United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
STANTON E. SILLAS, Plaintiff,
JOE LORERA, MARK BURTON, and ROBERT MUELLER, Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Gilbert C. Sison United States Magistrate Judge
Stanton Sillas, an inmate housed at the Vienna Correctional
Center (“Vienna”) filed a civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging deprivations of
his constitutional rights that occurred while he was housed
at Centralia Correctional Center (“Centralia”).
In his complaint, Sillas claims that Defendants have
discriminated against him and deprived him of his property
without due process in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment
(Doc. 1). On May 23, 2018, District Judge Michael J. Reagan
screened his complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and
the following claim survived review:
Count 2: Claim against Defendants Lorera, Burton and
Mueller for violating Plaintiffs right to equal protection by
implementing a rule that only applies to him that deprives
him of his property, in violation of the Fourteenth
(Doc. 8). Now before the Court is defendant Burton's and
Mueller's motion for summary judgment on the basis that
Sillas failed to exhaust his administrative remedies (Doc.
case has been referred to United States Magistrate Judge
Gilbert C. Sison by District Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 636(b)(1)(B) and (c),
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72(b) and Local Rule
72.1(a). The undersigned held a hearing on May 9,
2019 (Doc. 28). Based on the following, the undersigned
recommends that Judge Rosenstengel grant the
motion for summary judgment based on the failure to exhaust.
Sillas is an inmate currently housed at Vienna. Defendant Joe
Lorera is a Correctional Sergeant employed at Centralia.
Defendant Mark Burton is a Correctional Officer employed as
the Chairperson of the Program Committee at Centralia.
Defendant Robert Mueller was the Warden at Centralia.
April 22, 2017, Sillas, while housed at Centralia, was
written a disciplinary ticket for unauthorized property by
Defendant Lorera. On April 26, 2017, after a hearing on the
ticket, Sillas was found guilty for the violation of
unauthorized property and was given a verbal reprimand. On
May 1, 2017, Sillas filed a grievance complaining about
Lorera's search of his cell and confiscating his food
items. On August 23, 2017, the ARB denied the grievance.
April 26, 2018, Sillas filed his complaint (Doc. 1). In his
complaint, Sillas contends that Defendants imposed a rule on
him, “not commonly enforced in the Illinois Department
of Corrections (“IDOC”), requiring Plaintiff to
consume food items purchased from the commissary within two
months of purchase.” (Doc. 1, p. 4). If items violate
this rule, they are confiscated as contraband. Id.
On April 22, 2017, Defendant Lorera conducted a shakedown of
Sillas's cell and confiscated various food items. In the
disciplinary ticket, Lorera noted the reason for the taking
was “to determine if [Plaintiff] had purchased those
items through the commissary in the past 2 months.”
April 26, 2017, Sillas admitted to Defendant Burton, the
Program Committee Chairperson, that the items were his and he
presented receipts to prove he purchased them. Id.
Defendant Burton found him guilty of an infraction and did
not return his food. Id. Defendant Warden Mueller
approved the decision. Sillas filed a grievance, which was
ultimately denied by the ARB.
9, 2018, the undersigned held a hearing on the motion for
summary judgment. The Court heard testimony from Sillas and
arguments from the parties. Sillas testified that Lorera
wrongfully took his food items and that Burton and Mueller
approved the verbal reprimand even though Sillas had proof he
bought the food ...