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Hempstead v. Davis

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

August 2, 2018




         Plaintiff Calvin Hempstead, a former inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, asserting that his constitutional rights were violated while he was incarcerated at Vienna Correctional Center (“Vienna”). Specifically, Hempstead alleges he informed officials at Vienna that he had enemies there who attempted to kill him before he was in prison, but the officials failed to take any action and, as a result, he was attacked. Hempstead is proceeding in this action on an Eighth Amendment failure to protect claim against Defendants Brett Campbell, Randy Davis, Aubrey Edwards, Brian Harner, Blane Holloman, LaRue Love, and Chad Myers.

         This matter is now before the Court for consideration of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 97). Hempstead filed a response (104). For the following reasons, Defendants' Motion is GRANTED.


         Plaintiff Calvin Hempstead was incarcerated at Vienna Correctional Center from August 2013 to February 6, 2014 (Deposition of Calvin Hempstead, Doc. 98-1 at 14, 20; see Doc. 1-1 at 38). Shortly after he arrived at Vienna, Hempstead saw some of his “enemies”, including Terrell Mackey, Tony Trumel, Antoine Banks, and “Little Ben” (Doc. 98-1 at 4). Soon thereafter, Hempstead advised Warden Randy Davis that he had enemies at Vienna, but Davis failed to take any action and merely asked Hempstead if he was “trying to move up north” (Id.). Hempstead was involved in some altercations with Terrell Mackey while at Vienna, but he is not sure when the altercations occurred (Id. at 3, 6).[1]

         On September 20, 2013, Hempstead spoke to Sergeant Chad Myers and requested protective custody (Id. at 8). Hempstead explained that he had seen several enemies and that he feared for his life and safety (Id.). He again identified Terrell Mackey, Tony Trumel, Antoine Banks, and “Little Ben, ” as well as the Latin Kings (Id. at 9, 11). Myers immediately took Hempstead to internal affairs where Hempstead spoke to Brett Campbell and Blane Holloman (Id.). Sergeant Aubrey Edwards was also present during this time (Id.). Hempstead told the officers about his enemies at Vienna (Id.).

         Hempstead was ordered to return to his assigned location, but he refused to follow the order (Doc. 1-1 at 62). He was issued a disciplinary ticket for disobeying a direct order (Doc. 98-1 at 9; Doc. 1-1 at 62). He was then placed in segregation for approximately one month (Doc. 98-1 at 11). At some point, some of the internal affairs officers told Hempstead they spoke to his identified enemies, who indicated they did not have a problem with him (Id. at 12).

         On December 3, 2013, Hempstead was involved in an altercation with another inmate, “Wilson” (Id.; see Doc. 98-3). Hempstead was told by other inmates on his wing that Wilson only fought him because he was paid off by Terrell Mackey (Doc. 98-1 at 12). Hempstead did not sustain any injuries during this fight (Id. at 13).

         Hempstead was involved in another fight with an unknown person a few days after his fight with Wilson (Id. at 16). Around this time, Hempstead was approached by Inmate Garcia who told him they were “going to have a problem” (Id. at 11). On December 17, 2013, Garcia, along with six other Latin Kings or Four Corner Hustlers came to Hempstead's cell (Id. at 10, 16). Garcia fought Hempstead in the cell, causing Hempstead to suffer a fracture of his hand (Id. at 17). Thereafter, Hempstead was placed in segregation on investigative status based on a disciplinary report written by Holloman (Id. at 18; Doc. 1-1 at 64). Hempstead was transferred to Pinckneyville Correctional Center (“Pinckneyville”) shortly after the incident with Garcia (Doc. 98-1 at 20).

         While at Vienna, Hempstead was involved in numerous other altercations with other inmates, including Wilson, Mackey and about five members of the Latin Kings (Id. at 14). It is not clear when these altercations occurred. Also, throughout his time at Vienna, Hempstead told Warden Davis and Assistant Warden Love about his enemies, but they failed to take action (Id. at 18).

         Defendants maintain that a review of IDOC's electronic records indicate individuals by the name of Terrell Mackey, Antoine Banks, or Tony Trumel were never in IDOC custody (Declaration of Darren Harner, Doc. 98-2 at ¶¶ 11, 12). They also maintain that an individual with the nickname “Little Ben” was incarcerated at Vienna during the relevant time, but there is no documentation substantiating Hempstead's claim that he threatened Hempstead's life or safety (Id. at ¶ 13).


         Summary judgment is appropriate only if the moving party can demonstrate “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); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322(1986); see also Ruffin- Thompkins v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., 422 F.3d 603, 607 (7th Cir. 2005). The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the lack of any genuine issue of material fact. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. Once a properly supported motion for summary judgment is made, the adverse party “must set forth specific facts showing there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986). A genuine issue of material fact exists when “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Estate of Simpson v. Gorbett, 863 F.3d 740, 745 (7th Cir. 2017) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). When considering a summary judgment motion, the district court views the facts in the light most favorable to, and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of, the nonmoving party. Apex Digital, Inc. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 735 F.3d 962, 965 (7th Cir. 2013) (citation omitted).

         The Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment requires that prison officials “take reasonable measures to guarantee the safety of inmates.” Santiago v. Walls, 599 F.3d 749, 758 (7th Cir. 2010) (quoting Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994) (other citations omitted)). In order to succeed on a claim for failure to protect against a prison official, a plaintiff must show: (1) that he was incarcerated under ...

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