United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
SUMMARY JUDGMENT ORDER
E. SHADID UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
cause is before the Court for consideration of Defendants
Dustin Bayler and Joseph Bennett's motion for summary
judgment on the issue of exhaustion of administrative
alleges Defendants John Doe #1 and John Doe #2 used excessive
force against him at Pontiac Correctional Center on August
24, 2016, and Defendants Baylor and Bennett failed to
intervene to stop the use of excessive force. See
July 20, 2017 Merit Review Order.
Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) has an established
grievance process. See 20 Ill. Admin. Code
§§ 504.800 et seq. An inmate must first
submit a written grievance on the appropriate form to their
counselor. 20 Ill. Admin. Code § 504.810(a). The
grievance must be submitted within 60 days of the alleged
incident or problem.
grievance officer must review the grievance and report his or
her findings and recommendations to the Chief Administrative
Officer or Warden within two months of receipt “when
reasonably feasible under the circumstances.” 20 Ill.
Admin. Code § 504.830(e). The Warden will then review
the recommendations and advise the inmate of the Warden's
final decision in writing.
inmate is not satisfied with the Warden's response, he or
she can file a written appeal to the IDOC Director through
the Administrative Review Board. The appeal must be filed
within 30 days of the Warden's decision. 20 Ill. Admin.
Code § 504.850(a). The Director shall then review the
findings and recommendations of the board and make a final
determination within six month after receipt of the grievance
“where reasonably feasible under the
circumstances.” 20 Ill. Admin. Code § 504.850(f).
When an inmate has received a copy of the Director's
decision, the grievance procedure is complete.
inmate may also request his grievance be handled on an
emergency basis by sending it directly to the Chief
Administrative Officer. 20 Ill. Admin. Code. §504.840.
If the Warden determines the grievance is an emergency, the
Warden “shall expedite processing of the grievance and
respond to the offender, indicating what action shall be or
has been taken.” 20 Ill. Admin. Code. §504.840(b).
However, if the Warden determines the issue is not an
emergency, the inmate “shall be notified in writing
that he or she may resubmit the grievance as non-emergent, in
accordance with the standard grievance process.” 20
Ill. Admin. Code. §504.840(c).
parties agree the relevant grievance in this case is dated
September 14, 2016. Defendants maintain the grievance was
filed as a standard, non-emergent grievance. (Def. Mot, p.
6). However, the Plaintiff says he did submit the grievance
as an emergency grievance sending it directly to the Warden,
and he filled in the box indicating it was an emergency. In
addition, the copy provide by the Defendants clearly is
marked as an emergency grievance. (Def. Mot., Sept. 14, 2016
Grv.). Defendants chose not to file a reply addressing this
inconsistency, and based on the record, the Court must assume
the September 14, 2016 grievance was an emergency grievance.
further claim Plaintiff never submitted his grievance at
Pontiac Correctional Center, but Plaintiff says he submitted
his grievance through the standard procedure of placing the
grievance in his cell bars for pick up by correctional
officers. The parties agree Plaintiff did not receive a
response to this September 14, 2016 grievance.
was aware IDOC procedures require all grievances must be
submitted within 60 days of the alleged incident. Therefore,
when Plaintiff had not received a response one month later,
he sent the Warden a letter with a second copy of his
grievance on October 24, 2016. The letter noted Plaintiff had
first submitted the grievance in September of 2016, but he
did not receive a response. Plaintiff again requested a
response. (Plain. Resp., p. 16).
letter was returned with a handwritten note stating
“[o]riginal grievances must be submitted. This
complaint was not received in the Warden's office.
(Plain. Resp., p. 16). Plaintiff says he did not receive this
response until October 26, 2016, after the 60 day deadline
there was nothing more Plaintiff could do at the facility, he
appeal to the ARB on October 27, 2016. The ARB denied his
appeal on November 1, 2016. The board noted Plaintiff's
grievance did not have a response from the grievance officer
or the ...