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Stevens v. Bukowski

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

March 20, 2017

DEERIC M. STEVENS, Plaintiff,
v.
TIMOTHY F. BUKOWSKI, et al. Defendants.

          SUMMARY JUDGMENT OPINION

          SUE E. MYERSCOUGH, U.S. District Judge.

         Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and presently incarcerated at Jerome Combs Detention Center in Kankakee, Illinois, brought the present lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging Fourteenth Amendment claims for failure to protect and deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. The matter comes before this Court for ruling on the parties' respective Motions for Summary Judgment. (Docs. 22, 28).

         LEGAL STANDARD

         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).

         FACTS

         Plaintiff was incarcerated at Jerome Combs Detention Center (“JCDC”) in Kankakee, Illinois as a pretrial detainee. Defendants are employed at the facility in the following capacities: Defendant Bukowski was the Sheriff; Defendant Downey was the Chief of Corrections; Defendants Schloendorf and Ball were correctional sergeants; and Defendants Tutt, Moliga, and Garcia were correctional officers.

         On December 18, 2013, JCDC officials discovered a homemade shank in the shower stall of Plaintiff's housing pod (known as “Max-A”). For at least the next eight (8) days, a lockdown ensued. On December 24, 2013, Plaintiff got into a fight with two other inmates and suffered a broken jaw. No weapons were used. Plaintiff testified that, prior to the fight, he did not know the fight was going to happen, he did not fear the inmates with whom he fought, and he did not file any requests or grievances alerting officials to any specific threat of harm. UMF 19-20. Plaintiff had no prior arguments with the other inmates. UMF 18. Plaintiff also described his prior interactions with one of the inmates as “friendly.” Pl.'s Dep. 53:21-24.

         When the fight occurred, Defendant Tutt was assigned to Max-A, and Defendant Garcia was assigned to E-Pod. They were each responsible for supervising the inmates and conducting security checks within their assigned pods. (Doc. 28-4 at 1-2). Defendant Moliga was assigned as a “rover” responsible for transporting inmates and assisting in the various pods when circumstances so required. Defendant Ball was assigned to booking. Id.

         Plaintiff left his cell at approximately 5:38 a.m. UMF 10. In his deposition, Plaintiff conceded the accuracy of a portion of Defendant Moliga's incident report describing the events that transpired immediately before the altercation ensued. Pl.'s Dep. 86:19-87:18. The incident report reads as follows: “At approximately [5:35 a.m., ] I noticed a detainee in Max walk down from the top tier. I then noticed a detainee in cell 2 open his door and step outside. Both began talking and got into fighting positions.” (Doc. 28-3 at 24). Plaintiff was the detainee in cell 2. Pl.'s Dep. 51:16-18.

         The fight commenced. Defendant Tutt called an emergency (“10-10”) over the radio and locked down the pod. A third inmate refused to close his door, went down the stairs, and joined the fight. When Defendant Garcia arrived at the pod, he, along with Defendants Tutt and Moliga, entered the pod to stop the fight despite a JCDC policy that required them to wait.[1] Plaintiff and the two other inmates complied with verbal commands to stop fighting. The fight lasted approximately 1 minute and 15 seconds. UMF 44.

         Defendants submitted a video of the incident. The video shows Plaintiff and another inmate fighting at approximately 5:39 a.m. The two separated briefly, and the third inmate joined the fight shortly thereafter. Defendants are seen inside the pod at approximately 5:40 a.m. Plaintiff testified that the other inmate started the fight, but that he later admitted his involvement and received 15 days in segregation. Pl.'s Dep. 60:7-11; (Doc. 28-3 at 19).

         After the fight, Plaintiff requested medical care. The parties do not dispute that Plaintiff received medical treatment at JCDC and at an outside hospital. Plaintiff, however, disputes the timing of the treatment as indicated in JCDC logs and the hospital records. The parties do not dispute that Plaintiff was admitted to the hospital at 10:23 a.m., following a CT scan, x-rays, and physician's examination.[2] Plaintiff had surgery on his jaw a day later.

         ANALYSIS

         Heck ...


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