Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cunninghamm v. Jenkins

United States District Court, S.D. Illinois

January 15, 2020

TIMOTHY J. CUNNINGHAM, SR., Plaintiff,
v.
MARCUS JENKINS, JANA CARRIE, JOSHUA SIMMS, NATHAN T. SANDERS, CHARLES TANNER, RONALD BRUNER, JONAVAN BRIDWELL, DEREK R. JOHNSON, MICHAEL DUNLAP, ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, and WARDEN OF LAWRENCE CORRECTIONAL CENTER, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Hon. Reona J. Daly, United States Magistrate Judge

         Plaintiff Timothy J. Cunningham, Sr., an inmate in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”), sets forth claims pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act. Plaintiff's claims arise from his incarceration at Pinckneyville Correctional Center and Lawrence Correctional Center. Plaintiff is proceeding on the following claims (as enumerated in the Court's threshold order):

Count 8: Rehabilitation Act claim against the Illinois Department of Corrections for denying Plaintiff access to telephone privileges on a comparable basis to non-disabled inmates while he was incarcerated at Pinckneyville Correctional Center and Lawrence Correctional Center.
Count 9: Rehabilitation Act claim against the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Warden of Lawrence for failing to provide Plaintiff with the same accommodations in the ADA gym as was offered to inmates using the regular gym in relation to excessive heat from March 11, 2016 through September 16, 2016.
Count 10: Eighth Amendment claim against Defendant Jenkins for failing to accommodate Plaintiff's disability when he transported him on February 10, 2015 and March 28, 2015, causing Plaintiff to wet himself and suffer humiliation. Claim under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act against the IDOC for failing to accommodate Plaintiff's disability-related needs during trips to the doctor's office.
Count 11: First Amendment retaliation claim against Defendants Carie, Simms, Sanders, Tanner, Bruner, Jenkins, Bridwell, Johnson, and Dunlap for denying Plaintiff ice distribution between June 19, 2015 and October 22, 2015, conducting compliance checks, and cutting short meal times in response to Plaintiff filing grievances.

         On April 3, 2019, Defendants IDOC, the Warden of Lawrence Correctional Center, Jana Carie, Ronald Bruner, Joshua Simms, Nathan Sanders, and Charles Tanner filed a Motion for Summary Judgment that is now before the Court[1] (Doc. 55). Plaintiff filed his response on June 4, 2019 (Doc. 64). For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motion is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

         Background

         Plaintiff Timothy J. Cunningham, Sr. is a wheelchair-bound inmate who was incarcerated at Pinckneyville Correctional Center (“Pinckneyville”) and Lawrence Correctional Center (“Lawrence”) at all times relevant (Doc. 56-1 at 27). While at Pinckneyville, and after his transfer to Lawrence in September 2014, telephones were available on the gallery based on a first-come, first-serve basis (Id. at 27-28). Due to his handicap, Plaintiff was unable to “compete” with able-bodied inmates to secure a telephone (Id.). As a result, Plaintiff would have to pay other inmates to secure a phone on his behalf and was only able to make a phone call about once a week (Id. at 31). Plaintiff's testimony was reflective of complaints he had set forth in his grievances attached to his summary judgment response (see Doc. 64 at 21-25).

         While at Lawrence, there were two gyms that were used interchangeably for the ADA gym - neither gym was designated as the “ADA” gym and use of a gym as the ADA gym was based on scheduling (Doc. 56-1 at 33-34). The gyms were not air conditioned and, during the warm months of 2016, Plaintiff testified that the heaters were still on in both gyms (Id. at 35-37). Plaintiff testified it was extremely hot and estimated it was “120 degrees” (Id. at 34-35). In response to Defendants' motion, Plaintiff submitted a grievance in which he complained that officers placed a large fan near the gym for able-bodied inmates, but did not provide a fan for the ADA gym (see Doc. 64 at 20). Plaintiff reiterates the statements set forth in this grievance in his verified response to Defendants' summary judgment motion.

         On February 10, 2015 and March 27, 2015[2], Plaintiff was transported by Defendant Jenkins and one other, unknown correctional officer to doctor's appointments in Mt. Vernon, Illinois (Doc. 56-1 at 37-38). During these trips, Plaintiff, who is incontinent, was denied the use of a urinal and was not provided an opportunity to change his Depends diaper, so he wet himself (Id. at 39-40). Plaintiff approximated these trips lasted approximately four to five hours (Id. at 51). Plaintiff testified that other officers were able to handle his incontinence without issue during transport, but Defendant Jenkins handled it improperly (Id. at 50). Plaintiff explained he believed the IDOC should have taken corrective action with regard to Defendant Jenkins after he filed a grievance concerning the February 10, 2015 trip (Id. at 51). Plaintiff's testimony was reflective of complaints he had set forth in his grievances attached to his summary judgment response (see Doc. 64-1 at 2-7).

         Following the filing of several grievances, Defendants Bridwell, Dunlap, and Johnson denied Plaintiff ice on various occasions (Doc. 56-1 at 54-55, 70, and 76-77). Defendant Bridwell also conducted two compliance checks while Plaintiff was in the healthcare unit, and, at his deposition, Plaintiff testified that Bridwell wrote two citations due to Plaintiff being out of compliance (Id. at 56). Defendant Carie heard the first ticket and found Plaintiff guilty, imposing 30 days of C-grade or commissary denial (Id. at 61-63). Plaintiff testified Carie did not listen to Plaintiff's arguments (Id. at 61).

         With regard to Defendant Simms, Plaintiff testified he was a correctional officer and heard a ticket issued to Plaintiff regarding a coffee cup (Id. at 73). Plaintiff testified that Simms found Plaintiff guilty of the infraction based on testimony provided by Dunlap at the hearing and imposed 30 days of commissary denial (Id. at 73-76). Plaintiff testified that Simms violated his due process rights by not sufficiently investigating the ticket (Id. at 76).

         With regard to Defendants Bruner and Tanner, Plaintiff testified these Defendants failed to provide Plaintiff with a mailing that was directed to the law library for copying, but was ultimately delayed in the control center of Lawrence (Id. at 65, 79). More specifically, Plaintiff testified that he handed a correctional officer a 200-page document to be sent to the law library and copied (Id. at 65-66). After the document was not returned to Plaintiff, he asked Bruner about the document and was told it was in the control center (Id. at 67-68). Bruner did not retrieve or return the document to Plaintiff (Id. at 69). Plaintiff also testified that Tanner was aware that the mailing was in the control center and did not return it to Plaintiff (Id. at 79). Plaintiff went to the control center and Tanner handed Plaintiff the document (Id.).

         At his deposition, Plaintiff was unable to provide any testimony concerning Defendant Sanders or why he was named a defendant in this lawsuit (Id. at 78). However, in Plaintiff's response, he explains that Sanders retaliated against Plaintiff by “ticketing him and punishing him for pursuit of medication for an acute migraine headache” (Doc. 64 at 8). Plaintiff writes that Sanders (along with Carie) acted in concert with Bridwell, Johnson, and Dunlap in retaliation for Plaintiff's filing of grievances (Id.).

         Summary Judgment Standard

         Summary judgment is appropriate only if the moving party can demonstrate “that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322(1986); see also Ruffin-Thompkins v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc., 422 F.3d 603, 607 (7th Cir. 2005). The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the lack of any genuine issue of material fact. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323. Once a properly supported motion for summary judgment is made, the adverse party “must set forth specific facts showing there is a genuine issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986). A genuine issue of material fact exists when “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Estate of Simpson v. Gorbett, 863 F.3d 740, 745 (7th Cir. 2017) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). In assessing a summary judgment motion, the district court views the facts in the light most favorable to, and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of, the nonmoving party. Apex Digital, Inc. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 735 F.3d 962, 965 (7th Cir. 2013) (citation omitted).

         Discussion

         Count ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.