United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL Chief U.S. District Judge
before the Court is the Report and Recommendation of
Magistrate Judge Mark A. Beatty (Doc. 87), in which he
recommends the undersigned deny the Motion for Summary
Judgment filed by Plaintiff Ronnie Gully, Jr. (Doc. 62). For
the reasons set forth below, the Court adopts the Report and
Recommendation and denies Gully’s motion for summary
an inmate in the Illinois Department of Corrections, filed
this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged
deprivations of his constitutional rights that occurred at
Lawrence Correctional Center. (Doc. 1). After threshold
review of his complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, Gully
was permitted to proceed on the following claims:
Count 1: Eighth Amendment claim against
Officer Houser and Officer Hundley for harassing Plaintiff
beginning in July 2016.
Count 2: First Amendment retaliation claim
against Officer Houser and Officer Hundley for responding to
Plaintiff’s grievances regarding sexual harassment by
Officer Houser by threatening him, issuing him false
disciplinary tickets, and/or taking his personal property.
September 25, 2018, Gully filed a motion for summary judgment
(Doc. 62). At the outset of his declaration in support of
summary judgment, Gully stated: “I solemnly swear that
all factual elements and variables in my original civil
action are true; I further certify the reliability and
truthfulness to my exhibits and statements.” (Doc.
62-1). He also signed the declaration under penalty of
perjury that his statements were true and correct.
Accordingly, the Court considers Gully’s factual
allegations, to the extent he made them based on personal
knowledge, to be competent summary judgment evidence. See
Beal v. Beller, 847 F.3d 897, 901 (7th Cir. 2017)
(quoting Ford v. Wilson, 90 F.3d 245, 246 (7th Cir.
1996) (a verified complaint is “the equivalent of an
affidavit for purposes of summary judgment, because it
‘contains factual allegations that if included in an
affidavit or deposition would be considered evidence, and not
material facts as set forth in Gully’s statement of
facts, as well as his declaration and verified complaint, are
largely disputed. In his verified complaint, Gully claims
that Defendants Thomas Howser and Derek Hundley retaliated
against him for filing grievances about inappropriate sexual
comments that Howser made to him in July 2016. (Doc. 7).
Specifically, Gully alleges that in July 2016, Howser
escorted Gully to the restroom where he then strip-searched
Gully and, in the process, made inappropriate sexual comments
to Gully. (Doc. 62-1 at p. 4).
filed a grievance on August 15, 2016, detailing the acts of
sexual harassment. (Doc. 62-1 at p. 5). On August 20, 2016,
Howser stopped Gully in the chow hall and told him he had
gotten wind of the grievances Gully had filed (Id.).
Howser told Gully he would “never get away.”
August 22, 2016, Gully was issued an allegedly fabricated
disciplinary ticket by Officer Reeves, “a fellow
colleague of Mr. Houser[sic] whom he’s worked with for
the last 15 years.” (Doc. 62-1 at p. 5). Gully
ultimately was found guilty of the ticket and sent to
continued to write grievances about staff conduct and his
fear of more retaliatory acts. (Id.). He also spoke
with Internal Affairs prior to his release from segregation
about his fears. (Id. at p. 6). Once released from
segregation, he claims Howser began stalking him and making
November 26, 2016, Gully was transferred away from Howser to
a different area of the prison (Doc. 62-1, p. 7). On November
28, 2016, Hundley approached Gully and said that
“he’s been hearing [Gully’s] name
throughout the institution.” (Id.). Hundley
further told Gully he “didn’t understand the can
of worms [he’s] opened by fucking with Howser”
and to lay off Howser or Hundley would make life a living
hell. (Id.). The following day, Gully had a sick
call pass, and Hundley escorted him back to his cell.
Claiming Gully elbowed him, Hundley then said, “if you
ever do that again I’ll walk your ass, no you know what
pack your shit you’re going to seg.”
(Id.). Gully was taken to segregation and issued a
ticket for assaulting a prison staff member, which
constitutes a new criminal charge and can result in
additional time added to his sentence. (Id.).
Gully was released from segregation, he found his recently
purchased food items were gone, and the officer who
inventoried his items was Hundley. (Id. at p. 8).
Three days later, Gully was found guilty of a ticket for
insolence-not assaulting a prison staff member-and lost
several privileges, including phone privileges during the
holiday season. (Id.). Gully filed grievances about
this retaliation and being found guilty of something he was
never charged ...