United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
FEINERMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Daniels brings this pro se suit under Bivens v.
Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), against
Thomas Janca and Daniel Tiljak, alleging that they failed to
provide him constitutionally adequate medical care for a wart
on his foot while he was a pretrial detainee at the federal
Metropolitan Correctional Center (“MCC”) in
Chicago. Doc. 22. Daniels's original complaint named
Janca, Officer Blisett, and the MCC as defendants. Doc. 7. At
screening, the court dismissed the MCC as a defendant but
allowed Daniels to proceed against Janca and Blisett. Doc. 6.
Daniels then amended his complaint, replacing Blisett with
Tiljak, Docs. 21-22, and the court denied Defendants'
motion to dismiss, Docs. 35, 42, 58. With discovery
completed, the parties cross-move for summary judgment. Docs.
81, 90. Defendants' motion is granted, and Daniels's
motion is denied.
Daniels's Noncompliance with Local Rule 56.1
with Local Rule 56.1, Defendants filed a Local Rule
56.1(a)(3) statement of undisputed facts along with their
summary judgment motion. Doc. 83. Most of the relevant
factual assertions in the Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) statement
cite evidentiary material in the record and are supported by
the cited material. See N.D. Ill. L.R. 56.1(a)
(“The statement referred to in (3) shall consist of
short numbered paragraphs, including within each paragraph
specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record,
and other supporting materials relied upon to support the
facts set forth in that paragraph.”). Defendants also
served on Daniels a Local Rule 56.2 Notice, which explains
what Local Rule 56.1 requires of a pro se litigant
opposing summary judgment. Doc. 84.
Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B) required Daniels to file “a concise
response to [Defendants' Local Rule 56.1(a)(3)] statement
… contain[ing] … a response to each numbered
paragraph in [Defendants'] statement, including, in the
case of any disagreement, specific references to the
affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting
materials relied upon.” N.D.Ill. L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(B).
Daniels did not file a Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B) response to
Defendants' Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) statement. Instead, he
filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, Doc. 90, a
memorandum in support of his motion, Doc. 91, an affidavit in
support of his motion, Doc. 92, and “opposing
affidavits, ” Docs. 93-94, in response to the
declarations that Janca and Tiljak attached as exhibits to
their Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) statement, Doc. 83-1. Defendants
construed Daniels's three affidavits as Local Rule
56.1(a)(3) statements in support of his cross-motion and
accordingly filed Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B) responses, Docs.
112-114. Nearly three months after the December 17, 2018
deadline, Doc. 100, and without seeking an extension or leave
to file, Daniels on March 4, 2019 filed a brief in opposition
to Defendants' summary judgment motion, Doc. 115.
failure to file a Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B) response to
Defendants' Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) statement has
consequences. The local rules provide that “[a]ll
material facts set forth in the [Local Rule 56.1(a)(3)]
statement … will be deemed to be admitted unless
controverted by the statement of the opposing party.”
N.D.Ill. L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(C). The Seventh Circuit “has
consistently upheld district judges' discretion to
require strict compliance with Local Rule 56.1.”
Flint v. City of Belvidere, 791 F.3d 764, 767 (7th
Cir. 2015) (collecting cases); see also Zoretic v.
Darge, 832 F.3d 639, 641 (7th Cir. 2016) (same);
Stevo v. Frasor, 662 F.3d 880, 886-87 (7th Cir.
2011) (“Because of the high volume of summary judgment
motions and the benefits of clear presentation of relevant
evidence and law, we have repeatedly held that district
judges are entitled to insist on strict compliance with local
rules designed to promote the clarity of summary judgment
filings.”). Daniels's pro se status does
not excuse him from complying with Local Rule 56.1. See
McNeil v. United States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993)
(“[W]e have never suggested that procedural rules in
ordinary civil litigation should be interpreted so as to
excuse mistakes by those who proceed without
counsel.”); Zoretic, 832 F.3d at 641
(“While we liberally construe the pleadings of
individuals who proceed pro se, neither appellate courts nor
district courts are obliged in our adversary system to scour
the record looking for factual disputes.”) (internal
quotation marks omitted); Brown v. Wyndemere LLC,
608 Fed.Appx. 424, 425 (7th Cir. 2015) (“[A] district
court is entitled to enforce its local rules, even against
pro se litigants.”) (citing Cady v.
Sheahan, 467 F.3d 1057, 1061 (7th Cir. 2006)).
the problem is not that Daniels failed to strictly
comply with Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B); rather, it is that he
did not comply at all. Accordingly, the court
accepts as true the facts set forth in Defendants' Local
Rule 56.1(a)(3) statement “to the extent th[ose] facts
[a]re supported by admissible and docketed evidence.”
Kreg Therapeutics, Inc. v. VitalGo, Inc., 919 F.3d
405, 411 (7th Cir. 2019) (internal quotation marks omitted)
(“According to well-established Seventh Circuit law,
[the nonmovant's] noncompliance [with Local Rule
56.1(b)(3)(B)] meant that the district court could exercise
its discretion to accept [the movant's] statements of
fact as undisputed.”); see also Olivet Baptist
Church v. Church Mut. Ins. Co., 672 Fed.Appx. 607, 607
(7th Cir. 2017) (“The district court treated most of
the [movant's] factual submissions as unopposed, because
the [nonmovant] failed to contest them in the form required
by Local Rule 56.1(b). We have held that the district court
is entitled to enforce that rule in precisely the way it
enforced the rule in this litigation.”) (collecting
cases); Curtis v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 807 F.3d
215, 218 (7th Cir. 2015) (“When a responding
party's statement fails to dispute the facts set forth in
the moving party's statement in the manner dictated by
[Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B)], those facts are deemed admitted
for purposes of the motion.”) (internal quotation marks
omitted); Keeton v. Morningstar, Inc., 667 F.3d 877,
880, 884 (7th Cir. 2012) (similar).
Daniels is pro se, the court will construe his three
affidavits as Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) statements in support of
his cross-motion for summary judgment and also as Local Rule
56.1(b)(3)(C) statements of additional facts in opposition to
Defendants' summary judgment motion. See Johnson v.
City of Chicago, 2016 WL 5341810, at *2 (N.D. Ill. Sept.
23, 2016). That said, because the only proper vehicle for
disputing factual assertions in a Local Rule 56.1(a)(3)
statement is a Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B) response, the court
will disregard the assertions in Daniels's affidavits to
the extent they conflict with the properly supported
assertions in Defendants' Local Rule 56.1(a)(3)
statement, which are deemed admitted due to his failure to
file a Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B) response. See Klein v.
Wexford Health Sources, Inc., 2019 WL 2435850, at *2
(N.D. Ill. June 11, 2019); Johnson, 2016 WL 5341810,
at *2 (taking this approach in the context of cross-motions
for summary judgment); Olivet Baptist Church v. Church
Mut. Ins. Co., 2016 WL 772787, at *1-2 (N.D. Ill. Feb.
29, 2016) (deeming admitted the facts asserted in the
defendant's Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) statement where the
plaintiff failed to file a Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B) response
and instead attempted to treat its Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C)
statement as a response to the Local Rule 56.1(a)(3)
statement), aff'd, 672 Fed.Appx. 607 (7th Cir.
2017); see also Curtis, 807 F.3d at 219 (“The
purpose of Rule 56.1 is to have the litigants present to the
district court a clear, concise list of material facts that
are central to the summary judgment determination. It is the
litigants' duty to clearly identify material facts in
dispute and provide the admissible evidence that tends
to prove or disprove the proffered fact. A litigant who
denies a material fact is required to provide the admissible
evidence that supports his denial in a clear, concise,
and obvious fashion, for quick reference of the court.
The district court did not abuse its discretion in finding
Curtis failed to comply with Rule 56.1 requirements.”)
(emphasis added); Cracco v. Vitran Express, Inc.,
559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009) (“Because of the
important function local rules like Rule 56.1 serve in
organizing the evidence and identifying disputed facts, we
have consistently upheld the district court's discretion
to require strict compliance with those rules.”)
(internal quotation marks omitted).
leaves Daniels's response brief, whose tardiness alone
provides sufficient reason to disregard it. See Raven v.
Madison Area Tech. Coll., 443 Fed.Appx. 210, 212 (7th
Cir. 2011) (“Although we liberally construe pro se
filings, we do not enlarge filing deadlines for them.”)
(citation omitted); Casimir v. Sunrise Fin., Inc.,
299 Fed.Appx. 591, 593 (7th Cir. 2008) (“[E]ven when
the litigant is pro se, district courts are justified in
enforcing deadlines, particularly in the context of summary
judgment and Local Rule 56.1.”) (collecting cases).
Even if it were timely, Daniels's brief would do him
little good. It consists largely of bare factual assertions,
which are disregarded to the extent those assertions are not
separately presented in his Local Rule 56.1 filings. See
Shaffer v. Am. Med. Ass'n, 662 F.3d 439, 442 (7th
Cir. 2011) (noting that it “is certainly within a
district court's prerogative” to decline to
consider “any facts that were not contained in the
parties' Rule 56.1 statements”); Midwest Imps.,
Ltd. v. Coval, 71 F.3d 1311, 1317 (7th Cir. 1995)
(holding that the predecessor to Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)
“provides the only acceptable means of …
presenting additional facts to the district court”);
Dunhill Asset Servs. III, LLC v. Tinberg, 2012 WL
3028334, at *3 (N.D. Ill. July 23, 2013) (“Under
settled law, facts asserted in a brief but not presented in a
Local Rule 56.1 statement are disregarded in resolving a
summary judgment motion.”) (internal quotation marks
omitted); N.D.Ill. L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(C) (requiring
“references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and
other supporting materials relied upon” to support
factual assertions on summary judgment). Daniels's legal
arguments are likewise devoid of citations to legal
authority, and thus are forfeited. See M.G. Skinner &
Assocs. Ins. Agency, Inc. v. Norman-Spencer Agency,
Inc., 845 F.3d 313, 321 (7th Cir. 2017)
(“Perfunctory and undeveloped arguments are waived, as
are arguments unsupported by legal authority.”)
that said, the court is mindful that “a nonmovant's
failure to respond to a summary judgment motion, or failure
to comply with Local Rule 56.1, does not …
automatically result in judgment for the movant[s], ”
who “must still demonstrate that [they are] entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Keeton, 667 F.3d
at 884 (internal quotation marks omitted).
summary judgment will be granted to Defendants, the facts are
set forth as favorably to Daniels as permitted by the record
and Local Rule 56.1. See Calumet River Fleeting, Inc. v.
Int'l Union of Operating Eng'rs, Local 150, 824
F.3d 645, 647-48 (7th Cir. 2016). On summary judgment, the
court must assume the truth of those facts, but does not
vouch for them. See Donley v. Stryker Sales Corp.,
906 F.3d 635, 636 (7th Cir. 2018).
at all relevant times was a pretrial detainee at the MCC.
Doc. 83 at ¶ 3. Janca, a registered nurse at the MCC,
was responsible for delivering prescription medications to
detainees. Id. at ¶¶ 4, 12-13. Tiljak, a
senior correctional officer, was responsible ...