United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
SUMMARY JUDGMENT ORDER
E. SHADID UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause is before the Court for consideration of
Defendant's motion for summary judgment on the issue of
exhaustion of administrative remedies. .
has one claim alleging Defendant Illinois River Correctional
Center Officer Paula Wolfe used excessive force on March 22,
2017 when she intentionally and maliciously slammed a prison
door on Plaintiff's hand causing injury.
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. Nonetheless, if the inmate can
demonstrate “good cause' for failing to meet this
deadline, the grievance will still be considered. 20 Ill.
Admin. Code § 504.810(a).
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.
Administrative Review Board (ARB) received four grievances
from the Plaintiff which made reference to the alleged use of
excessive force on March 22, 2017. All of the grievances were
filed using the traditional, non-emergency grievance
procedures. (Def. Mot., Ben. Aff., p. 3-4).
first submitted a grievance dated April 27, 2017 complaining
about the Defendant slamming the door on his hand. The
grievance officer denied Plaintiff's grievance on July
19, 2017 finding Defendant Wolfe was not working in
Plaintiff's housing unit on the day of the incident.
(Def. Ex. A1., p. 2-3). The Warden signed off on the denial
of the grievance on August 4, 2017. (Def. Ex. A1, p. 3). The
ARB received the grievance on December 18, 2017. The board
denied the grievance as untimely because inmates are required
to file their appeals within 30 days of the Warden's
signature, and Plaintiff had provided no explanation for the
three month delay. (Def. Ex. A1, p. 4).
second grievance is dated May 31, 2017, but Plaintiff sent
his grievance directly to the ARB which received it on June
8, 2017. (Def. Ex. A2, p. 2-4). Plaintiff claimed he first
filed a grievance complaining about Defendant Wolfe's
actions on March 23, 2017, but he had not received a
response. The ARB denied the grievance since Plaintiff had
not provided a response from his grievance officer, nor the
Warden. (Def. Ex. A2, p. 4). Plaintiff was advised to contact
his counselor. (Def. Ex. A2, p. 4).
third grievance was dated July 23, 2017. While Plaintiff
mentioned the incident with Defendant Wolfe, the focus of his
grievance was medical care for chronic back pain. Both the
grievance counselor and grievance officer denied the
grievance on July 31, 2017. (Def. Ex. A3, p. 2, 4). The
Warden also denied the grievance on November 28, 2017. (Def.
Ex. A3, p. 4). Plaintiff appealed to the ARB which received
his grievance on December 7, 2017.
also included a letter with this appeal complaining about the
response to his grievance and the grievance procedures in
general. However, Plaintiff made no mention of the incident
with Defendant Wolfe. (Def. Ex. A3, p. 6).
ultimately found the July 23, 2017 grievance was not
submitted within the required 60 day time frame because the
alleged incident occurred four months before Plaintiff
submitted his grievance. Furthermore, Plaintiff again
provided no explanation for the delay. (Def. Ex. A3, p. 4).
final grievance was dated August 4, 2017. (Def. Ex. A4, p.
2). Plaintiff again complained about Defendant Wolfe's
actions. Plaintiff also claimed he filed a grievance on March
23, 2017, but he still not received a response. The counselor
denied the grievance on August 7, 2018, and Plaintiff
appealed the denial directly to the ARB. The ARB noted
Plaintiff had not completed the grievance process at his
institutional by obtaining a response from the grievance
officer and the Warden. (Def. Ex. A4, p. 4). In addition, the