
It shows Plaintiff being taken out of the police vehicle and
handed over to the custody of jail personnel. There is a
marking in the video, which identifies Defendant Bailey. The
video shows Defendant Bailey and other officers escorting
Plaintiff down a hallway to holding cell number two. During
this time, Plaintiff makes several "Ouch" comments
as if in pain. He does not, however, state the location of
the pain and the cause is not evident in the video. There is
no evidence that jail personnel did anything to cause this
Plaintiff is placed in a restraint chair, he reacts in
considerable pain. Again, he does not verbalize the location
of the pain but he seems to be complaining about his hands
which are cuffed behind his back. Defendant has identified
the officers attending Plaintiff as Officer Vroman, Officer
Sandholm and Defendant Bailey. The officers are in clear view
at this time and do not appear to be doing anything to
exacerbate Plaintiffs pain. The officers are seen restraining
Plaintiffs legs and then removing the handcuffs. As the
officers remove the handcuffs, Plaintiff screams out. There
is no indication that the officers injured Plaintiff or did
anything untoward while removing the handcuffs. It is unclear
why Plaintiff experienced such pain due to the removal of the
handcuffs. Further, Plaintiff evidenced minimal pain when led
into the jail and down the hall with his hands cuffed behind
his back. The video ends with Plaintiff calmly secured in the
restraint chair. All of the officers leave the cell and the
camera goes dark.
Court's observations of the video reveal that the
Defendant and the other officers were courteous and
professional in their treatment of Plaintiff. One female
officer, in fact, appears to sooth Plaintiff by speaking to
him kindly, telling him "everything is OK." There
is no evidence of a taser being used, or of any harm being
inflicted upon Plaintiff.
Bailey and Sgt. Lindsey have provided affidavits asserting
that they do not believe that they were in possession of
tasers on the day in question. Defendants assert that the
video corroborates that the attending officers did not have
tasers. While the Court cannot clearly confirm this, it notes
that there is no video evidence of a taser being used.
Defendant alleges, and Plaintiff does not dispute, that these
events took place approximately 1:13 a.m., the morning of
December 26, 2011. The record indicates that charges were not
filed for the incident which led to the arrest, and Plaintiff
was released from custody at 3:30 p.m. that same day. [ECF
43-3 pp. 1, 3].
has filed a response [ECF 49], in which he does not dispute
the contents of the video. Interestingly, he does not claim
that the video inaccurately portrays the events or that the
officer turned off the video and then harmed him. Defendant
has moved to strike the response as it contains a supporting
letter from Plaintiffs mother, not in affidavit form, as well
as a series of medical records for emergency room treatment
received two days later, on December 28, 2011.
STANDARDS GOVERNING SUMMARY JUDGMENT
judgment is appropriate "if the movant shows that there
is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant
if entitled to judgment as a matter of law."
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
7A77 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). The moving party has the
burden of providing proper documentary evidence to show the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986). Once the
moving party has met its burden, the opposing party must come
forward with specific evidence, not mere allegations or
denials of the pleadings, which demonstrates that there is a
genuine issue for trial. Gracia v. Volvo Europa Truck, N.
V., 112 F.3d 291, 294 (7th Cir. 1997). "[A] party
moving for summary judgment can prevail just by showing that
the other party has no evidence on an issue on which that
party has the burden of proof." Brazinski v. Amoco
Petroleum Additives Co., 6 F.3d 1176, 1183 (7th Cir.
the non-movant cannot rest on the pleadings alone, but must
designate specific facts in affidavits, depositions, answers
to interrogatories or admissions that establish that there is
a genuine triable issue; he "'must do more than
simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the
material fact/" Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256-57 (1986)(quoting Matsushita
Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574,
586 (1986)); Hot Wax, Inc. v. Turtle Wax, Inc., 191
F.3d 813, 818 (7th Cir. 1999). Finally, a scintilla of
evidence in support of the non-movant's position is not
sufficient to oppose successfully a summary judgment motion;
"there must be evidence on which the jury could
reasonably find for the [non-movant]."
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250.
sustain an Eighth Amendment of excessive force the Plaintiff
must show that officials used force "maliciously and
sadistically for the very purpose of causing harm/' or,
with "a knowing willingness that [harm] occur."
Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S.I, 6-7 (1992) (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted). This is so as prison
officials often make decisions "'in haste, under
pressure, and frequently without the luxury of a second
chance.'" Id. at 6, 7. Generally, excessive