United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Urbana Division
SUMMARY JUDGMENT ORDER
E. SHADID UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Jamicquin McKinstry, proceeding pro se, filed suit under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that Defendants Chance Colbert
and Jana Phelps failed to protect him from being attacked
while Plaintiff was a detainee at the Jerome Combs Detention
Center (“JCDC”). Defendants have filed a motion
for summary judgment , and Plaintiff has responded .
Based on the parties' pleadings, depositions, affidavits,
and other supporting documents filed with the Court,
Defendants' motion for summary judgment is GRANTED.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows 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). “A dispute is ‘genuine'
if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.” Zaya v.
Sood, 836 F.3d 800, 804 (7th Cir. 2016) (quoting
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986)). The moving party has the burden of providing proper
documentary evidence to show the absence of a genuine issue
of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 324 (1986). “If the moving party has properly
supported his motion, the burden shifts to the non-moving
party to come forward with specific facts showing that there
is a genuine issue for trial.” Spierer v.
Rossman, 798 F.3d 502, 507 (7th Cir. 2015).
opposing a properly supported motion for summary judgment,
must cite to particular parts of the record or show that the
materials cited by the movant do not establish the absence of
a genuine dispute. Melton v. Tippeconoe County, 838
F.3d 814, 818 (7th Cir. 2016). All facts must be construed in
the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and all
reasonable inferences must be drawn in his favor. Ogden
v. Atterholt, 606 F.3d 355, 358 (7th Cir. 2010).
“Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome
of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude
the entry of summary judgment.” Anderson, 477
U.S. at 248. A scintilla of evidence in support of the
non-movant's position is insufficient to defeat a motion
for summary judgment; “there must be evidence on which
the jury could reasonably find for the [non-movant].”
Id. at 252.
events at issue occurred on December 2, 2014, while Plaintiff
was housed in E-Pod at JCDC, which consists of 28
double-bunked cells located on an upper and lower tier with a
common area. E-Pod is also equipped with security cameras and
a desk where correctional officers monitor activity. To
minimize the number of detainees in the common area, only one
tier level is permitted access. For example, when detainees
who are housed in the upper tier have access to the common
area, the detainees who are housed in the lower tier are
confined to their cells. A detainee's tier location has
no meaningful distinction. Defendant Correctional Officers
Colbert and Phelps were assigned to E-Pod on December 2,
The Parties' Testimonial Evidence
who was assigned to the upper tier, was in the common area
talking to Rex Frank, a detainee locked in his lower tier
cell. Frank asked Plaintiff to “smack” a third
detainee, Gentry, who was located in the common area. (21-1:
p. 31:8-17.) Gentry overheard his name and approached
Plaintiff. A fourth detainee, Jon Giles, attempted to
intervene. Plaintiff took a defensive stance as Gentry
approached. Gentry stopped when Defendant Colbert, who was at
the desk, ordered them to “knock it off.”
(Id. at 35:16-17.)
Colbert stated that he gave his order because he
“overheard four detainees loudly arguing.” (21-2:
p. 3:12.) Colbert did not observe “any of these
detainees ‘square off, ' prepare to fight, or
otherwise indicate violence towards one another.”
(Id. at 3:13.) Afterward, Colbert did not observe
any other disturbances prior to the physical altercation at
issue. During this time, Defendant Phelps was on her
five minutes after Defendant Colbert's order, Plaintiff
spoke with Gentry, and they settled their differences
amicably. At that moment, Plaintiff admitted that he had no
reason to think another detainee wanted to fight him.
Plaintiff returned to Frank's cell and heard banging
coming from a lower tier cell door. Plaintiff observed a
detainee, whom he did not recognize, yelling in his
direction. Plaintiff later learned that detainee was Travien
did not know or have any previous encounters with Moore.
Moore called Plaintiff over to his cell and told Plaintiff,
“I'm on your ass” and that he had asked
Defendant Phelps for a toilet plunger. (21-1: p. 53:16,
20-22.) Plaintiff explained that detainees occasionally ask
for a plunger to get a correctional officer to open the cell
door so that the detainee can “attack another
inmate.” (21-1: p. 72:10-12.) Plaintiff stated that he
was confused and surprised that Moore “wanted to
fight.” (Id. at 51:4-5.) Plaintiff walked away
and ignored Moore. (Id. at 48:6-8, 16-17.)
attempted unsuccessfully to enter his locked upper tier cell.
Plaintiff yelled down to Defendant Colbert that a “guy
down there is threatening me, I don't feel [safe].”
(Id. at 57:13-17.) Plaintiff admitted that he did
not tell Colbert who was threatening him, why he was being
threatened, or the specifics of the threats uttered.
(Id. at 85:18-20.) After Colbert refused to open the
cell doors, Plaintiff returned to the lower deck and spoke
with Frank. Plaintiff had just met Moore and Gentry that day
and could not confirm whether Colbert knew that Moore and
Gentry were “affiliated.” (Id. at
126:21-23; 127:1-8.) Colbert was not aware of any association
among Moore and the detainees Plaintiff had been arguing with
earlier and had no reason to believe that Plaintiff would be
physically attacked by any detainee in E-Pod. (21-2: p.
to Plaintiff, when he returned to Frank's cell, Moore
began “yelling and shaking the door” to his cell
multiple times and causing “a big scene, ” which
caught the attention of every detainee in the common area.
(21-1: p. 61:9-16.) Plaintiff observed that during this time,