United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Urbana Division
DAVID L. SIMPSON, Plaintiff,
THOMPSON, et al., Defendants.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT OPINION
MYERSCOUGH, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
proceeding pro se and presently incarcerated at Marion
Penitentiary brought the present lawsuit pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983 alleging claims for deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need and failure-to-protect
from harm that arose while he was detained at Macon County
Jail. The matter comes before this Court for ruling on the
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment on the Issue of
Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies. (Doc. 24). The
motion is granted.
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).
filed this lawsuit on May 25, 2016. In its Merit Review
Opinion, the Court found that Plaintiff stated constitutional
claims for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need
and failure to protect from harm. (Doc. 9). The latter claim
stems from an altercation Plaintiff had with another inmate
on January 18, 2016. The medical claim presumably stems from
treatment Plaintiff received from his arrival at the jail
until the time he filed this lawsuit. Plaintiff arrived at
Macon County Jail (“Jail”) on December 8, 2015.
address issues that may arise, the Jail requires inmates to
file a written request form. The forms provided are one-page
with checkboxes for the inmate to indicate the nature of the
grievance and a blank section for the inmate to elaborate on
his request. The form also includes a section for the
jail's response. Inmates must deliver the forms to a
staff member who will either resolve the issue informally, if
possible, or forward the grievance to its intended recipient.
filed numerous inmate request forms while detained at Macon
County Jail. (Doc. 26-5). None of the inmate request forms
filed discuss the issues Plaintiff asserts in this lawsuit.
to exhaust is an affirmative defense, and therefore the
burden of proof lies with the defendants. Turley v.
Rednour, 729 F.3d 645, 650 (7th Cir. 2013). The Court
must hold an evidentiary hearing if a disputed issue of
material fact exists, see Pavey v. Conley, 544 F.3d
739, 742 (7th Cir. 2008), but where none is present, an
evidentiary hearing is unnecessary and the issue of
exhaustion may be decided as a matter of law. Doss v.
Gilkey, 649 F.Supp.2d 905, 912 (S.D. Ill. 2009).
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) provides:
No action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions
under section 1983 of this title, or any other Federal law,
by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or other
correctional facility until such administrative remedies as
are available are exhausted.
42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a) (2013). The purpose of this
requirement is to “alert the state to the problem and
invite corrective action.” Turley, 729 F.3d at
649 (internal citations omitted). The Seventh Circuit has
adopted a strict compliance standard to exhaustion, and to
exhaust remedies “a prisoner must properly use the
prison's grievance process.” Dole v.
Chandler, 438 F.3d 804, 809 (7th Cir. 2006). In other
words, “a prisoner must file complaints and appeals in
the place, and at the time, the prison's administrative
rules require.” Pozo v. McCaughtry, 286 F.3d
1022, 1025 (7th Cir. 2002). If the prisoner fails to follow
the grievance procedures, “the prison administrative
authority can refuse to hear the case, and the prisoner's
claim can be indefinitely unexhausted.” Id.;
see Dole, 438 F.3d at 809 (quoting same). “The
‘applicable procedural rules' that a prisoner must
properly exhaust are defined not by the PLRA, but by the
prison grievance process itself.” Maddox v.
Love, 655 F.3d 709, 721 (7th Cir. 2011) (citing
Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 218 (2007)).
did not file any inmate request forms with the Jail prior to
initiating this lawsuit. The Court finds that Plaintiff
failed to exhaust administrative remedies, and, therefore,
this case must be dismissed. Ross v. Blake, 136 U.S.
1850, 1856-57 (2016) (“[A] court may not excuse ...