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Kaszuba v. Corley

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

June 26, 2017

JOSHUA KASZUBA, Plaintiff,
v.
ADRIAN CORLEY, et al., Defendants.

          SUMMARY JUDGMENT OPINION

          SUE E. MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and presently incarcerated at Pontiac Correctional Center brought the present lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging excessive force, failure to intervene, and deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. The matter comes before this Court for ruling on Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 63). The motion is denied.

         PRELIMINARY MATTER

         Plaintiff filed a Motion to Correct a Technical Glitch and Motion to Grant Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment. (Doc. 67). Plaintiff alleges in his motion that a technical glitch unduly benefited the Defendants by allowing them additional time to file a response to his motion for summary judgment.

         The Court granted Plaintiff leave to file a motion for summary judgment in its Order entered August 8, 2016. (Doc. 62). For reasons the Court cannot determine, Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment was not docketed until December 5, 2016. Once docketed, Defendants had 21 days to file a response. Defendants filed a timely motion for an extension of time that was later granted. See Text Order entered January 6, 2017.

         Any delay that may have occurred in this case is not attributable to any actions Defendants took. For this reason, and for those discussed below, Plaintiff's motion is denied.

         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 Pontiac Correctional Center (“Pontiac”). Defendants were employed at Pontiac in the following capacities: Defendant Pfister was the Warden; Defendant DeLong was a correctional major; Defendants French and Zook were correctional lieutenants; Defendants Corley, Mathis, Riccolo, and Loverant were correctional officers; Defendant Angus was a mental health professional; and, Defendant Chicke was a medical technician. Outside of this, the parties agree on very little.

         In support of his motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff points to several documents: (1) a Crisis Watch Record that states that Plaintiff was placed on suicide watch on July 15, 2013 after he was seen on video attempting to tie a noose around his neck and stated that he had “nothing to live for” (Doc. 65 at 12); (2) medical records disclose that Defendant Angus approved a stripped cell after Plaintiff tried to cover his cell window with a smock, and that Defendant Chicke checked Plaintiff's vital signs the same day (Doc. 65 at 13-14); (3) the Cumulative Counseling Summary indicates that Defendant Pfister saw Plaintiff during a Warden's tour and that Plaintiff made no requests (Doc. 65 at 15); and, (4) a Mental Health Progress Note discloses that, on July 17, 2013, Plaintiff complained of “injuries that occurred during watch placement.”

         Plaintiff includes an affidavit from another inmate that states the inmate heard Plaintiff “begging the C/O to stop hitting him and to allow the other C/O to cuff him up.” (Doc. 65 at 18). Finally, Plaintiff submitted a photograph of his arm that apparently shows his injuries. (Doc. 65 at 17). Defendants have not moved for summary judgment.

         ANALYSIS Excessive Force

         In Eighth Amendment claims for excessive force, the relevant inquiry is “whether force was applied in a good faith effort to maintain or restore discipline or maliciously and sadistically for the very purpose of causing harm.” Hudson v. McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 6 (1992) (citation omitted); see DeWalt v. Carter, 224 F.3d 607 (7thCir. 2000) (applying Hudson). In making this determination, the court may examine several factors, “including the need for an application of force, the relationship between that need and the force applied, the threat reasonably perceived by the responsible officers, the efforts made to temper the severity of the force employed, and the extent of the injury suffered by the prisoner.” Dewalt, 224 F.3d at 619. Significant injury is not required, but “a claim ordinarily cannot ...


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