United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Honorable Thomas M. Durkin United States District Judge
Marshaun Boykin, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois
Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), has brought
this currently pro se prisoner civil rights action
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff claims that
Defendants, two psychiatrists at the Dixon Correctional
Center, have violated his constitutional rights by acting
with deliberate indifference to his mental health needs. [All
other Defendants have been dismissed on threshold screening,
by amendment, pursuant to voluntary dismissal, or through
settlement.] Plaintiff principally challenges his placement
in Dixon's Psychiatric Unit.
before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary
judgment. Although advised of his opportunity to respond to
the motion, see R. 166, briefing schedule entered
August 14, 2019; R. 168, Order of September 13, 2019,
Plaintiff has declined to file an opposing brief. For the
reasons discussed in this order, Defendants' uncontested
motion for summary judgment is granted.
Plaintiff's Pro Se Status
Court is compelled to note at the outset that it normally
would have recruited counsel in a prisoner civil rights
action involving mental health treatment. To be sure, pro
bono counsel represented Plaintiff for the first two
years this case was pending, marshalling the evidence and
expending close to half a million dollars in doing so. R.
105, Motion to Withdraw, at p. 1.
as occurred in many of Plaintiff's lawsuits in this
district, the Court ultimately allowed counsel to withdraw
from this case after Plaintiff clashed with his pro
bono attorneys and their support staff. See R.
112, Minute Entry of July 17, 2018 (Johnston, J.). The
magistrate judge previously assigned to this case declined to
recruit new counsel. Id. The district judge who
presided over this case prior to his retirement likewise
refused to enlist another attorney. R. 114, Order of August
6, 2018 (Kapala, J.). Given Plaintiff's
“inexcusable and unfounded conflict” with
counsel, his defamatory aspersions against them, his warnings
that he intended to report them to the State Bar's
disciplinary commission-and even threats of bodily harm-the
Court concluded that Plaintiff seemed “incapable of
working with an attorney.” Id. at p. 2. The
Court additionally observed, based in part on Plaintiff's
ability to bring [at that time] 37 lawsuits in this district
alone since 2012, that he appeared to have the wherewithal to
litigate this matter without the assistance of an attorney.
undersigned judge, too, decided against recruiting new
counsel. See R. 162, Order of June 25. 2019 (Durkin,
J.). The Court noted that in all four of Plaintiff's
then-pending cases, he had either fired pro bono
counsel or they were relieved from assignment due to discord
with Plaintiff. Id. at p. 2. And the Court cited
additional, earlier cases where “Plaintiff's
counsel admirably fulfilled their professional duties and
Plaintiff incorrectly and unreasonably believed otherwise,
” or where he otherwise engaged in “unreasonable
conduct toward recruited counsel. Id. The age of
this case also militated against generating any more delays.
Id. at p. 3.
the Court was, and remains, satisfied that Plaintiff was
capable of navigating this matter on his own, notwithstanding
his mental illness. Id., at p. 3 (citing
Romanelli v. Suliene, 615 F.3d at 847, 849 (7th Cir.
2010) (quoting with approval the district court's
assessment that the “whole point” of psychotropic
drugs is to allow the person taking the medication to think
and act rationally)); see also Boykin v. KSB
Hospital, Case No. 18 CV 50371, R. 4, Order of December
10, 2018, at P. 3 (Kapala, J.) (commenting that Plaintiff
alluded to his mental health issues only when it seemed to
suit him). Plaintiff has shown himself to be a highly
intelligent individual and a savvy litigator. He managed to
file numerous lawsuits over the course of several years
without “striking out” under 28 U.S.C. §
1915(g) until 2017, and he achieved settlements in at least
ten of his cases. Plaintiff also expressly demanded to
proceed in this case pro se at one point.
Legal Standards on a Motion for Summary Judgment
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Hanover Ins. Co. v. Northern Bldg.
Co., 751 F.3d 788, 791 (7th Cir. 2014). In determining
whether factual issues exist, the Court must view all the
evidence and draw all reasonable inferences in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party. Weber v. Univ.
Research Assoc., Inc., 621 F.3d 589, 592 (7th Cir.
2010). The Court does not “judge the credibility of the
witnesses, evaluate the weight of the evidence, or determine
the truth of the matter. The only question is whether there
is a genuine issue of fact.” Gonzalez v. City of
Elgin, 578 F.3d 526, 529 (7th Cir. 2009) (citing
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 249-50
survive summary judgment, the nonmoving party must make a
sufficient showing of evidence for each essential element of
his case on which he bears the burden at trial. Blow v.
Bijora, Inc., 855 F.3d 793, 797-98 (7th Cir. 2017)
(citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-23). “Where
the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier
of fact to find for the non-moving party, there is no genuine
issue for trial.” Blythe Holdings, Inc. v.
DeAngelis, 750 F.3d 653, 656 (7th Cir. 2014) (citations
omitted). “A genuine issue of material fact arises only
if sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party exists to
permit a jury to return a verdict for that party.”
Johnson v. Manitowoc Cty., 635 F.3d 331, 334 (7th
Cir. 2011) (quoting Faas v. Sears, Roebuck &
Co., 532 F.3d 633, 640-41 (7th Cir. 2008)).
Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1
Rule 56.1 (N.D. Ill.) governs the procedures for filing and
responding to motions for summary judgment in this judicial
district. “Under the Local Rules of the Northern
District of Illinois, a party filing a motion for summary
judgment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 must serve and file ‘a
statement of material facts as to which the moving party
contends there is no genuine issue and that entitle the
moving party to a judgment as a matter of law.'”
Judson Atkinson Candies, Inc. v. Latini-Hohberger
Dhimantec, 529 F.3d 371, 382 (7th Cir. 2008) (citation
omitted). The opposing party must then file “‘a
response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's
statement, including, in the case of any disagreement,
specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record,
and other supporting materials relied upon.'”
Cracco v. Vitran Exp., Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th
Cir. 2009) (citing N.D.Ill. R. 56.1(b)(3)(B)); Fabiyi v.
McDonald's Corp., No. 11 CV 8085, 2014 WL 985415, at
*1 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 13, 2014) (aff'd 595
Fed.Appx. 621 (7th Cir. 2014)). The opposing party may also
present a separate statement of additional facts that require
the denial of summary judgment. See Ciomber v. Coop.
Plus, Inc., 527 F.3d 635, 643-44 (7th Cir. 2008).
party fails to respond to a L.R. 56.1 statement of
uncontested facts, then those facts are deemed admitted to
the extent they are supported by the evidence in the record.
Keeton v. Morningstar, Inc., 667 F.3d 877, 880 (7th
Cir. 2012); Parra v. Neal, 614 F.3d 635, 636 (7th
Cir. 2010); L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(C) (N.D. Ill.) (“All
material facts set forth in the statement required of the
moving party will be deemed to be admitted unless
controverted by the statement of the opposing party.”).
A plaintiff's pro se status does not excuse him
from complying with these rules. Morrow v. Donahoe,
564 Fed.Appx. 859, 860 (7th Cir. 2014) (unpublished opinion)
(citing Pearle Vision, Inc. v. Romm, 541 F.3d 751,
758 (7th Cir. 2008) (inter alia)).
a non-movant's failure to respond to a summary judgment
motion, or failure to comply with L.R. 56.1, does not
automatically result in judgment for the movant.
Keeton, 667 F.3d at 884; Love v. Rockford
Illinois Mun. Police Dep't, No. 08 CV 50254, 2013 WL
159246, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 15, 2013). The movant must
still demonstrate that it is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law. Keeton, 667 F.3d at 884; Love, 2013
WL 159246, at *1. And the Court still views all the facts
asserted by the moving party in the light most favorable to
the non-moving party, drawing all reasonable inferences in
the non-movant's favor. Keeton, 667 F.3d at 884;
Love, 2013 WL 159246, at *1.
with the Local Rules, Defendants filed a Statement of
Material Facts along with their motion for summary judgment.
(R. 173, Defendants' Local Rule 56.1(a) Statement.) Each
substantive assertion of fact in Defendants' Local Rule
56.1(a)(3) Statement is supported by evidentiary material in
the record. Also in accordance with the Local Rules,
Defendants filed and served on Plaintiff a Local Rule 56.2
Notice, which explained in detail the requirements of Local
Rule 56.1. (R. 176, “Notice to Pro Se Litigant
Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment.”) The notice
warned Plaintiff that a party's failure to controvert the
facts as set forth in the moving party's statement
results in those facts being deemed admitted. See also
Apex Digital, Inc. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 735 F.3d
962, 965 (7th Cir. 2013); Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d
680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003).
of Plaintiff's failure to respond to Defendants'
motion for summary judgment, the Court finds that the
following facts, all supported by the record, are undisputed
for purposes of the summary judgment motion:
Marshaun Boykin (incarcerated under the surname
“Boykins”) is an Illinois state prisoner. (R.
173, Defendants' Local Rule 56.1(a) Statement of Material
Facts, ¶ 1.)
Mark Fischer and Ramon Marquez are psychiatrists employed at
the Dixon Correctional Center. (Id., ¶¶ 2,
3.) In their position as staff psychiatrists, Defendants
provide mental health treatment for inmates. (Id.)
has been diagnosed as seriously mentally ill. (Id.)
He suffers from various psychiatric conditions, including
mood disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, impulse control
disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. (Id.)
to the initiation of this lawsuit, Plaintiff's mental
health care providers at the Pontiac Correctional Center
determined that a residential treatment center would be a
better home for him than a regular prison. (Id.,
¶ 4.) Residential treatment units-essentially a secure
hospital setting-are specifically equipped to handle
seriously mentally ill prisoners by providing programs and
access to staff not available at regular prisons.
(Id.) Defendant Fischer agreed with the assessment
of Pontiac psychiatrists that it was “medically
appropriate” for Plaintiff to be housed in a
residential treatment unit setting due to his various mental
health issues. (Id.)
inmates are admitted to a residential treatment unit, they
are afforded an opportunity for a placement hearing if they
wish. (Id., ¶ 5.) In addition, an inmate may,
at any time, request a review of his or her placement by
submitting a request in writing to the prison administration,
submitting a grievance, or asking a mental health care
provider for a review. (Id.) And with or without a
request, all inmates housed in a residential treatment unit
undergo placement review at least every six months.
Dixon Correctional Center has two residential treatment
units, the Special Treatment Center and the Dixon Psychiatric
Unit. (Id., ¶ 6.) The Special Treatment Center
houses inmates with minimum and medium security
classifications. (Id.) The Dixon Psychiatric Unit
houses maximum security inmates. (Id.)
housed in the Special Treatment Center share a cell with a
fellow prisoner. (Id.). Inmates in the Dixon
Psychiatric Unit occupy single-person cells. (Id.)
Otherwise, inmates in the Special Treatment Center and the
Dixon Psychiatric Unit are both provided the same level of
access to mental health providers, therapeutic programs, and
medical treatment. (Id., ¶ 8.) Both the Special
Treatment Center and the Dixon Psychiatric Unit offer the
same basic mental health treatment programs, including at
least 10 hours per week of “structured”
out-of-cell-time. (Id.) Structured out-of-cell time
can include one-on-one or group therapy with a counselor.
(Id.) Residents in both the Special Treatment Center
and the Dixon Psychiatric Unit are also afforded at least 10
hours per week of unstructured out-of-cell time.
(Id.) Unstructured activities include access to the
prison yard, gym, and law library, as well as access to
psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and other
mental health professionals. (Id.)
classifications are based at least in part on the length of
an inmate's sentence. (Id., ¶ 7.) Under
prison guidelines, inmates with more than 25 years until
their mandatory supervised release date are automatically
designated as maximum security inmates. (Id.)
Ultimately, the prison administration, and not the mental
health care staff, determines an inmate's housing
Plaintiff first arrived at Dixon, he was housed in the
Special Treatment Center and remained there for several
years. (Id., ¶ 9.) At that time, he was serving
a 14-year sentence for residential burglary. (Id.,
¶ 1.) However, in early 2015, Plaintiff was sentenced to
two additional, consecutive 35-year terms for predatory
criminal sexual assault of a child. (Id.,
¶¶ 1, 9.) Plaintiff's projected mandatory
release date was accordingly pushed back to November 2077.
(Id., ¶ 9.) Due to his 70-year sentence,
Plaintiff was reclassified as a maximum security inmate
pursuant to IDOC policy. (Id.) Consequently, he was
transferred from the Special Treatment Center (minimum/medium
security) to the Dixon Psychiatric Unit, a maximum security
Fischer was not involved in the decision to categorize
Plaintiff as a maximum security prisoner. (Id.)
However, based on Dr. Fischer's familiarity with
Plaintiff-and after reviewing his mental health records and
discussing the matter with other staff members-Fischer did
agree, when asked, that it was “medically
appropriate” for Plaintiff to be placed in a
residential treatment unit. (Id., ¶ 10.)
moved to the Dixon Psychiatric Unit on or about April 13,
2015. (Id.) Dr. Fischer met with Plaintiff on the
day of his arrival. (Id., ¶ 11.) Plaintiff,
demonstrating a keen knowledge of pharmaceuticals, requested
that he receive Prozac (generic name fluoxetine, an
antidepressant), Depakote (or divalproex sodium, a mood
stabilizer aimed at controlling manic episodes caused by
bipolar disorder, Haldol (haloperidol, an antipsychotic
medication), Cogentin (benztropine, a drug used to combat
spasms and involuntary movements), Trazodone (a sedative and
antidepressant), and Lorazepam (brand name Ativan, a calming
and anti-anxiety agent). (Id.) Plaintiff confided to
Fischer that he was fixated on his 70-year sentence and was
having thoughts about hanging himself. (Id.)
Plaintiff expressed statements of self-harm, Dr. Fischer
placed him on a 10-minute suicide watch. (Id.) Dr.
Fischer also prescribed all of the psychotropic medications
Plaintiff had requested. (Id.) Dr. Fischer hoped
that the medications would help steady Plaintiff's mental
health conditions. (Id.)
saw Plaintiff again the next day. (Id., ¶ 13.)
Plaintiff was by that time preoccupied with obtaining a
transfer back to the Special Treatment Center. (Id.)
Plaintiff reported that he was feeling better, and that he
was no longer experiencing any suicidal ideations.
(Id.) Dr. Fischer adjusted Plaintiff's status to
a 30-minute suicide watch and continued his various mental
health medications. (Id.)
had a follow-up appointment with Plaintiff a week later.
(Id., ¶ 14.) At that time, Plaintiff stated
that he did not believe his medications were helping.
(Id.) He requested an increased dosage of Haldol.
(Id.) He disclosed that he had not taken his
medications for several days in order to create a reason for
Dr. Fischer to see him. (Id.) Nevertheless,
Plaintiff said that he was doing better and did not have any
suicidal thoughts. (Id.) Dr. Fischer increased
Plaintiff's Haldol per his request and continued the
other mental health medications. (Id.)
next day (April 23, 2015), Plaintiff told Dr. Fischer that he
continued to feel better, but that he was hearing voices.
(Id., ¶ 15.) Despite feeling sleepy and tired,
Plaintiff said that his mood was good and that he did not
have any suicidal ideations. (Id.) Dr. Fischer
continued Plaintiff's medications, deeming them
appropriate for the inmate's mental health needs.
appointment the following day, Plaintiff reported that he had
been moved to the Dixon Psychiatric Unit's A-Wing.
(Id., ¶ 16.) [The Court gathers from
Defendants' Statement of Facts in its entirety that the
A-Wing unit offers the most freedom and privileges, that
B-Wing may or may not be a step down, and that C-Wing is a
disciplinary and observation unit.] Plaintiff said that he
was not feeling suicidal, that he had been to the yard, and
that he intended to go the gym as soon as he was able to do
Plaintiff met with Dr. Fischer on April 30, 2019, he
requested permission to stop taking Haldol. (Id.,
¶ 17.) Plaintiff said that he did not think the Haldol
was effective. (Id.) Accordingly, Dr. Fischer
decreased Plaintiff's dosages of Haldol and Cogentin, but
increased his dosage of Lorazepam. (Id.)
8, 2015, Plaintiff told Dr. Fischer that he wanted to be in
group therapy and reiterated that he wanted to return to the
Special Treatment Center. (Id., ¶ 23.)
Plaintiff was frustrated and angry at that time, but he did
not convey any suicidal ideations. (Id.) After
examining Plaintiff and discussing his course of treatment,
Dr. Fischer discontinued his Haldol and Cogentin, increased
his Lorazepam, and prescribed Bupropion (brand name
Wellbutrin, an antidepressant often prescribed to those with
obsessive-compulsive disorder) and Gabapentin (Neurontin, a
drug used to control neuropathic pain), with orders to stop
Depakote once the Gabapentin started. (Id.) Dr.
Fischer also continued Plaintiff's Prozac and Trazodone.
(Id.) Wellbutrin, Gabapentin, Prozac, and Trazodone
are all used to treat depression. (Id.) Lorazepam is
used to calm patients who suffer from impulsivity and
anxiety. (Id., ¶ 24.)
11, 2015, Dr. Fischer discontinued Plaintiff's Depakote
and adjusted his Gabapentin dosage. (Id., ¶
25.) In addition, Dr. Fischer ordered that Plaintiff receive
his Wellbutrin in crushed form. (Id.) Dr. Fischer
did so because Plaintiff had a history of
“cheeking” and hoarding his medications-that is,
pretending to take his medications but instead keeping them
for later use. (Id.) Hoarding medications presents a
danger to inmates of overdosing. (Id.) Wellbutrin in
particular is known to be abused to obtain a recreational
high, which Dr. Fischer says can harm a patient.
12, 2015, Dr. Fischer explained to Plaintiff that his
Gabapentin and Wellbutrin were approved through a
non-formulary process (presumably meaning that neither was on
the list of drugs generally made available to IDOC inmates).
(Id., ¶ 26.) Plaintiff reported that
he did not want his medications to be crushed because he did
not like how they tasted. (Id.) Other than
complaining about the taste of his crushed medicines,
Plaintiff was calm and did not have any “particular
issues.” (Id.) Dr. Fischer continued
Plaintiff's multiple prescriptions.
28, 2015, Plaintiff asked for an increase in his Gabapentin.
(Id., ¶ 27.) Plaintiff reported that he spent a
large portion of the day sleeping, but said that he was
otherwise doing well. (Id.) Plaintiff did not
express any suicidal ideations. (Id.) However, when
Dr. Fischer reviewed Plaintiff's medication records, he
discovered that Plaintiff had been non-compliant with his
drug therapy and missed some recent doses. (Id.) Dr.