United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. Tharp, Jr., United States District Judge
Ar-Raafi Nichols brought this pro se lawsuit under
42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that he was placed in
segregation at the Stateville Correctional Center without due
process. Before the Court is Defendant Charles Best's
motion for summary judgment. (Doc. 35.) For the following
reasons, Defendant's motion is granted.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), this Court
“shall grant summary judgment 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.” To
establish that a material fact is undisputed, a party
“must support the assertion by . . . citing to
particular parts of materials in the record, including
depositions, documents, electronically stored information,
affidavits or declarations, stipulations . . . admissions,
interrogatory answers, or other materials.” Rule
56(c)(1). “The court need consider only the cited
materials, but it may consider other materials in the
record.” Rule 56(c)(3). Courts must “construe all
facts and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the
nonmoving party.” Van den Bosch v. Raemisch,
658 F.3d 778, 785 (7th Cir. 2011), citing Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986).
the party moving for summary judgment demonstrates the
absence of a disputed issue of material fact, “the
burden shifts to the non-moving party to provide evidence of
specific facts creating a genuine dispute.” Carroll
v. Lynch, 698 F.3d 561, 564 (7th Cir. 2012). The
non-movant must go beyond the allegations of his complaint
and “set forth specific facts showing that there is a
genuine issue for trial.” Hannemann v. Southern
Door County School Dist., 673 F.3d 746, 751 (7th Cir.
2012). A genuine issue of material fact exists only if there
is evidence “to permit a jury to return a verdict
for” the nonmoving party. Egonmwan v. Cook County
Sheriff's Dept., 602 F.3d 845, 849 (7th Cir. 2010);
Carroll, 698 F.3d at 564 (“[m]ere metaphysical
doubt” about material facts is not enough).
Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1
Plaintiff is proceeding pro se, Defendant 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. (Dkt. 37.) 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),
which Defendant here did. (Doc. 38.) “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)). Here Plaintiff submitted a
response memorandum, verified under 28 U.S.C. § 1746
(Doc. 44), but he did not file a response to Defendant's
statement of facts or provide his own statement of additional
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) (holding that “we have never suggested that
procedural rules in ordinary civil litigation should be
interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by those who proceed
without counsel”); Wilson v. Kautex, Inc., 371
Fed. App'x. 663, 664 (7th Cir. 2010) (“[S]trictly
enforcing Local Rule 56.1 was well within the district
court's discretion, even though Wilson is a pro
se litigant.”) (citation omitted); Collins v.
Illinois, 554 F.3d 693, 697 (7th Cir. 2009) (“even
pro se litigants must follow procedural
rules”). Accordingly, the Court accepts all assertions
in Defendant's statement of facts as true to the extent
that they are supported by the record. See L.R.
56.1(b)(3)(C); Apex Digital, Inc. v. Sears,
Roebuck & Co., 735 F.3d 962, 965 (7th Cir.
2013). Notwithstanding any admissions, however, the Court has
interpreted Plaintiff's filings generously consistent
with his pro se status and will construe those
filings, as well as the record evidence (which includes his
deposition in this case), in the light most favorable to him,
to the extent that he has either pointed to evidence in the
record or could properly testify himself about the matters
asserted. See Sistrunk v. Khan, 931 F.Supp.2d 849,
854 (N.D. Ill. 2013); Fed.R.Evid. 602. With these standards
in mind, the Court turns to the relevant facts.
is an inmate at Stateville Correctional Center, where he is
serving a 50-year prison sentence. (Doc. 38, D's SOF
(hereafter “SOF”) at ¶¶ 1, 6.)
Defendant, at all relevant times, was the Adjustment
Committee Chairperson. (SOF ¶ 2.)
issue in this lawsuit is the approximately 60-day segregated
confinement of Plaintiff in December 2013 through February
2014. (Id., ¶¶ 10-14.) On December 9,
2013, Plaintiff received a disciplinary charge for gambling,
contraband/unauthorized property, and trading or trafficking.
(Id., ¶ 10.) That day, he was put on
investigation status and sent to segregation. (Id.,
¶ 11.) On January 9, 2014, he received a disciplinary
ticket for the same charges. (Id., ¶ 10; Doc.
44, P's Mem (hereafter “P's Mem”) at Ex.
C.) On January 20, 2014, Plaintiff attended a hearing, was
found guilty of the charges, and was sentenced to 30 days of
segregation and one month of lost commissary. (SOF ¶
13.) Although he then informed Defendant that at that time he
had already been in segregation for over 30 days, Plaintiff
was not released from segregation until February 9, 2014.
(Id., ¶ 14; Doc. 6 at 4.)
Plaintiff's segregated confinement, he had a roommate,
could go outside to exercise once a week, and could go to the
healthcare unit on a medical pass. (SOF, ¶¶ 8-9.)
Plaintiff was not allowed, however, to eat meals in the
dining hall, attend religious services, or educational
programs, or go to the law library. (P's Mem. at 4.) He
was also not allowed audiovisual privileges, daily telephone
calls, photographs or other ...