United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
Charles Cooper (“Cooper”), an inmate of the
Illinois Department of Corrections, filed this civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged
deprivations of his constitutional rights that occurred while
he was incarcerated at Pinckneyville Correctional Center
(“Pinckneyville”). He asserts claims under the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Eighth
matter is now before the Court on a motion for summary
judgment on the issue of exhaustion of administrative
remedies filed by Defendants. For the reasons set forth
below, the motion is granted.
uses a wheelchair to ambulate and catheters and diapers to
dispose of bodily waste. (Doc. 1, pp. 6, 8). According to the
Complaint, Defendants Jaimet and Brown failed to accommodate
Cooper's needs by housing him in a cell that is not
equipped for disabled inmates, failing to provide him with
access to wheelchair accessible shower facilities and
recreational activities, failing to provide a sanitary means
for disposing of soiled diapers, and forcing him to reuse
single-use catheters. (Doc. 1, pp. 6-11, 15-16).
Additionally, Dr. Meyer (not a defendant in this action)
stopped prescribing a medication that was effectively
treating his heart condition because it was too expensive.
(Doc. 1, pp. 6, 9). Cooper claims that Brown knew he was not
receiving appropriate treatment for his heart condition but
failed to remedy the inadequate medical care. (Doc. 1, pp.
10-12). Cooper filed his complaint on November 13, 2018 (Doc.
review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the following
claims proceeded: (1) an ADA and/or Rehabilitation Act claim
against Baldwin (official capacity) for failing to meet
Cooper's disability-related needs; (2) an Eighth
Amendment claim against Brown and Jaimet for exhibiting
deliberate indifference to Cooper's disability-related
needs; and (3) an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference
claim against Brown for failing to act despite knowing that
Cooper was not receiving adequate medical care for his heart
Motion for Summary Judgment
filed the pending motion for summary judgment arguing that
Cooper failed to exhaust his administrative remedies on the
claims against them prior to filing suit. (Docs. 26 and 27).
Cooper failed to file a response to the motion. The Court
considers Cooper's failure to respond an admission of the
facts set forth in Defendants' motion. SDIL Local Rule
7.1(c) (failure to timely file a response to a motion may be
considered an admission of the merits of the motion);
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(facts may be considered undisputed if a
party fails to respond as required by Rule 56(c)); Smith
v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003)(failure to
respond by the nonmovant as mandated by the local rules
results in an admission); Flynn v. Sandahl, 58 F.3d
283, 288 (7th Cir. 1995) (non-movant's failure to respond
to a motion for summary judgment constitutes an admission
that there are no disputed issues of material facts).
following facts are undisputed: An inmate may grieve prison
conditions with the Illinois Department of Corrections by
following the grievance procedures set forth in 20 Ill.
Admin. Code § 504.800 et seq. (Doc. 27, p. 2).
Cooper had access to grievances and to the grievance process
at Pinckneyville. (Id.). Cooper did grieve to his
Counselor regarding re-useable catheters and medical issues
on December 5, 13, 28, and 30, 2016, and January 30, 2017.
(Doc. 27, p. 2, Doc. 27-3, pp. 2-3). Cooper did not, however,
file grievances with the Grievance Officer or Warden of
Pinckneyville on the claims in this case prior to filing his
complaint in this case. (Doc. 27, p. 2; Doc. 27-1, pp. 1-3).
Cooper also did not file any appeals or direct grievances to
the Administrative Review Board. (Doc. 27, p. 2; Doc. 27-2,
Motions for summary judgment are governed by Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56. “Summary judgment is proper if the
pleadings, discovery materials, disclosures, and affidavits
demonstrate no genuine issue of material fact such that
[Defendants are] entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Wragg v. Village of Thornton, 604 F.3d
464, 467 (7th Cir. 2010); Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
filed by inmates are governed by the Prison Litigation Reform
Act (“PLRA”), which provides, in pertinent part,
that “no action shall be brought with respect to prison
conditions under section 1983 of this title, or any other
Federal law, by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or
other correctional facility until such administrative
remedies as are available are exhausted.” 42 U.S.C.
§1997e(a). The Seventh Circuit requires strict adherence
to the PLRA's exhaustion requirement. Dole v.
Chandler, 438 F.3d 804, 809 (7th Cir. 2006). Exhaustion
must occur before the suit is filed. Ford v.
Johnson, 362 F.3d 395, 398 (7th Cir. 2004). Cooper
cannot file suit and then exhaust his administrative remedies
while the suit is pending. Id. Moreover, “[t]o
exhaust remedies, a prisoner must file complaints and appeals
in the place, and at the time, the prison administrative
rules require.” Pozo v. McCaughtry, 286 F.3d
1022, 1025 (7th Cir. 2005). Consequently, if a prisoner fails
to properly utilize a prison's grievance process,
“the prison administrative authority can refuse to hear
the case, and the prisoner's claim can be indefinitely
unexhausted.” Dole, 438 F.3d at 809. In
Pavey v. Conley, the Seventh Circuit held that
“debatable factual issues relating to the defense of
failure to exhaust administrative remedies” are not
required to be decided by a jury but are to be determined by
the judge. 544 F.3d 739, 740-41(7th Cir. 2008).
inmate confined within the Illinois Department of
Corrections, Cooper was required to follow the regulations
contained in the Illinois Department of Corrections'
Grievance Procedures for Offenders (“grievance
procedures”) to properly exhaust his claims. 20 Ill.
Administrative Code § 504.800 et seq. The
grievance procedures first require inmates to file their
grievance with the Counselor within 60 days of the discovery
of an incident. 20 Ill. Admin. Code § 504.810(a). The
grievance form must:
[C]ontain factual details regarding each aspect of the
offender's complaint, including what happened, when,
where, and the name of each person who is the subject of or
who is otherwise involved in the complaint. This provision
does not preclude an offender from filing a grievance when
the names of individuals are not known, but the offender ...