United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
MYERSCOUGH, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
proceeds pro se from his detention in the Rushville Treatment
and Detention Center pursuant to the Illinois Sexually
Violent Persons Act. He pursues claims arising from an
alleged assault against him by his roommate, Mr. Williamson;
the punishment Plaintiff received for fighting Mr.
Williamson; and, a delay in medical care for the injuries
Plaintiff suffered from the incident.
February 22, 2017, the Court granted summary judgment to
Defendants on Plaintiff's medical care claim. Summary
judgment was denied on Plaintiff's failure to protect
claim as to Defendants Hankins, Scott, Caraway, and Kunkel.
Summary judgment was denied with leave to renew on
Plaintiff's procedural due process claim that Plaintiff
was punished for fighting without procedural due process.
Court understands the procedural due process claim to be
against Defendants Hankins, Caraway, and Reid, who comprised
the disciplinary committee which punished Plaintiff for
fighting. Defendants Caraway and Reid have renewed their
motion for summary judgment on this claim, but Defendant
Hankins has not.
Court's order denying summary judgment on the procedural
due process claim noted that the claim appeared to be
foreclosed by Miller v. Dobier, 634 F.3d 412, 415
(7th Cir. 2011). The Defendants in this case
imposed 30 days of close status on Plaintiff and 90 days of
black box restraints during transports outside the facility.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held in Miller that
“close status” at the Rushville Treatment and
Detention Center is not a significant enough deprivation to
trigger procedural due process protections. The plaintiff on
close status in Miller was “free to leave his cell for
most of the day, to receive visitors, and in this and other
respects to avoid extremes of close confinement such as are
encountered in segregation units.” Id. Miller
also held there is no constitutionally protected liberty
interest in avoiding the "black box" restraints or
other restraints during transport, even for civil detainees.
Id. at 414-15.
whether the conditions of Plaintiff's close status in
this case were the same as the conditions of close status in
Miller was unclear. The Court therefore denied summary
judgment with leave to renew and directed Plaintiff to submit
an affidavit describing what close status was for him.
affidavit states that he was placed in a room with a bed,
mattress, a ceiling light, toilet, desk, two yellow
jumpsuits, and shower shoes. He was given toothpaste, a
toothbrush, soap, shampoo, his eyeglasses, and a pen, but no
other property. He was effectively denied phone calls and
visits, could not purchase from the commissary, and there
were no electrical outlets. He was allowed out of his room to
eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, for an hour at each meal.
He was also allowed to watch television in the dayroom for
two hours before being locked in his room for the evening.
restrictions are looser than the segregation restrictions in
prison, but the norm for prison life is obviously different
than the norm for life in a mental health treatment facility.
Whether Miller is distinguishable in these particular
circumstances is subject to reasonable debate. The Court is
not going to decide this issue now, particularly since
Defendants do not argue that the restrictions described by
Plaintiff are not significant enough to trigger procedural
due process protections.
summary judgment is still warranted to Defendants on
Plaintiff's procedural due process claim. An inference
does arise in Plaintiff's favor that he did not receive
written notice of the charge because he could not read the
charge. He did not have his eyeglasses. He clearly had some
idea of what the charge was since he says he submitted a
sworn statement at the disciplinary hearing, and the charge
was read to him at the hearing. Still, a juror could find
that Plaintiff did not receive advance written notice or an
opportunity to marshal evidence other than his own testimony.
the evidence Plaintiff wanted to present would not have made
a difference in the outcome of the hearing. Plaintiff wanted
to present his medical records at the disciplinary hearing to
show that Plaintiff had not used his fists to hit Mr.
Williamson and also to show that Plaintiff's injuries
were consistent with Mr. Williamson being the aggressor.
Plaintiff explained to the disciplinary committee that Mr.
Williamson had initiated the attack, forcing Plaintiff to try
to defend himself with a pen. Plaintiff admitted in his
deposition that he told the committee that he “started
to stick that clown with a pen.” (Pl.'s Dep. p. 99;
12/17/14 Behavior Committee Meeting.) Defendant Caraway avers that
the committee considered Plaintiff's use of the pen as an
escalation of the incident and that the committee understood
that Plaintiff had not struck Mr. Williamson with
Plaintiff's fists. (Caraway Aff. ¶¶ 28-29, d/e
65-3; Hankins Aff. ¶ 12, d/e 77-2.) Thus, the medical
records or testimony about Plaintiff's injuries would not
have changed the committee's decision. Piggie v.
Cotton, 344 F.3d 674, 678 (7th Cir. 2003)(applying
harmless error analysis to refusal to call witnesses in
disciplinary hearings). Plaintiff may view the
committee's decision as unfair because he was not the
aggressor, but that is not enough for a constitutional
(1) Defendants' motion to strike Plaintiff's surreply
to Defendants' reply is granted. (d/e 136.) Briefing on a
summary judgment motion ends with the movant's reply. See
(2) The motion for summary judgment by Defendants Caraway and
Reid on Plaintiff's procedural due process claim is
granted. (d/e 131.) The procedural due process claim is
dismissed as to all Defendants. Defendant Hankins did not
renew his motion for summary judgment on this claim, but the
claim is not viable as to any Defendant given the Court's
(3) The federal claim surviving for trial is Plaintiff's
claim against Defendants Hankins, Scott, Kunkel, and Caraway
for the failure to protect Plaintiff from Mr.
Williamson's assault. Also ...