United States District Court, N.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
S. Shah United States District Judge.
Randall Shaffer, a prisoner in state custody, asserts that
when he was a pretrial detainee at the Cook County Jail,
Officer Randall failed to protect him from an assault by a
crutch-wielding detainee. Officer Randall moves for summary
judgment, arguing that Shaffer failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies and that regardless, Shaffer's
claims fail on the merits. For the following reasons, Officer
Randall's motion is granted.
Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1
Shaffer is a pro se litigant, Officer Randall served
him with a “Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion
for Summary Judgment” as required by Northern District
of Illinois Local Rule 56.2. . The notice explains the
consequences of failing to properly respond to a motion for
summary judgment and statement of material facts under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 and Local Rule 56.1.
Rule 56.1(a)(3) requires the moving party to provide “a
statement of material facts as to which the moving party
contends there is no genuine issue.” Cracco v.
Vitran Exp., Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009).
“The opposing party is required to file ‘a
response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's
statement, including, in the case of any disagreement,
specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record,
and other supporting materials relied upon.'”
Id. (citing N.D.Ill. R. 56.1(b)(3)(B)). Shaffer did
not file a response brief, a response to Officer
Randall's statement of facts, or his own statement of
courts construe pro se pleadings liberally, see
Thomas v. Williams, 822 F.3d 378, 385 (7th Cir. 2016), a
plaintiff's pro se status does not excuse him
from complying with federal and local procedural rules.
See McNeil v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113
(1993); Collins v. Illinois, 554 F.3d 693, 697 (7th
Cir. 2009). Accordingly, the Court accepts all assertions in
Officer Randall's statement of facts as true to the
extent that they are supported by the record. See
following facts are set forth as favorably to Shaffer as the
record and Local Rule 56.1 permit. See Hanners v.
Trent, 674 F.3d 683, 691 (7th Cir. 2012). On April 15,
2015, Shaffer was a pretrial detainee at the Jail and Officer
Randall (a correctional officer at the Jail) was on duty on
Shaffer's tier. Id. at ¶¶ 1-3, 5-6.
noon that day, Shaffer was in his tier's dayroom, where
Officer Randall was sitting at a desk. Id. at
¶¶ 7, 12-13. As Shaffer spoke with another
detainee, two officers escorted detainee Duane Noyes, who was
using crutches, from his cell. Id. at ¶ 10.
Noyes approached Shaffer from behind and flung one of his
crutches at the detainee who was talking to Shaffer.
Id. at ¶¶ 8-9. Noyes missed, so the crutch
hit Shaffer on the back of his head, causing a cut that
required two staples. Id. at ¶¶ 9, 18.
does not know why Noyes threw his crutch at the other
detainee. Id. at ¶ 11. Before he was struck by
the crutch, Shaffer had no prior verbal or physical
altercations with Noyes and had never told Officer Randall
that he was scared of Noyes. Id. at ¶¶ 14,
16-17. Shaffer was surprised when the crutch hit him on the
head. Id. at ¶ 15.
2015, Cook County Jail had an established grievance procedure
which was available to all detainees, as well as a designated
group (Program Services) responsible for administering
grievances filed by detainees. Id. at ¶¶
28, 30. Under the Jail's grievance procedure, a detainee
must appeal from the denial of a grievance to exhaust his
administrative remedies. Id. at ¶ 29.
Shaffer arrived at the Cook County Jail, other detainees told
him about the grievance process. Id. at ¶ 19.
Shaffer, who can read and write English, had read the
Jail's grievance forms prior to the incident.
Id. at ¶¶ 20-21. The grievance form
contains a description of the grievance procedure.
Id. at ¶ 21. Shaffer understood that if he was
dissatisfied with a response to a grievance he had filed, he
had to appeal. Id. at ¶ 22.
April 15, 2015, Shaffer filed a grievance about the incident.
Id. at ¶¶ 23- 24. In that grievance,
Shaffer alleged that Noyes was in protective custody, and
should not have been out of his cell in an area with Shaffer.
[51-3]. On May 18, 2015, Shaffer signed a receipt indicating
that he had received a response.  at ¶ 25.
Immediately below the signature line, the grievance response
form advises detainees that they must appeal within 14 days
after receiving a response. Id. at ¶ 26.
Shaffer did not appeal the response to his grievance.
Id. at ¶ 27.