United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division
SUMMARY JUDGMENT OPINION
MYERSCOUGH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
proceeding pro se and presently incarcerated at Robinson
Correctional Center brought the present lawsuit pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging failure to protect from harm
and deliberate indifference to a serious medical need arising
from events that transpired while he was a detainee at the
Rock Island County Jail. The matter comes before this Court
for ruling on the Motion for Summary Judgment on the issue of
exhaustion of administrative remedies filed by Defendants
Bustos, Schultz, Hernandez, and Stulir. The motion is
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).
screening Plaintiff's complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, the Court found that Plaintiff stated
constitutional claims for failure to protect from harm
against Defendant Bustos and inadequate medical care against
all defendants based upon Plaintiff's allegations that
another detainee punched him in the face on February 4, 2015,
and that the Defendants later failed to send Plaintiff to an
outside hospital for treatment. See (Doc. 21).
Defendants now move for summary judgment on the issue of
exhaustion of administrative remedies.
was detained at the Rock Island County Jail
(“jail”) from January 15, 2015 to May 7, 2015.
Defendants were employed at the jail in the following
capacities: Defendant Bustos was the Rock Island County
Sheriff; Defendant Schultz was a registered nurse; Defendant
Hernandez was a correctional lieutenant; and, Defendant
Stulir was a correctional officer.
to jail policy, detainees must file grievances at the
computer kiosk in their housing units, or by delivering a
form entitled “Detainee Request Form” to a
correctional officer within “48 hours from the time of
the alleged incident that is being grieved.” (Doc. 52-1
at 14). Detainees may file a grievance outside the 48hour
window “only if [the detainee] can give a good
reason” for missing the deadline. Id. If
unhappy with the jail's response to a grievance,
detainees may file an appeal within 48 hours of receiving the
filed approximately 36 grievances with jail officials from
January 2015 through early May 2015. The majority of these
grievances request access to the law library or information
regarding transfers and court cases. More importantly, none
of the grievances mention medical care or issues with other
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.
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