United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
E. SHADID UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
proceeding pro se, alleges that he was repeatedly exposed to
the raw sewage of other inmates during his incarceration in
the Western Illinois Correctional Center from June 10, 2015
to May 17, 2017. This allegedly occurred whenever an inmate
in the adjoining cell would flush the toilet, causing the
contents to travel to the adjoining cell (“cross
has closed, except for the resolution of Plaintiff's
motion to compel. Also before the Court is Defendants'
motion for summary judgment.
reviewing the record, the Court concludes that more
information is necessary to determine whether a disputed
material fact exists for trial. Plaintiff's motion to
compel seeks some relevant information that should be
produced before this case is ready for dispositive motions.
Motion to Compel Responses to Plaintiff's First Request
for Production of Documents (34)
Plaintiff's Document Request 1: “All
inmate grievances dealing with conditions, sanitation,
plumbing, toilets backing up, cross flushing, from 2007 to
2017. To include counselors' responses, grievance
officers' responses, the administrative review board
(ARB) responses and copies of any and all letters written to
Western Illinois Correctional Center's Administration,
the administration of IDOC at Springfield, the director's
office from inmate/offenders, to include the
administration's responses thereto, in regards to the
above listed documents.”
object as “compound, overly broad, and unduly
burdensome.” (d/e 36-1, p. 1.) Defendants also maintain
that they “would need to examine every grievance ever
filed by every inmate in the IDOC” in order to respond.
other inmates complained about the cross-flushing problem is
relevant to the extent of the problem and Defendants'
knowledge of the problem. Defendants admit that sometimes
cross-flushing does occur because of poor plumbing design,
but Defendants maintain that Plaintiff's description of
the frequency and extent of the problem is exaggerated.
Evidence of complaints by other inmates is arguably relevant
to rebut that argument and show that the problem is as bad as
do not explain why they have to review every inmate grievance
ever filed to find inmate grievances about cross-flushing at
Western. Defendants should be able to determine the inmates
who lived on Plaintiff's housing unit while Plaintiff
lived on that unit, and then review those inmates' master
files for grievances about the cross-flushing. In any event,
Defendants bear the burden of demonstrating that doing this
would be too burdensome, and they have not done so.
Document Request 1 is granted as follows: Defendants are
directed to produce to Plaintiff grievances about
cross-flushing filed by inmates who lived on Plaintiff's
housing unit(s) from June 10, 2014 to May 17, 2017, along with
all the responses to those grievances.
Plaintiff's Document Request 2: “All
maintenance logs or copies thereof to include work orders,
service notes, sanitation reports, results of any IDOC
maintenance inspection reports, results of any and all city
or state building code and/or building inspections.”
make the same objections as to request 1 and also assert that
IDOC policies or directives are irrelevant. Defendants
further represent that no such documents exist.
least three work orders do exist because, according to
Defendants' summary judgment motion, the Chief Engineer
responded to three work orders for cells occupied by
Plaintiff. (Robinson Aff. ¶ 5, d/e 44-2.) Defendants do
not say what kind of inquiry they made to determine whether
other work orders, inspections, or reports on the
cross-flushing problem exist. Like other inmate grievances,
this evidence is arguably relevant to show Defendants'
knowledge of the problem and the extent of the problem.
Document Request 2 is granted as follows: Defendants are
directed to produce all work orders, reports, inspections,
and maintenance logs regarding the cross-flushing problem at
Western Illinois Correctional Center from June 10, 2014 to
May 17, 2017 in the housing unit(s) where Plaintiff resided
at Western Illinois Correctional Center. If no such documents
exist, Defendants are directed to produce the affidavit of
someone with personal knowledge to ...