United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendant David Mitchell's
Motion for Summary Judgment on the basis that Plaintiff
Dwaine Coleman failed to exhaust administrative remedies
before filing suit. (Doc. 35). The motion is opposed. (Doc.
40). For the following reasons, the motion is
defendants in this action are Illinois Department of
Corrections (“IDOC”) employees, and Plaintiff
Dwaine Coleman is a former IDOC inmate. Defendant Mitchell
asserts that Coleman failed to exhaust administrative
remedies before filing suit, thereby violating the Prison
Litigation Reform Act exhaustion requirement.
filed his initial Complaint on August 13, 2015. (Doc. 1).
Upon 28 U.S.C. § 1915A screening, Coleman's
Complaint was dismissed for improper joinder and for failure
to state a claim. (Doc. 7). The § 1915A Screening Order
granted Coleman leave to file an Amended Complaint, and he
did so on October 7, 2015. (Doc. 8). However, the Amended
Complaint suffered from the same defects as the original
Complaint. The Court dismissed Coleman's first Amended
Complaint, but recruited counsel to assist him.
Second Amended Complaint was filed on June 3, 2016. (Doc.
16). The Court screened the Second Amended Complaint and held
that it articulated the following colorable claims:
Count 1: Defendants Vinson and Blessing
subjected Plaintiff to the unauthorized use of excessive
force and/or failed to protect him from the same in violation
of the Eighth Amendment (Doc. 16, pp. 8-9).
Count 2: Defendant Mitchell retaliated
against Plaintiff for threatening to and actually filing a
grievance against him by placing him in segregation on or
around November 17, 2014 (Doc. 16, pp. 9- 10).
general timeline of Coleman's use of the administrative
remedies process appears to be undisputed. Coleman alleges
that on or about November 17, 2014, he told Mitchell
“that he would exercise his protected right to submit a
grievance concerning the denial of adequate medical care to
which he was constitutionally entitled.” (Doc. 16, p.
9, ¶ 59). Coleman was then an inmate at Vienna
Correctional Center (“Vienna”). Mitchell
allegedly threatened Coleman that he would place him in
disciplinary segregation if he filed such a grievance.
Id. at ¶ 60. Coleman did submit a grievance and
Mitchell subsequently placed him in segregation. Id.
at ¶ 61-62. Coleman asserts that he was placed in
segregation as retaliation for filing the grievance.
Id. at ¶ 63.
record reflects that Coleman submitted a grievance dated
November 17, 2014, which describes the Mitchell segregation
retaliation incident. (Doc. 36-2, pp. 23-24). Coleman
initially submitted it to the Vienna warden as an
“emergency” grievance. Id. The Vienna
warden determined that the grievance did not present an
emergency and directed Coleman to submit the grievance
through the normal non-emergency process. Id. The
Vienna warden signed and dated the grievance November 18,
grievance was received by Coleman's counselor, Julia
Rodriguez, on December 1, 2014. Id. Rodriguez
responded to the grievance on December 22, 2014. Id.
After receiving Rodriguez's response, Coleman submitted
the grievance to the Vienna prison administration and the
Vienna warden denied the grievance on March 2, 2015.
Id. at p. 21. Coleman then appealed the decision to
the IDOC Administrative Review Board (“ARB”).
Id. at p. 20. In a letter dated August 19, 2015, the
ARB informed Coleman that his grievance was to be remanded
back to Vienna for further investigation. Id. at p.
the grievance was remanded, the Vienna grievance officer
collected a statement from Mitchell. Id. at p. 17.
On September 14, 2015, the Vienna warden again denied the
grievance. Id. at p. 17. Coleman then resubmitted
the grievance to the ARB and on October 14, 2015, the ARB
issued a final denial. Id. at p. 16. Although the
ARB did not issue a final ruling on his grievance until
October 14, 2015, Coleman initiated this lawsuit on August
13, 2015. (Doc. 1).
to Rule 56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
“the 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.” The facts and reasonable inferences must be drawn
in a ...