United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge.
before the Court is the Report and Recommendation of United
States Magistrate Judge Donald G. Wilkerson (Doc. 62), which
recommends that the Motion for Summary Judgment on the Issue
of Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies (Doc. 41) be denied
as to Defendants Tammy Welty and Kim Woods and granted as to
Defendant Steve Duncan. The Report and Recommendation was
entered on January 30, 2017. No objections were filed.
March 25, 2016, Plaintiff Gregory Hope, an inmate at Lawrence
Correctional Center, filed a Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 alleging that Defendants were deliberately
indifferent to his health needs (Doc. 1). Specifically, Hope
claims that on August 4, 2015, around 12:45 p.m., he
experienced severe chest pain and numbness in his right arm
and legs. He activated his cell's panic button and yelled
for medical attention, but it was two hours before anyone
responded. When Hope saw Defendant Nurse Welty at 5 p.m. for
his scheduled insulin shot, she refused to examine him for
his heart attack symptoms or to refer him to a doctor, and
instead sent him back to his cell. Later that evening, Hope
was still experiencing heart attack symptoms when Defendant
Nurse Woods was making medication rounds. Hope informed Nurse
Woods of his symptoms and sought medical assistance from her.
Nurse Woods told Hope she would place him on the doctor's
call line, but offered no further help. Hope never saw the
doctor. A week later, on August 11, 2015, Hope suffered a
major heart attack. He again had to wait an hour and 45
minutes before any help arrived. He was then admitted to a
hospital and underwent surgery to alleviate an arterial
an initial review of the Complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, Hope was permitted to proceed on one count of
deliberate indifference in violation of the Eighth Amendment
against Defendants Nurse Welty, Nurse Woods, Steve Duncan,
and Unknown Parties. On August 4, 2016, Defendants Nurse
Welty and Nurse Woods filed a motion for summary judgment
arguing that Hope failed to exhaust his administrative
remedies pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42
U.S.C. §1997e, et seq., prior to commencing
this lawsuit (Doc. 41). Defendant Duncan joined the motion
(Docs. 45, 48). Defendants argue that, other than a September
14, 2015 grievance, none of the many grievances Hope filed
were properly exhausted. Furthermore, Defendants argue, the
September 14, 2015 grievance failed to include sufficient
detail to exhaust Plaintiff's claims against them. Thus,
they claim, they are entitled to summary judgment.
Judge Wilkerson held a hearing pursuant to Pavey v.
Conley, 544 F.3d 739 (7th Cir. 2008), on November 21,
2016, and subsequently issued the Report and Recommendation
currently before the Court. The Report and Recommendation
accurately states the nature of the evidence presented on the
issue of exhaustion, as well as the applicable law and the
requirements of the administrative process.
timely objections are filed, this Court must undertake a
de novo review of the Report and Recommendation. 28
U.S.C. 636(b)(1)(B), (C); Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b); SDIL-LR
73.1(b); Harper v. City of Chicago Heights, 824
F.Supp. 786, 788 (N.D. Ill. 1993); see also Govas v.
Chalmers, 965 F.2d 298, 301 (7th Cir. 1992). Where
neither timely nor specific objections to the Report and
Recommendation are made, however, this Court need not conduct
a de novo review of the Report and Recommendation.
See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140 (1985). Instead, the
Court should review the Report and Recommendation for clear
error. Johnson v. Zema Systems Corp., 170 F.3d 734,
739 (7th Cir. 1999). The Court may then “accept,
reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or
recommendations made by the magistrate judge.” 28
U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
de novo review is not required here, the Court has
considered the evidence and fully agrees with the findings,
analysis, and conclusions of Magistrate Judge Wilkerson. The
Court agrees with Magistrate Judge Wilkerson that Hope's
August 4, 2015 and September 11, 2015 grievances sufficiently
identify Defendant Nurse Welty and Nurse Woods, respectively,
and their actions giving rise to Hope's claims. The Court
further agrees that Hope was thwarted in attempt to exhaust
his grievances at the institutional level when the grievance
officer failed to or refused to respond to his grievances. At
the Pavey hearing, Hope testified that because there
are no instructions regarding how to address and resolve
grievances when no response is received, he submitted the
grievances directed to the ARB. Magistrate Judge Wilkerson
assessed the credibility of Hope's statements and found
them to be true. It is not the Court's role to
second-guess Magistrate Judge Wilkerson's credibility
determinations. See Pavey v. Conley, 663 F.3d 899,
904 (7th Cir. 2011); Goffman v. Gross, 59 F.3d 668,
671 (7th Cir. 1995) (“The district court is not
required to conduct another hearing to review the magistrate
judge's findings or credibility determinations”).
Court also agrees that the grievances are insufficient to
exhaust Hope's claims against Defendant Duncan. None of
Hope's grievances refer to Defendant Duncan by name or
mention his rejection of Hope's grievances as
non-emergencies. Accordingly, summary judgment shall be
granted to Defendant Duncan with regard to the claims against
in him in individual capacity.
these reasons, the Court ADOPTS Magistrate Judge
Wilkerson's Report and Recommendation (Doc. 62), GRANTS
summary judgment as to Defendant Steve Duncan in his
individual capacity, and DENIES summary judgment as to
Defendants Tammy Welty and Kim Woods. ...