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Fleming v. Illinois Department of Corr.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division

May 8, 2017

Darryl Fleming (#N-91449), Plaintiff,
v.
Illinois Department of Corr., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          PHILIP G. REINHARD, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         For the following reasons, defendants' motion for summary judgment [37] is denied.

         STATEMENT- OPINION

         Plaintiff Darryl Fleming, an Illinois state prisoner, has brought this pro se civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims that defendants, supervisory officials and tactical team officers for the Illinois Department of Corrections, violated plaintiff's constitutional rights by conducting an unreasonably harsh and abusive, prison-wide shakedown at the Dixon Correctional Center. Plaintiff alleges that defendants (1) deprived him of equal protection; (2) carried out the search in an unreasonable manner; and (3) acted with deliberate indifference to his medical needs. This matter is before the court for ruling on defendants' early motion for partial summary judgment on the basis of failure to exhaust administrative remedies as to all claims raised. For the following reasons, defendants' motion for summary judgment [37] is denied.

         I. Summary Judgment Standard

         “The Court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Hanover Ins. Co. v. Northern Bldg. Co., 751 F.3d 788, 791 (7th Cir. 2014). In determining whether there are factual questions, the court must view all the evidence and draw all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Weber v. Univ. Research Assoc., Inc., 621 F.3d 589, 592 (7th Cir. 2010). The court does not “judge the credibility of the witnesses, evaluate the weight of the evidence, or determine the truth of the matter. The only question is whether there is a genuine issue of fact.” Gonzalez v. City of Elgin, 578 F.3d 526, 529 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 249-50 (1986)). A hearing under Pavey v. Conley, 544 F.3d 739 (7th Cir. 2008) is necessary only when there are disputed issues of fact that require further inquiry. Id. at 742.

         II. Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1

         “Under the Local Rules of the Northern District of Illinois, a party filing a motion for summary judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 must serve and file ‘a statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue and that entitle the moving party to a judgment as a matter of law.'” Judson Atkinson Candies, Inc. v. Latini-Hohberger Dhimantec, 529 F.3d 371, 382 (7th Cir. 2008) (quoting Koszola v. Bd. of Educ. of City of Chicago, 385 F.3d 1104, 1107-08 (7th Cir. 2004)). The opposing party must then “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.'” Cracco v. Vitran Exp., Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(B) (N.D. Ill.)); Fabiyi v. McDonald's Corp., No. 11 CV 8085, 2014 WL 985415, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 13, 2014) (Kim, Mag. J.) (aff'd 595 F. App'x 621 (7th Cir. 2014)). The opposing party may also present a separate statement of additional facts that requires the denial of summary judgment. See Ciomber v. Coop. Plus, Inc., 527 F.3d 635, 643-44 (7th Cir. 2008). A plaintiff's pro se status does not excuse him from complying with these rules. Morrow v. Donahoe, 564 F. App'x 859, 860 (7th Cir. 2014) (unpublished opinion) (citing Pearle Vision, Inc. v. Romm, 541 F.3d 751, 758 (7th Cir. 2008) (inter alia)).

         Consistent with the Local Rules, defendants filed a Statement of Material Facts along with their motion for summary judgment. See [39]. Each substantive assertion of fact in Defendants' Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) Statement is supported by evidentiary material in the record. Also in accordance with the Local Rules, defendants filed and served on plaintiff a Local Rule 56.2 Notice, which explained in detail the requirements of Local Rule 56.1. See [40]. The notice warned plaintiff that a party's failure to controvert the facts as set forth in the moving party's statement results in those facts being deemed admitted. See, e.g., Apex Digital, Inc. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 735 F.3d 962, 965 (7th Cir. 2013); Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003); see also Sykes v. Dart, No. 12 CV 4447, 2014 WL 5611466, at *5 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 4, 2014) (Chang, J.) (advising plaintiff that his failure to respond to a motion for summary judgment rendered defendants' statement of facts admitted). Despite these admonitions, plaintiff failed to comply with the court's Local Rules governing summary judgment. Consequently, the court has discretion to adopt defendants' Statement of Facts in its entirety.

         Nevertheless, notwithstanding plaintiff's non-compliant response to defendants' motion for summary judgment, the court finds that defendants are not entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The court is satisfied that plaintiff's grievance and amended grievance served their required purpose. Accordingly, defendant's motion for partial summary judgment on the ground of non-exhaustion is denied.

         III. Relevant Facts

         Plaintiff Darryl Fleming is an Illinois state prisoner, incarcerated at the Dixon Correctional Center. Defendants Chad Jenkins and Scott Meyers are Dixon correctional officers. At the time of the events giving rise to his lawsuit, defendant Nedra Chandler was the facility's Warden. During the relevant time period, defendants Donald Stolworthy and Joseph Yurkovich were, respectively, the Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) and IDOC's Chief of Operations.

         The following facts, all supported by the record, are undisputed for purposes of the summary judgment motion:

         On April 21, 2014, Dixon's tactical team conducted a search at the Dixon Correctional Center. The tactical team was outfitted in full riot gear. Face shields covered ...


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