Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Pratt v. Hertz

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

July 31, 2017

BRIAN N. PRATT, Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT HERTZ, JOHN LAKIN, GARY BOST, ROBERT HOLLENBECK, LT. HILL, TONY COURT, ARLEY FOSTER, MATTHEW DOVER, MYRON THOMPSON, JODIE COLEMAN, PAUL SARHAGE, STEVE RIDINGS, DON MCNAUGHTON, TIM WALKER, MIKE HARE, CRAIG REICHART, TOM SCHMIDT, MATT MILLER, and GUS NAVARETTE, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

          J. PHIL GILBERT DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on the Report and Recommendation (“Report”) (Doc. 75) of Magistrate Judge Reona J. Daly recommending that the Court grant in part and deny in part the motion to dismiss filed by various defendants (Doc. 39), which was converted to a motion for summary judgment because matter beyond the complaint was attached to the motion. Specifically, Magistrate Judge Daly recommends the Court (1) grant the motion to the extent it seeks summary judgment on a claim against defendant John Lakin in his official capacity as sheriff of Madison County based on Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658 (1978), but (2) deny the motion in all other respects. The defendants object to the portion of the Report recommending their motion be denied (Doc. 76).

         I. Report Review Standard

         The Court may accept, reject or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations of the magistrate judge in a report and recommendation. Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(b)(3). The Court must review de novo the portions of the report to which objections are made. Id. “If no objection or only partial objection is made, the district court judge reviews those unobjected portions for clear error.” Johnson v. Zema Sys. Corp., 170 F.3d 734, 739 (7th Cir. 1999).

         II. The Report

         This matter arose following plaintiff Brian N. Pratt's stint as a pre-trial detainee in the Madison County, Illinois, jail from April 2014 to August 2015. He alleges that he was subject to unsanitary conditions such as raw sewage, human waste, and insect infestation because he was ordered to clean up human waste without proper protective equipment and because he was exposed to repeated sewage backups (Count 1) and that he was not provided meals of adequate nutrition on a reasonable schedule (Count 2). He asserts those conditions violated his due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.

         In the Report, Magistrate Judge Daly found that there was a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the conditions described in Count 1 were objectively harsh enough to amount to unconstitutional conditions. She specifically notes the dispute about the frequency of the sewage and excrement exposure.

         With respect to Pratt's claims against Lakin in his official capacity as sheriff of Madison County, Magistrate Judge Daly found no suggestion of any municipal policy or custom that could be attributable to the sheriff's office or that would subject the sheriff's office to liability under Monell. She finds, however, that there is evidence from which a reasonable jury could find Pratt complained to Lakin of the conditions of his confinement, but Lakin failed to act to alleviate those conditions. She believes that is enough to keep Lakin in this case in his individual capacity.

         With respect to Pratt's claims against Gary Bost, superintendent of the Madison County Jail, Magistrate Judge Daly found that Bost's admitted awareness of the sewage backups and jail pest problems was sufficient to allow a reasonable jury to find he was deliberately indifferent to them.

         Finally, Magistrate Judge Daly found that the defendants' lack of the power and finances to control conditions at the jail as a whole does not negate a finding of deliberate indifference in light of the fact that the defendants may have been able to take other actions to alleviate Pratt's conditions of confinement short of wholesale improvements to the jail.

         III. Analysis

         A. Count I

         The defendants object to the Report's conclusion as to Count 1, arguing that the exposure to raw sewage was limited, Pratt was provided with cleaning supplies, and they treated the insect infestation. They further argue there is no evidence of the defendants' deliberate indifference.

         The Court finds in its de novo review that there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the conditions of confinement amounted to a serious health risk either because they were inhumane or because inadequate cleaning and protective supplies were provided to Pratt. Pratt's affidavit, which even if self-serving is appropriate to resist summary judgment so long as it is based on personal knowledge, see Payne v. Pauley, 337 F.3d 767, 771 (7th ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.