United States District Court, C.D. Illinois
BENJAMIN J. BARTLETT, Plaintiff,
COUNTY of McLEAN, et al., Defendants.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT ORDER
MYERSCOUGH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Benjamin J. Bartlett, proceeding pro se and currently
incarcerated at Pontiac Correctional Center, filed suit under
42 U.S.C. § 1983. Following merit review, the Court
concluded that Plaintiff had stated a constitutional claim
against Defendant Jamey Kessinger, the superintendent of the
McLean County Detention Facility (“jail”), for
failure to protect Plaintiff from a substantial risk of
serious harm . The Court also substituted Defendant McLean
County for the jail as a possible indemnifier. Defendants
have filed a motion for summary judgment  to which
Plaintiff has responded , and Defendants have replied
. Based on the parties' pleadings, depositions,
affidavits, and other supporting documents filed with the
Court, Defendants' motion for summary judgment is
August 19, 2015, police officers assigned to the Bloomington
Task Force (“police”) arrested and interviewed
Plaintiff. During that interview, Plaintiff provided
information on Darcell Van, whom Plaintiff stated was an
associate. The police then transported Plaintiff to the jail,
where Plaintiff told an intake officer that he was an
informant for the police and that he had enemies in custody,
but Plaintiff could not provide their names. (ECF 29-1: p. 6;
29-3: pp. 69:14-19, 70:1-6.) Plaintiff was placed in
administrative segregation under the classification
“protective custody.” (29: p. 4:16; 29-1: pp. 7,
14; 29-3: p. 46:19-22.)
August 28, 2015, two unidentified correctional officers
transferred Plaintiff from segregation to G block because
Plaintiff's cell door in segregation was malfunctioning.
(29-1: p. 7; 29-3: p. 81:20-22.) G block is a medium security
area consisting of two sets of three cells located across
from each other and separated by a common area. Plaintiff
estimated that beginning on September 1, 2015, he addressed
“two or three” request forms to the shift
sergeant, asking to be returned to segregation. (29-3: pp.
of Plaintiff's requests, he explained that he did not
“get along” with a detainee Plaintiff identified
by cell number, and he wanted to be moved “before
certain situations get out of hand….”
(Id. pp. 36:1-4; 37:21-25; 40:17-23). Plaintiff
stated that he did not receive any written responses to his
request, but he spoke to a correctional Sergeant who told him
that the jail did not have any bed space due to overcrowding,
and “they would … move [Plaintiff] when …
they fix [the cell] gate.” (Id. p. 36:12-25.)
during Plaintiff's stay in G block, the detainee
Plaintiff identified by cell number, whom Plaintiff later
learned was named Terry Jenkins, told Plaintiff that Van was
“family.” (Id. p. 23:5-10.) Plaintiff
interpreted Jenkins' comment as an indication that
Jenkins was either related to Van or that they were close
friends. Plaintiff speculated that Jenkins may have learned
that he had provided information to the police about Van from
paperwork he left unattended in his cell. (Id. pp.
September 10, 2015, Jenkins entered Plaintiff's unlocked
cell and began a conversation that turned physical. Plaintiff
fractured his finger during that altercation. G block was
immediately locked down and remained in that status when
Plaintiff was transferred from G block the next day.
admitted that upon his entry into the jail on August 19,
2015, he did not know Jenkins and thus, did not identify
Jenkins as a possible enemy to the jail's intake officer.
Plaintiff acknowledged that upon his transfer to G block on
August 28, 2015, he was unaware of any connection between
Jenkins and Van.
agreed that he did not have any interaction with Defendant
Kessinger from August 19, 2015, when he entered the jail, to
September 10, 2015, when the altercation at issue occurred.
(Id. pp. 80:19-22; 82:19-25; 83:1-2; 86:19-25;
87:1.) Plaintiff also acknowledged that he could not produce
evidence showing Kessinger's personal involvement when he
was transferred to G block on August 28, 2015. (Id.
pp. 83:3-6, 15-19, 24-25; 84:1-3; 85:3-6.) Plaintiff stated
that he sued Kessinger because he “overseas everything
that goes on in the jail….” (Id. p.
Kessinger stated that as the jail's superintendent, he is
not involved in the jail's booking process, and he did
not participate in transferring Plaintiff from segregation to
G block on August 28, 2015. Kessinger noted that the only
issue he could recall involving Plaintiff occurred over two
months after Plaintiff's altercation with Jenkins when
Kessinger responded to Plaintiff's November 2015
grievance in which Plaintiff asked for copies of the transfer
requests he submitted while he was housed in G block. (29-1:
p. 14; 29-2: p. 4:24.)
THE LEGAL STANDARDS GOVERNING SUMMARY JUDGMENT
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.
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