United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
CHARLES E. THORNTON, Plaintiff,
JACQUELINE LASHBROOK, MISTY NEW, REGINA PRICE, CYNTHIA GIMBER, and PAMELA SCOTT, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. ROSENSTENGEL, CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on the motion for summary judgment
on the issue of exhaustion of administrative remedies filed
by Defendants Regina Price and Cynthia Gimber (Doc. 72). For
the reasons stated below, the motion is granted in part and
denied in part.
Charles Thornton is an inmate in the Illinois Department of
Corrections. He brought this pro se civil rights
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming prison
officials at Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”) violated his constitutional rights
when they wrongfully denied him access to publications that
he ordered. At the time the motion for summary judgment was
filed in March 2019, Thornton was proceeding on two claims
against Defendants Misti New, Cynthia Gimber, and Regina
Price for violating his First Amendment rights when they
erroneously rejected an issue of “Phat Puffs”
magazine and sets of “Phat Puffs Shotz”
photographs in June 2017 (Count 1) and erroneously rejected
another set of “Phat Puffs Shotz” photographs in
February 2018 (Count 2) (Doc. 10; Doc. 50).
March 20, 2019, Defendants Gimber and Price filed a motion
for summary judgment, arguing that Thornton failed to exhaust
his administrative remedies as to them prior to filing suit
(Doc. 72). More specifically, Defendants Gimber and
Price argue that, in the grievances Thornton submitted
following the rejection of the Phat Puffs publications in
June 2017 (which is the basis of Count 1), he did not name
them, reference them, or allege that they had any role in
denying the publications (Doc. 73). Notably, Defendants
Gimber and Price make no arguments and present no evidence
regarding grievances filed in the wake of Phat Puffs
publication that went unaccounted for in February 2018 (which
is the basis of Count 2) (see Doc. 73). In other
words, the motion for summary judgment pertains only to
Thornton's failure to exhaust as to Defendants Gimber and
Price as it relates to Count 1. Thornton filed a
response in opposition to the motion for summary judgment on
April 3, 2019 (Doc. 77). Defendants Gimber and Price did not
file a reply.
2019, before the motion for summary judgment was ruled on,
Thornton moved to amend his complaint once again (Doc. 87).
Thornton was permitted to add Pamela Scott as a Defendant to
Count 2 (Docs. 119, 122). Thornton also was permitted to add
a claim for retaliation against Counselor Price as an
alternative to Count 2 (Count 3).
the date of this Order, Thornton is proceeding on the
following claims against the following Defendants:
Count 1 - First Amendment claim against
Defendants Misti New, Cynthia Gimber, and Regina Price for
denying Thornton's request for a copy of Issue No. 10 of
“Phat Puffs” (Spring 2017) and “Phat Puffs
Shotz” without a legitimate penological reason.
Count 2 - First Amendment claim against
Defendants New, Gimber, Price, and Pamela Scott for denying
Thornton's “set of phat puffs no nudity
shotz” requested in February 2018 without a legitimate
Count 3 - First Amendment retaliation claim
against Defendant Price for ensuring Thornton did not receive
the “set of phat puffs no nudity shotz” requested
in February 2018 in retaliation for Thornton filing
grievances and a lawsuit against Price.
Defendant Pamela Scott was added as a defendant, she did not
seek leave to file a motion for summary judgment on the issue
of exhaustion. Additionally, Counselor Price did not seek to
amend her motion to add an argument related to Count 3, which
was the new claim for retaliation. Accordingly, the only
issue before the Court is whether Thornton exhausted his
administrative remedies as to Defendants Cynthia Gimber and
Regina Price as it relates to Count 1.
the parties' filings do not implicate a genuine issue of
material fact, no evidentiary hearing pursuant to Pavey
v. Conley, 544 F.3d 739 (7th Cir. 2008) was necessary,
and Defendants' motion for summary judgment on the issue
of exhaustion is ripe for disposition.
Regina Price is a correctional counselor at Menard (Doc.
73-2). She does not have a position on the Publications
Review Committee, and she does not have a role in ...