United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
GILBERT C. SISON, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the Court is Defendants' motion for summary
judgment on the issue of exhaustion of administrative
remedies (Docs. 29, 30). Ingram opposes the motion (Doc. 33).
Based on the following, the undersigned
DENIES the motion for summary judgment on
the issue of exhaustion of administrative remedies.
to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, pro se Plaintiff Ingram
filed his complaint for deprivations of his constitutional
rights that occurred at Menard Correctional Center
(“Menard”). Ingram alleges that while housed at
Menard, officials subjected him to unconstitutional
conditions of confinement by housing him in a segregation
cell with no lights for 88 days (from October 16, 2017 to
January 12, 2018).
conducting a preliminary review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1915A, Ingram was allowed to proceed on one claim against
Campbell, John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 for subjecting him to
unconstitutional conditions of confinement in violation of
the Eighth Amendment (Doc. 8). Also in the Order, the Court
added Frank Lawrence as a defendant in his official capacity
only for the purpose of responding to discovery aimed at
identifying the unknown defendants. (Doc. 8, p. 3).
Thereafter, Ingram filed a first amended complaint
identifying and substituting Garrette Leposky as John Doe 1
and Gregory Davis as John Doe 2 (Docs. 22, 24).
October 31, 2019, Defendants filed a motion for summary
judgment on the issue of failure to exhaust administrative
remedies (Docs. 29, 30, 31). Ingram filed his opposition on
November 12, 2019 (Doc. 33). As the motion is ripe, the Court
turns to address the merits of the motion.
January 9, 2018, Ingram filed a grievance concerning the
issues in this lawsuit. Ingram names Campbell in the
grievance. However, he does not name either Defendant Davis
or Defendant Leposky. The grievance states in pertinent part:
This is my third grievance about this situation. I am
diagnosed with hearing voices, multipule [sic] personality
disorder some type of schizophrenia, depression and bipolar
disorders. Now since 10/16/17 Ive [sic] been locked in cell
823 without a working light. My gallery officer has put in
multipule [sic] work orders and nothing has happened. Ive
[sic] told officers on all three shifts about the situation.
My 5 day officer (Campbell) has been the only one to try and
(Doc. 30-1, p. 4). On March 27, 2018, Chairman Dave White of
the Administrative Review Board (“ARB”) denied
Ingram's grievance finding that the issue was
appropriately addressed by the facility administration (Doc.
30-1, p. 1).
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). Lawsuits
filed by inmates are governed by the provisions of the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 42 U.S.C. §
1997e(a). That statute states, 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.” Id.
(emphasis added). The Seventh Circuit requires strict
adherence to the PLRA's exhaustion requirement. See,
e.g., Dole v. Chandler, 438 F.3d 804, 809 (7th Cir.
2006)(noting that ‘[t]his circuit has taken a strict
compliance approach to exhaustion”). Exhaustion must
occur before the suit is filed. See Ford v. Johnson,
362 F.3d 395, 398 (7th Cir. 2004). Plaintiff cannot file suit
and then exhaust his administrative remedies while the suit
is pending. Id.
“[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 use 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. The purpose of exhaustion is to give prison officials
an opportunity to address the inmate's claims internally,
prior to federal litigation. See Kaba v. Stepp, 458
F.3d 678, 684 (7th Cir. 2006)
Pavey, 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. Pavey v. Conley, 544 F.3d 739, 740-741
(7th Cir. 2008). Thus, where failure to exhaust