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Caffey v. Best

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

January 23, 2017

CAPTAIN BEST, et al. Defendants.



         Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and presently incarcerated at Cook County Jail, brought the present lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging Eighth Amendment claims for events that allegedly transpired during his incarceration at Pontiac Correctional Center. The matter comes before this Court for ruling on the Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 48). The motion granted in part and denied in part.


         Plaintiff's Motion to Compel (Doc. 44)

         Plaintiff filed a Motion to Compel (Doc. 44) seeking the Court to order the Defendants to (1) provide the identity of Defendant John Doe #5, and (2) answer a set of interrogatories Plaintiff sent “prior to the November 2, 2016 discovery deadline.”

         The Court previously ordered Defendants to provide Plaintiff with the names of the two (2) Doe defendants Plaintiff named in his Complaint. See Text Order entered January 15, 2016. Defendants filed a Notice of Compliance (Doc. 39) indicating that two medical technicians (a male and a female) were working at Pontiac at the time Plaintiff identified. As to the second Doe defendant, Defendants indicated that Plaintiff had not provided a date or time for the alleged encounter Plaintiff had with the Doe correctional officer. Defendants indicated that between 50-125 correctional officers were assigned to the Maximum Security Unit during Plaintiff's 27-day incarceration in that unit, and, without more information, Defendants could not sufficiently identify the officer in question.

         As to the interrogatories, Plaintiff states in his motion that he served the interrogatories on March 28, 2016, four days before discovery was then set to close. See (Doc. 44 at 3); Text Order entered January 15, 2016 (“Discovery shall be completed by April 2, 2016.”). Per the Court's Scheduling Order, “[w]ritten discovery requests must be mailed to a party at least 30 days before the discovery deadline.” (Doc. 23 at 8, ¶ 17).

         The Court's Scheduling Order also required that Plaintiff file a motion to compel within 14 days of receiving an unsatisfactory response and to attach copies of the disputed discovery requests. Id., ¶ 19. Plaintiff did neither. Plaintiff, instead, waited more than eight (8) months from the date of the Defendants' alleged response, and two (2) weeks after discovery closed to file the present motion. Therefore, Plaintiff's motion is denied. See Flint v. City of Belvidere, 791 F.3d 764, 768 (7th Cir. 2015) (noting that discovery must have an endpoint and “district courts are entitled to-indeed they must- enforce deadlines.”).

         Plaintiff's Motion to Substitute Defendant (Doc. 45)

         Plaintiff filed a motion seeking to substitute Jennifer Tinsley in place of John Doe #2. (Doc. 45). Plaintiff filed this motion after discovery closed despite the fact that he has had this information since February 2016. Plaintiff does not explain why he waited approximately eight (8) months to file this motion. The Court finds that allowing Plaintiff to substitute a Doe defendant at this stage of the proceedings would unduly prejudice the Defendants. Plaintiff had ample opportunity to file this motion prior to the close of discovery and prior to his own deposition. See (Doc. 49-1 at 3) (Plaintiff's deposition taken October 25, 2016). Plaintiff did not do so. Plaintiff's motion is denied.


         Summary judgment should 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). All facts must be construed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and all reasonable inferences must be drawn in his favor. Ogden v. Atterholt, 606 F.3d 355, 358 (7th Cir. 2010). The party moving for summary judgment must show the lack of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). In order to be a “genuine” issue, there must be more than “some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). “Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).


         On July 29, 2011, Plaintiff was transferred to Pontiac Correctional Center (“Pontiac”). During the transfer, a correctional officer from the former prison hit Plaintiff one time in the head with a baton. The strike caused a painful lump on Plaintiff's head and the record suggests that Plaintiff's head was not bleeding. Plaintiff also lost his pair of shoes during the transport.

         Plaintiff requested medical treatment upon arrival at Pontiac. Medical records indicate that Plaintiff received some type of medical screening at that time, but the extent of such is not clear. Pl.'s Dep. 22:9-20 (“I said…I need a doctor, my head hurt, my feet hurt, you know.”); (Doc. 49-5 at 2) (Offender Health Status Transfer Summary indicating Plaintiff had no current complaints). Plaintiff was taken to a holding cell where he did not inform any other prison officials about his injury. Id. 24:2-3 (“I sat there and followed the instructions. I kept my mouth shut.”); 25:17 (“I kept my head down and my mouth shut.”).

         Plaintiff was housed in the segregation wing. Upon arrival, Plaintiff's cell smelled like urine, had water on the floor, a clogged sink, and a dirty toilet. Plaintiff's requests for cleaning supplies were denied. Plaintiff used his jumpsuit to clean up the water, removed the water in the sink with an empty milk carton from a meal tray, and was able to clean his toilet with soap particles Defendant Best[1], a correctional officer, allowed him to collect from the shower area. Pl.'s Dep. 31:16-17 (“I took the jumpsuit off, and I used it to pick up the water.”); 32:3-5 (“I used the milk carton [to scoop the water] out of the sink and poured it into the toilet.”); 53:3-4 (“[Defendant Best] gave me a chance to collect as much ...

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