United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge
Bernard McKinley, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), brings this
lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that his
constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated
at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”).
McKinley claims that he was subjected to retaliatory actions,
including placement in administrative detention,
retaliation for providing insufficient information to
internal affairs officers regarding an investigation and
filing a lawsuit. McKinley also alleges that, while he was in
administrative detention, he was placed in cells with
unsanitary and unlivable conditions.
Court screened McKinley's amended complaint pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915A and allowed him to proceed on the
Count One: Defendants Phelps and Schoenbeck retaliated
against McKinley for providing negative answers to their
questions and for his religious beliefs by placing him in
Count Two: Defendant Phelps and Schoenbeck retaliated against
McKinley for filing lawsuits by placing him in administrative
segregation, using excessive force against him, and thwarting
his plans to marry; and
Count Three: Defendant Phelps and Schoenbeck subjected
McKinley to unconstitutional conditions of confinement.
2, 2015, McKinley was granted leave to file a second amended
complaint that added Chad Hasemeyer and Jacqueline Lashbrook
as Defendants to Count One (see Docs. 42 and 43).
Defendants then filed the motion for summary judgment and
memorandum in support that are now before the Court (Docs. 94
and 95), to which McKinley filed a timely response (Doc.
105). Having carefully considered the briefs and all of the
evidence submitted by the parties, for the reasons set forth
below, the Court grants Defendants' motion for summary
judgment (Doc. 94).
claims in this matter stems from a series of interviews
Defendant Chad Hasemeyer conducted with McKinley while
Defendant Hasemeyer was the sergeant of the Intelligence Unit
at Menard. These interviews took place in July and August
2012 (Deposition of Plaintiff Bernard McKinley, Doc. 95-1,
pp. 8-9; see Affidavit of Chad Hasemeyer, Doc. 95-2,
¶¶ 1, 4, 7, 16). Although the interviews were
conducted by Defendant Hasemeyer, Defendants Lashbrook,
Schoenbeck, and Phelps were all present at times during the
interviews (Doc. 95-1, pp. 10-13).
are disputes as to what was discussed during these
interviews, however, because he is the non-movant, the Court
construes the facts in McKinley's favor. See Chaib v.
Geo Group, Inc., 819 F.3d 337, 341 (7th Cir. 2016)
(citations omitted). According to McKinley, during these
interviews he was asked to provide information regarding
certain individuals and their involvement in security threat
groups (“STGs”) (Doc. 95-1, pp. 14-15; Doc. 105,
pp. 7-8). McKinley was questioned about a tattoo of a cobra
on his arm, which he admitted is a symbol that may be
associated with the Spanish Cobras, an STG, but denied that
the tattoo is a reflection of his personal involvement with
the Cobras. (Doc. 95-1, pp. 38-42). McKinley said these
interviews were attempts to make him a confidential informant
(Doc. 95-1, p. 20; Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint,
Doc. 43, p. 8).
his interview on July 18, 2012, when McKinley indicated he
did not have the information sought by Defendants, he was
placed under investigative status in administrative detention
and, as a result of his placement in administrative
detention, he lost his job in dietary (Doc. 43, p. 8; Doc.
95-1, pp. 19-20; see also Affidavit of Chad
Hasemeyer, Doc. 95-2, ¶ 15). On or about August 1, 2012,
McKinley was again interviewed by Defendant Hasemeyer (with
at least two of the other Defendants present) (Doc. 43, p. 8;
Doc. 95-2, ¶ 16). McKinley again indicated he did not
have the information they sought, and he refused to become
their confidential informant (Doc. 43, p. 8; Doc. 105, p. 8).
Defendants then told McKinley “they could be his best
friend or worse [sic] nightmare” and advised
McKinley that he “better give them something to go off
of in regard to information” (Doc. 43, p. 8).
was released from administrative detention on August 6, 2012,
but his job was not reinstated (Doc. 43, p. 8).
McKinley was subsequently placed back in administrative
detention on August 24, 2012 (Doc. 43, p. 8). At
some point during his placement in administrative detention,
Defendant Lashbrook walked by McKinley's cell and told
McKinley that for inmates “who refuse to cooperate,
they can be put under investigation at any time” and
that “she was the one who took [his] institutional
job” (Doc. 95-1, p. 19). McKinley was released from
administrative detention on September 26, 2012, which, he
contends, was four-days beyond the thirty-day limit (Doc. 43,
was called for a third investigatory interview on October 16,
2012, and he made it clear that he was being harassed and
retaliated against for no reason other than the internal
affairs officers trying to force him to become a confidential
informant (Doc. 43, p. 8). McKinley was told by these
officers that “he better just tell them what they
wanted to know” (Doc. 43, p. 8). McKinley was again
placed in administrative detention on October 25, 2012 (Doc.
43, p. 9). McKinley was in administrative detention at Menard
from October 25, 2012, until his deposition on November 18,
2015 (when he anticipated he would be released from
administrative detention within the next two weeks) (Doc.
95-1, p. 58). McKinley was never issued a disciplinary ticket
during his time in administrative detention (Doc. 43, p. 12).
he was in administrative detention, McKinley was placed in a
cell with no heat or hot water during the winter months, and
there were no supplies to clean his cell, although it had
dirt and rodent feces on the floor (Doc. 43, p. 9; Doc. 95-1,
pp. 73-79). The cell conditions exacerbated McKinley's
asthma, and he experienced difficulty breathing (Doc. 43, p.
9). Defendants Schoenbeck and Phelps made rounds in
McKinley's cell house on numerous occasions, and when
McKinley complained to Defendant Phelps about his living
conditions, Defendant Phelps indicated that he would
“have to just deal with it” (Doc. 43, p. 9).
Defendant Schoenbeck usually ignored McKinley's
complaints, but on one occasion, Defendant Schoenbeck told
McKinley that he “should not have decided to come to
administrative detention” (Doc. 43, p. 9).
November 7, 2013, McKinley was questioned by Defendant
Phelps. Defendant Phelps asked McKinley about a pending
lawsuit filed by McKinley and remarked that “filing
lawsuits will only make you stay in administrative detention
longer” (Doc. 43, p. 10; Doc. 95-1, p. 25-28).
McKinley was placed in the step-down program to be released
from administrative detention. In January or February of
2014, McKinley requested a marriage license request form, and
placed his request form in outgoing mail directed to the
chaplain (Doc. 95-1, pp. 48, 63). Defendant Schoenbeck
received and reviewed all outgoing mail. After he saw
McKinley's request, he said to McKinley, “Oh, so
you're planning on getting married” (Doc. 95-1, p.
61). In April 2014, McKinley was removed from the step-down
program and placed back in the administrative detention wing,
which limited his ability to submit his marriage request form
(see Doc. 43, p. 10; see Doc. 95-1, pp.
63-64). McKinley testified that Defendant Schoenbeck placed
him back on the administrative detention wing because he had
written grievances and was trying to get his marriage
approved (Doc. 95-1, pp. 63-64). McKinley concluded this
after he asked Defendant Schoenbeck why he was being put back
on the administrative detention wing, and Defendant
Schoenbeck did not reply when McKinley asked if it was
“because all of them grievances” (Doc. 95-1, p.
October 1, 2014, McKinley, while seated on a bench waiting to
be taken back to his cell after meeting with a mental health
counselor, was confronted by Defendant Phelps (Doc. 43, p.
10). Defendant Phelps repeatedly pushed McKinley in the back
in an attempt to provoke McKinley, but McKinley remained
sitting, despite the fact that the physical contact caused
McKinley pain (Doc. 43, p. 10). In his amended complaint,
McKinley indicated that Defendant Phelps' actions were
attributable to his knowledge of McKinley's lawsuits
(Doc. 43, p. 10).
judgment is proper only if the moving party can demonstrate
“that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact
and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); see also
Ruffin-Thompkins v. Experian Info. Sols., Inc., 422 F.3d
603, 607 (7th Cir. 2005); Black Agents & Brokers
Agency, Inc., v. Near North Ins. Brokerage, Inc., 409
F.3d 833, 836 (7th Cir. 2005). The moving party bears the
burden of establishing that no material facts are in genuine
dispute; any doubt as to the existence of a genuine issue
must be resolved against the moving party. Adickes v.
S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 160 (1970); see
also Lawrence v. Kenosha Cty., 391 F.3d 837, 842 (7th
Cir. 2004). A moving party is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law where the non-moving party “has failed to
make a sufficient showing on an essential element of her case
with respect to which she has the burden of proof.”
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. “[A] complete
failure of proof concerning an essential element of the
nonmoving party's case necessarily renders all other
facts immaterial.” Id. The Seventh Circuit has
stated that summary judgment “is the put ...