United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
AN'DRE ADAMS, et al. Plaintiff,
GREGG SCOTT, et al. Defendants.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT OPINION
MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
civilly committed plaintiffs filed this lawsuit alleging that
officials at the Rushville Treatment and Detention Facility
burdened the practice of their religious faith in violation
of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act
and the First Amendment. Only Plaintiffs Adams, Steen, and
LaRue now remain as active litigants. The matter comes before
this Court for ruling on the Defendants' respective
Motions for Summary Judgment. (Docs. 53, 55). The motions are
filed a Motion to Compel Discovery (Doc. 59) and a Motion to
Reopen Discovery (Doc. 62). Plaintiffs did not attach a copy
of the disputed discovery to their motion to compel, nor did
they file the motion within 14 days of the unsatisfactory
response, as required by the Court's Scheduling Order.
See (Doc. 33 at 8, ¶ 19). These failures
notwithstanding, Plaintiffs allege in their motion that they
did not send the interrogatories in question to Defendants
until April 4, 2016, approximately 60 days after discovery
closed. See Text Order entered December 11, 2015
(extending discovery deadline to February 8, 2016).
Plaintiffs do not explain why these requests could not have
been made sooner. Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel is denied.
Motion to Re-Open Discovery (Doc. 62) asks the Court to
reopen discovery to allow Plaintiffs an opportunity to tender
and receive responses to the interrogatories cited in their
motion to compel. For the same reasons stated above,
Plaintiffs' motion (Doc. 62) is denied.
Simpson filed a Motion to Strike (Doc. 67). Defendant Simpson
alleges that an exhibit attached to Plaintiffs' motion to
reopen discovery should have been filed separately because it
is a response to a motion for summary judgment. Plaintiffs
reference this document in their motion to reopen discovery.
See (Doc. 62 at 3, ¶ 17). Therefore, the Court
sees no reason to strike the exhibit. Defendant's motion
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).
are nondenominational Christians who identify “speaking
the word” and assembly with other nondenominational
believers, among other things, as central tenets of their
faith. TDF officials do not appear to have ever offered a
nondenominational Christian group service at the facility,
but, prior to April 2013, residents were allowed to share
their nondenominational beliefs at the Christian (Baptist)
group service. Residents were also permitted to attend,
without giving prior notice to TDF officials, as many group
services per week as they were so inclined, including those
of other faiths.
April 2013, the volunteer pastor in charge of the Christian
service informed residents that he would assume all preaching
duties at the group services. As a result, Plaintiffs were no
longer allowed to share their views in front of the group.
The basis for the pastor's decision, as stated in a
letter sent to residents, cited concerns from TDF officials
that group participation in the services had reached a point
where such participation was “counterproductive [to]
the goals of the therapy programs.” (Doc. 60-3 at 7).
In addition, Plaintiff Adams testified at his deposition that
other residents had filed grievances about nondenominational
Christians speaking at the group services. Adams Dep.
35:21-36:2. Plaintiff Steen identified the prohibition on
sharing his opinion at the services as the sole basis for his
participation in this lawsuit. Steen Dep. 58:9-59:2.
couple months later, TDF officials changed the policy
regarding attendance at group religious services as the lack
of advance notice regarding the number of attendees at a
given service caused overcrowding, staffing, and security
issues. On or about July 24, 2013, Rushville officials
distributed a memo to TDF residents that outlined the new
policy as follows:
You may enroll in only one religious service at a time and
enrollment is approved on a first-come, first-served basis
until the service is at full capacity. If you wish to change
to a different service, you must resubmit your Religious
Group Enrollment form to the Religious Services Coordinator
and upon receipt of an approved copy; you may attend the next
available service. No more than one change may be submitted
in any calendar year absent the approval of the Program
Director. No bags or non-religious items may be brought to
any religious service, only those materials pertaining to the
service you are attending.
(Doc. 54-2 at 2). According to the memo, Rushville provided
group religious services for the following faiths: Christian;
Jehovah Witness; Mennonite; Jewish; Muslim; Zen Buddism; and
Satanic. TDF officials approved the Plaintiffs'
respective requests to attend the Christian service. (Doc.
60-1 at 21-23).
Steen testified that he had no desire to attend services
other than those held for his Christian faith. Steen Dep.
35:10-11 (“I've never had a desire to participate
in another service.”). Plaintiff Adams and Plaintiff
LaRue testified that the new policy prohibited them from
attending multiple services, but that such attendance was not
a requirement of their faith. LaRue Dep. 17:7-19:16 (could
not attend both Christian and Mennonite services, but his
faith requires only that he assemble with other