United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
M. YANDLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Willie Booker, 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 Menard Correctional Center (“Menard”).
Specifically, Booker claims that Defendants, IDOC Director
John Baldwin, Administrative Review Board Chairperson Leslie
McCarty, Warden Kimberly Butler, Counselor Jeanette Cowan,
Internal Affairs Officer William Spiller, and Officer John
Doe #1 denied his request for protective custody in November
2015 without sufficient evidence and, as a result, exposed
him to harm. Booker is proceeding on the following claims:
Count One: Defendants failed to protect Booker from a known
risk of harm, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, when they
denied his request for protective custody in November 2015.
Count Four: Defendants' decision to deny
Plaintiff's request for protective placement in November
2015 resulted in the intentional infliction of emotional
distress in violation of Illinois state law.
initial matter, Booker was advised that service would not be
made on the unknown (John Doe) defendant until he identified
him by name in a properly amended complaint (Doc. 13). On
June 2, 2016, the Court entered a Scheduling and Discovery
Order giving Booker until September 16, 2016 to seek leave to
amend his complaint to name unknown parties (see
Doc. 28). As of the date of this Order, Booker has failed to
identify the unknown defendant. As such, Booker has failed to
prosecute his case against John Doe #1, and this defendant is
DISMISSED WITH PRJEUDICE pursuant to Rule
41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil procedure.
case is now before the Court on the Motions for Summary
Judgment filed by Defendants Baldwin, Butler, Cowan, McCarty,
and Spiller (Doc. 114) and Plaintiff Booker (Doc. 118).
Booker filed a response to Defendants' Motion (Doc. 120),
and Defendants filed a Motion to Strike Booker's Motion
for Summary Judgment (Doc. 128). For the following reasons,
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is
GRANTED and Plaintiff's Motion for
Summary Judgment is DENIED.
Willie Booker was incarcerated at Menard from 2004 to
February 2018 (Deposition of Willie Booker, Doc. 115-4 at 4).
From November 2014 to November 2015, Booker submitted four
requests to be placed in protective custody (see
Doc. 115-2). Each request was ultimately denied (see
claims in this matter relate to his November 13, 2015 request
(Id. at 3). In this request, Booker stated that his
life was in danger (Id.). He explained that on
October 20, 2015, he was attacked by an inmate he did not
know, after having received a letter in December 2014 that he
would be killed if he came out of protective custody
(Id.; Doc. 115-4 at 7). Booker claimed that the
“GDs” (Gangster Disciples) had a hit out on him
because he refused to do their legal work (Doc. 115-2 at 3).
He identified nine individuals as his enemies, and indicated
that the Gangster Disciple organization, Black Peace Stone
organization, and correctional officers wanted to kill him
response to his request for protective custody, Booker was
interviewed by Counselor Cowan and Internal Affairs
(“IA”) Officer Spiller on November 17, 2015 (Doc.
115-4 at 12; see Doc. 115-2 at 2). During these
interviews, Booker explained that he needed protective
custody because he had been labeled a snitch and had severed
ties with the GDs (Doc. 115-4 at 13). He also explained that
he was attacked in October 2015 by an unknown inmate
(Id. at 12). He told them he had received a letter
in December 2014 threatening that if he “brought [his]
sex offender ass out of PC, [he] would be killed”
asked for the letter, but Booker had previously turned it in
to another officer (Id.). She told Booker that she
was not going to address the letter again (Id.).
Cowan recommended that Booker's request for protective
custody be denied (Doc. 115-2 at 2). She confirmed that
Booker had been in a fight with another inmate, but indicated
that the other inmate had a disciplinary history and there
was no indication that it was related to security threat
group (“STG”) activity (Id.). Cowan
noted that in her interview with Booker, he was not able to
provide any reasoning or verification as to why the offenders
he listed on his request for protective custody were a threat
to his safety (Doc. 115-3 at 2; Doc. 115-2 at 2). Cowan
ultimately determined that Booker was attempting to
manipulate the system in order to receive a transfer out of
Menard or specific housing, as he indicated he would withdraw
his request for protective custody if he was allowed to pick
his cell location (Id.).
also recommended that Booker's request for protective
custody be denied (Doc. 115-2 at 2). In his written
recommendation, he also indicated that Booker was attempting
to manipulate the cell placement system because he was
willing to sign out of protective custody if he could pick
his cell location (Id.). Spiller noted that Booker
was unable to identify anyone that had threatened him or any
motivation for a threat (Id.).
Kimberly Butler ultimately denied Booker's request for
placement in protective custody (Doc. 115-4 at 13; Doc. 115-2
at 2). Booker appealed this decision to the Administrative
Review Board (“ARB”) (Doc. 115-4 at 14). On
December 10, 2015, Leslie McCarty, Chairperson for the ARB,
held a hearing on Booker's appeal (Id.; Doc.
115-2 at 1). At the hearing, Booker explained that he needed
protective custody because he believed he was attacked in
October 2015 because he is a sex offender (Doc. 115-4 at 14).
Booker told McCarty he had received a letter in December 2014
that stated he would be killed if he came out of protective
custody (Id.). Booker also told McCarty about
refusing to do the GD's legal work and explained that
they labeled him a snitch (Id.). McCarty recommended
that Booker's appeal of the protective custody decision
be denied (Doc. 115-2 at 1). In her written recommendation,
she found Booker had not provided sufficient verifiable
information to warrant his retention in protective custody
and noted that the fight in October 2015 was an isolated
incident and not STG affiliated (Id.). She contacted
Internal Affairs and confirmed that the letter referenced by
Booker was one that had already been produced, considered,
and denied by the ARB in a decision on a previous protective
custody request (Id.).
Director John Baldwin's designee, Terri Anderson,
concurred with McCarty's recommendation and denied
Booker's appeal of his protective custody request (Doc.
115-4 at 14; Doc. 115-12 at 2). Baldwin deligated his
authority to respond to these appeals and, therefore, never
reviewed the same (Id.). During his deposition,
Booker indicated that he ...