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Beehnn v. Doe

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

June 1, 2018

BRADLY BEEHN, Plaintiff,
v.
JANE DOE, DR. RODERICK MATTICKS, JEFFREY DENNISON, WEXFORD HEALTH SOURCES, INC., and DR. DAVID ALFONSO Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          HON. REONA J. DALY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         The matter has been referred to United States Magistrate Judge Reona J. Daly by United States District Judge Staci M. Yandle pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b), and SDIL-LR 72.1(a) for a Report and Recommendation on the question of whether Plaintiff exhausted his administrative remedies prior to filing this lawsuit, as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1997(e)(a). It is RECOMMENDED that the District Court ADOPT the following findings of fact and conclusions of law, and GRANT Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment on the Issue of Exhaustion (Docs. 46 and 49).

         Findings of Fact

         Plaintiff Bradly Beehn, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983 alleging his constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated at Shawnee Correctional Center (“Shawnee”). In particular, Plaintiff alleges he regularly complained of severe stomach pain while at Shawnee in 2016, but his complaints were not adequately addressed. Plaintiff is proceeding on the following claims:

Count One: Dr. David, Jane Doe, Dr. Matticks, and Warden Dennison were deliberately indifferent to Plaintiff's irritable bowel syndrome when they refused to arrange for adequate testing and instead instructed him to keep feces in his cell and walk the feces to the health care unit.
Count Two: Dr. Matticks and Wexford had an unconstitutional policy or custom whereby they created a policy to cut costs at the expense of providing adequate medical care to inmates.
Count Three: Warden Dennison knew that the bathroom on the prison yard was kept locked at all times, creating an unconstitutional condition of confinement in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

         Defendant Dennison and Defendants Wexford, Matticks, and David filed motions for summary judgment arguing Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing this lawsuit (Docs. 46 and 49). In support of their motions, Defendants assert that Plaintiff never submitted a grievance complaining about the issues in this lawsuit to the Administrative Review Board (“ARB”). Plaintiff disputes Defendants' argument and relies on two grievances to demonstrate exhaustion.

         In his first grievance, dated May 13, 2016 (Doc. 58-3 at 1-2), Plaintiff explains that he went to the healthcare unit in April for abdominal pain and irritable bowels. Plaintiff complains that he was prescribed pills that were only a temporary fix and he has a much more severe problem. Plaintiff generally asserts that his medical treatment has been deficient as he was not given an x-ray or scheduled for a follow-up exam. Plaintiff's counselor responded to this grievance on July 25, 2016. “Send to grievance officer” was written on the second page of this grievance. Plaintiff contends he sent this grievance to the grievance officer and then to Springfield for the ARB to review.

         Plaintiff also relies on a grievance dated May 29, 2016 (Doc. 58-3 at 3-4) to establish exhaustion of his administrative remedies. In this grievance, Plaintiff complains that he was issued a disciplinary report for health and safety violations arising from an issue on the yard. Plaintiff explains that there are no toilets on the yard and forcing him to forgo using the restroom for one hour is unconstitutional as he suffers from stomach issues. There is no response from Plaintiff's counselor, grievance officer, warden, or ARB to this grievance.

         Plaintiff submitted a “Resident Request” on June 13, 2016 asking for a response to his May 13, 2016 grievance (Doc. 58-3 at 5). Plaintiff also submitted a “Resident Request” on June 29, 2016 asking for a response to his May 29, 2016 grievance (Id.).

         Pursuant to Pavey v. Conley, 544 F.3d 739 (7th Cir. 2008), the Court held a hearing on the issue of exhaustion on May 16, 2018. At the hearing, Plaintiff testified that after he received his counselor's response to his May 13, 2016 grievance, he immediately submitted the grievance to the grievance officer. Plaintiff testified that he waited 60 days for the grievance officer's response and, after no response was received, he sent the grievance to the ARB. Plaintiff never received a response from the ARB. With regard to his May 29, 2016 grievance, Plaintiff testified that he never received a response from his counselor, so he sent a copy of the grievance to the grievance officer after he had waited 60 days. When he did not receive a response from the grievance officer, he submitted a copy of the grievance to the ARB, but again, he never received a response.

         Robert Allard, a grievance officer at Shawnee, also testified at the hearing. He explained that he searched the grievance office log at Shawnee and found no grievances submitted by Plaintiff in 2016. He explained that when a grievance is received by the grievance officer it is given a number. After a grievance is processed, it is then entered into the log, which maintains information on who submitted the grievance, the grievance number, when it was completed, the outcome, and the date of the warden's signature.

         Legal ...


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