United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MARTELL D. WARD, Plaintiff,
TANNER BOYLE, Defendant.
L. DARROW UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
cause is before the Court on Defendant Tanner Boyle's
motion for summary judgment on the issue of exhaustion of
administrative remedies. Boyle is entitled to the summary
judgment that he seeks because Plaintiff Martell D. Ward
failed to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing
this suit. In addition, this case is dismissed because Ward
failed to keep the Court apprised of his current address as
required by Local Rule 16.3(K).
the relevant time, Ward was an inmate at the McLean County
Jail (“the Jail”) in Bloomington, Illinois. Upon
his arrival at the Jail, Jail officials provided Ward with a
copy of the Jail's “Inmate Information and
Orientation Handbook.” In addition to other things, the
Handbook explained the grievance procedures that an inmate
must follow if he has a complaint, issue, or problem at the
the Jail's rules and regulations, if an inmate had an
complaint, issue, or problem at the Jail, the inmate was
required to file a grievance within five days of the incident
that formed the basis for his grievance. In total, the Jail
maintained a five step grievance process in order to exhaust
the inmate's administrative remedies.
2, 2016, Ward filed the instant case under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 alleging that Boyle violated his Constitutional rights
when Boyle performed a strip search of Ward in a manner
designed to humiliate him. Thereafter, the Court conducted a
merit review of Ward's Complaint, that is required by 28
U.S.C. § 1915A, and determined that his Complaint stated
a claim against Boyle for violating his Fourteenth Amendment
rights based upon Boyle's inappropriate search. Boyle has
now moved for summary judgment on the issue of Ward's
failure to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to
filing this suit.
GOVERNING SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) provides that summary judgment
shall be granted 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. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a);
Ruiz-Rivera v. Moyer, 70 F.3d 498, 500-01
(7th Cir. 1995). 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. 1993). “As with any
summary judgment motion, we review cross-motions for summary
judgment construing all facts, and drawing all reasonable
inferences from those facts, in favor of the nonmoving
party.” Laskin v. Siegel, 728 F.3d 7314, 734
(7th Cir. 2013)(internal quotation marks omitted).
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,
261 (Brennan, J., dissenting)(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 252.
Prison Litigation Reform Act requires an inmate to exhaust
the available administrative remedies before filing a §
1983 lawsuit. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a)(“[n]o action
shall be brought with respect to prison conditions . . . by a
prisoner . . . until such administrative remedies as are
available are exhausted.”); Massey v. Wheeler,
221 F.3d 1030, 1034 (7th Cir. 2000). Exhaustion is
mandatory. Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 95
(2006)(“The benefits of exhaustion can be realized only
if the prison grievance system is given a fair opportunity to
consider the grievance. The prison grievance system will not
have such an opportunity unless the grievant complies with
the system's critical procedural rules.”); Dole
v. Chandler, 43 F.3d 804, 809 (7th Cir.
futility, sham, or substantial compliance exception exists to
this requirement, and a plaintiff seeking only monetary
damages for ongoing conditions must still utilize the
grievance procedure in place before filing suit.
Massey, 259 F.3d at 646 (inmate alleging failure to
repair a hernia timely must exhaust administrative remedies
even though surgery was performed and only money damages
claim remained); Booth v. Churner, 532 U.S. 731,
736-37 (2001)(the PLRA requires administrative exhaustion
even where grievance process does not permit award of money
damages, if “some action” in response to a
grievance can be taken). Likewise, the exhaustion requirement
includes claims that only seek equitable relief. Falcon
v. United States Bureau of Prisons, 52 F.3d 137, 139
(7th Cir. 1995).
means properly and timely taking each step in the
administrative process established by the applicable
procedures. Pozo v. McCaughtry, 286 F.3d 1022, 1025
(7th Cir. 2002)(failure to file timely
administrative appeal constitutes failure to exhaust
administrative remedies and bars a § 1983 suit).
“[I]f a prison has an internal administrative grievance
system through which a prisoner can seek to correct a
problem, the prisoner must utilize that administrative system
before filing a claim.” Massey v. Helman, 196
F.3d 727, 733 (7th Cir. 1999). A dismissal for
failure to exhaust is without prejudice, so reinstatement is
not barred unless the time for exhaustion has expired.
Walker v. Thompson, 288 F.3d 1005, 1009
(7th Cir. 2002).
issues of fact exist in determining whether an inmate has
exhausted his administrative remedies, a judge should hold a
hearing and resolve these factual disputes. Pavey v.
Conley, 544 F.3d 739, 742 (7th Cir. 2008).
The Court is permitted to make findings of fact and
credibility assessments of ...