United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL United States District Judge
Dwayne Cook filed an amended complaint in this action on July
12, 2016, alleging claims under the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, and the
Eighth Amendment (Doc. 49). Defendant Illinois Department of
Corrections (IDOC) has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment
arguing that Cook cannot provide evidence to support any of
his claims (Doc. 68). For the reasons set forth below, the
Motion for Summary Judgment is denied.
Dwayne Cook was previously incarcerated in the IDOC as a
result of several driving-related convictions (Doc. 7, p. 1).
When his criminal sentences were imposed, the trial judge
included an order that Cook was to receive addiction services
while incarcerated (Doc. 1, pp. 5, 8-9). It is undisputed
that, prior to filing this action, Cook was twice approved
for transfer to facilities that provided addiction treatment
programs, but both times his transfer was cancelled because
the facilities were not ADA compliant (Doc. 68-1, p. 12; Doc.
68-3, p. 2). Cook is confined to a wheelchair, which he uses
for all of his mobility (Doc. 49, p. 2).
two IDOC facilities contain ADA accessible drug treatment
programs (Doc. 68-6, p. 2). During the time Cook was
incarcerated, the IDOC had four to five wheelchair-accessible
cells in the treatment program at Taylorville Correctional
Center, and one wheelchair-accessible cell in the treatment
program at Big Muddy Correctional Center. (Doc. 68-6, pp.
2-3). A few weeks after filing this lawsuit, Cook again was
approved and eventually transferred to Big Muddy (Doc. 68-1,
undisputed that Cook received no substance abuse treatment
either before his transfer to Big Muddy (Doc. 68-1, p. 30) or
for a year after his transfer (see Doc. 67-1, p.
20). It is also undisputed that, contrary to IDOC policy,
Cook had less than six months remaining on his sentence when
he was finally placed in the substance abuse program at Big
Muddy (Doc. 68-1, p. 18). While IDOC records indicate he
completed a nine-month substance abuse program, Cook's
counselor admitted in her deposition that Cook only received
about four months of treatment (Doc. 67-1, p. 25). Further,
the counselor admitted that had Cook not been released from
custody, she would have recommended he remain in the
substance abuse program (Id.).
judgment is proper only where the moving party can
demonstrate no genuine issue of material fact exists and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Ruffin-Thompkins v. Experian
Information Solutions, Inc., 422 F.3d 603, 607 (7th Cir.
2005). All facts and reasonable inferences must be construed
in favor of the non-moving party. Blow v. Bijora,
Inc., 855 F.3d 793, 797 (7th Cir. 2017) (citing
Calumet River Fleeting, Inc. v. Int'l Union of Operating
Eng'rs, Local 150, AFL-CIO, 824 F.3d 645, 647-48
(7th Cir. 2016)).
properly supported motion for summary judgment is made, the
adverse party “must set forth specific facts showing
that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson
v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986)
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2)). A fact is material if it is
outcome determinative under applicable law.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248; Ballance v. City of
Springfield, Ill. Police Dep't, 424 F.3d 614, 616
(7th Cir. 2005). A genuine issue of material fact exists if
“the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. “A mere scintilla
of evidence in support of the non-movant's petition is
insufficient; a party will be successful in opposing summary
judgment only when it presents definite, competent evidence
to rebut the motion.” Albiero v. City of
Kankakee, 246 F.3d 927, 931-32 (7th Cir. 2001)
(rev'd on other grounds).
Seventh Circuit has stated that summary judgment is
“the put up or shut up moment in a lawsuit, when a
party must show what evidence it has that would convince a
trier of fact to accept its version of the events.”
Steen v. Myers, 486 F.3d 1017, 1022 (7th Cir. 2007)
(quoting Hammel v. Eau Galle Cheese Factory, 407
F.3d 852, 859 (7th Cir. 2005) (other citations omitted)). The
judge's role at summary judgment, however, is not to
weigh the evidence or assess the facts, but to determine
whether there is a genuine issue for trial. Id. at
259. Credibility determinations, weighing of evidence, and
drawing of reasonable inferences from the facts are left to
the jury. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250.
plaintiff will make out a prima facie case of
discrimination under both the ADA and the Rehabilitation
by showing he: (1) suffers from a disability as defined in
the statutes, (2) is qualified to participate in the program
in question, and (3) was either excluded from participating
in or denied the benefit of that program based on a
disability. Novak v. Bd. of Trustees of S. Ill.
Univ., 77 F.3d 966, 974 (7th Cir. 2015) (citing
Jackson v. City of Chicago, 414 F.3d 806, 810 (7th
it is undisputed that Cook is disabled-both as a person who
uses a wheelchair for mobility and as an alcoholic (Doc. 67,
p. 4). Thus, the first element of the prima facie
case is met. While the IDOC makes much out of the fact that
correctional facilities are not constitutionally required to
provide drug treatment programs (Doc. 67, pp. 4-5), it admits
that inmates cannot be subject to discrimination for those
programs it chooses to provide (Doc. 67, p. 6). Further, the
IDOC repeatedly approved and ultimately placed Cook in a
treatment program (Doc. 67, p. 5). Thus, the Court finds that
Cook was qualified to participate in the addiction treatment