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Olliee v. Illinois Department of Corrections

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

January 16, 2018

ROBERT OLLIE, Plaintiff,
v.
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, MICHAEL ATCHINSON, SALVADOR GODINEZ, RICHARD HARRINGTON, TIMOTHY VEATH, RYAN DAVIS, and DARRIN HUNTER, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          STACI M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiff Robert Ollie, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), brings this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that his constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”), Pontiac Correctional Center (“Pontiac”), and Stateville Correctional Center (“Stateville”). Plaintiff alleges that he was intentionally transferred in retaliation for filing a grievance and that he was improperly prohibited from attending congregative religious services (Doc. 37).

         Plaintiff proceeds on two Counts: Count I is Plaintiff's retaliation claim against Defendants Richard Harrington and Michael Atchison based on his transfer to Pontiac. Count II is asserted against Defendants Richard Harrington, Salvador Godinez, and Darrin Hunter for denying Plaintiff access to congregative religious services, in violation of his right to practice his religion under the First Amendment and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”) (Doc. 37). This matter is currently before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 56) and the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants (Doc. 59).

         Plaintiff filed a response to Defendants' motion in which he states that he does not oppose Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to Plaintiff's retaliatory transfer claim in Count I, or the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) claim in Count II (Doc. 62 at 2). Accordingly, the Court finds that Defendants Harrington and Atchison are entitled to judgment as a matter of law on Plaintiff's retaliatory transfer claim and Defendants Harrington, Godinez, and Hunter are entitled to judgment as a matter of law on the RLUIPA claim.

         For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment is DENIED, and Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED in its entirety.

         Factual Background

         Plaintiff Robert Ollie was an inmate at Menard from April 2010 through March 2014 (Plaintiff's Deposition, Doc. 60-4 at 9, 17). On September 15, 2013, an Incident Disciplinary Report was filed by Correctional Officer Ryan Davis and Ollie was placed in segregation (Id. at 16). Ollie filed an emergency grievance against Officer Davis on September 15, 2013 (Id. at 14). On September 17, 2013, Ollie was found guilty of three offenses and was disciplined with six months C grade, six months commissary restriction, and five months segregation (Ollie's Disciplinary Reports, Doc. 60-8 at 6).

         On or about September 23, 2013, a subsequent disciplinary report was filed and Ollie was placed in the Staff Assaulter Program (Doc. 60-4 at 16, 25). On October 4, 2013, the adjustment committee held a hearing concerning the September 23, 2013 incident and found Ollie guilty of assaulting staff and intimidation or threats (Doc. 60-8 at 2). The adjustment committee disciplined Ollie with one year C Grade, one year segregation, one year commissary restriction, and six months contact visit restriction (Id.).

         Ollie was subsequently transferred to Pontiac on or about March 5, 2014 (Doc. 60-4 at 17). He was released from segregation on or about January 15, 2015, but remained in the Staff Assaulter Program (Id. at 34). Ollie was again transferred to Stateville on March 6, 2015 (Id. at 38). He was released from the Staff Assaulter Program and transferred to Hill Correctional Facility (“Hill”) on November 5, 2015, where he is currently incarcerated (Id. at 43).

         Between September 2013 and his transfer in March 2014, Ollie was in segregation at Menard (Id. at 17). Prior to being placed in segregation, he would regularly attend Christian worship services (Id. at 28). Once placed in segregation, Ollie was denied the opportunity to attend congregative worship services (Id.). He was unable to access the worship services via closed circuit television (Id. at 31-32). Ollie was allowed a Bible and religious tracts (Id. at 32) and was permitted to talk about religion with volunteers from churches (Id. at 32-33).

         Upon being transferred to Pontiac, Ollie was again placed in segregation and denied the opportunity to attend congregative worship services (Id. at 33). He was unable to access the worship services via closed circuit television while at Pontiac (Id. at 36). Ollie was allowed to have his Bible while at Pontiac and was allowed to discuss his faith with volunteers from churches while at Pontiac (Id. at 35).

         Ollie remained in the Staff Assaulter Program and was denied the opportunity to attend congregative worship services when he was transferred to Stateville (Id. at 38-39). He was again unable to access worship services via closed circuit television (Id. at 40). Ollie was allowed his Bible while at Stateville (Id. at 41). Volunteers that came into Stateville from churches were not given enough time to speak with inmates in the Staff Assaulter Program. (Id. at 41-42). Upon being removed from the Staff Assaulter Program and transferred to Hill, Ollie resumed attending congregative religious services once per week (Id. at 44).

         Legal Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate only if the moving party can demonstrate “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); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322(1986); see also Ruffin-Thompkins v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., 422 F.3d 603, 607 (7th Cir. 2005). The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the lack of any genuine issue of material fact. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. Once a properly supported motion for summary judgment is made, the adverse party “must set forth specific facts showing there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986). A genuine issue of material fact exists when “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Estate of Simpson v. Gorbett, 863 F.3d 740, 745 (7th Cir. 2017) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). In assessing a ...


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