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Davis v. Paul

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

January 27, 2017

JERRY FERNANDO DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN PAUL, HSU MANAGER VASQUES, and DR. LORI, Defendants.

          ORDER

          J.P. Stadtmueller U.S. District Judge

         1. INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Jerry Fernando Davis (“Davis”), a prisoner, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants, prison officials at Racine Correctional Institution (“Racine”), alleging that they acted with deliberate indifference to his medical needs relating to his prosthetic eye. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on December 15, 2016, arguing that Davis failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as to the claims he raises here. (Docket #22). Davis responded on December 30, 2016. (Docket #26). Defendants did not reply. For the reasons stated below, Defendants' motion will be granted and this action will be dismissed without prejudice.

         2. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         2.1Summary Judgment

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 provides that the court “shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows 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); see Boss v. Castro, 816 F.3d 910, 916 (7th Cir. 2016). A fact is “material” if it “might affect the outcome of the suit” under the applicable substantive law. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute of fact is “genuine” if “the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id. The court construes all facts and reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the non-movant. Bridge v. New Holland Logansport, Inc., 815 F.3d 356, 360 (7th Cir. 2016). The court must not weigh the evidence presented or determine credibility of witnesses; the Seventh Circuit instructs that “we leave those tasks to factfinders.” Berry v. Chicago Transit Auth., 618 F.3d 688, 691 (7th Cir. 2010). The party opposing summary judgment “need not match the movant witness for witness, nor persuade the court that [his] case is convincing, [he] need only come forward with appropriate evidence demonstrating that there is a pending dispute of material fact.” Waldridge v. American Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 921 (7th Cir. 1994).

         2.2Exhaustion of Prisoner Administrative Remedies

         The Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) establishes that, prior to filing a lawsuit complaining about prison conditions, a prisoner must exhaust “such administrative remedies as are available[.]” 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). To do so, the prisoner must “file complaints and appeals in the place, and at the time, the prison's administrative rules require, ” and he must do so precisely in accordance with those rules; substantial compliance does not satisfy the PLRA. Pozo v. McCaughtry, 286 F.3d 1022, 1025 (7th Cir. 2002); Smith v. Zachary, 255 F.3d 446, 452 (7th Cir. 2001); Burrell v. Powers, 431 F.3d 282, 284-85 (7th Cir. 2005). Failure to exhaust administrative remedies is an affirmative defense to be proven by Defendants. Westefer v. Snyder, 422 F.3d 570, 577 (7th Cir. 2005).

         The Wisconsin Department of Corrections maintains an Inmate Complaint Review System (“ICRS”) to provide a forum for administrative complaints. Wis. Admin. Code DOC § 310.04. There are two steps an inmate must take to exhaust their administrative remedies under the ICRS. First, the inmate must file a complaint with the Institution Complaint Examiner (“ICE”) within fourteen days of the events giving rise to the complaint. Id. at §§ 310.07(1) and 310.09(6). The ICE may reject a complaint or, before accepting it, can direct the inmate to “attempt to resolve the issue.” See Id. §§ 310.08; 310.09(4); 310.11(5). If the complaint is rejected, the inmate may appeal the rejection to the appropriate reviewing authority. Id. § 310.11(6). If the complaint is not rejected, the ICE issues a recommendation for disposing of the complaint, either dismissal or affirmance, to the reviewing authority. Id. at §§ 310.07(2) and 310.11.[1] The reviewing authority may accept or reject the ICE's recommendation. Id. at § 310.07(3).

         Second, if the ICE recommends dismissal and the reviewing authority accepts it, the inmate may appeal the decision to the Corrections Complaint Examiner (“CCE”). Id. at §§ 310.07(6) and 310.13. The CCE issues a recommendation to the Secretary of the Department of Corrections who may accept or reject it. Id. at §§ 310.07(7), 310.13, and 310.14. Upon receiving the Secretary's decision, or after forty-five days from the date the Secretary received the recommendation, the inmate's administrative remedies are exhausted. Id. at §§ 310.07(7) and 310.14.

         3.RELEVANT FACTS

         3.1Davis' Failure to Dispute the Material Facts

         The relevant facts are undisputed, largely because Davis failed to dispute them. To show why, the Court will briefly recount the procedural history and substantive failings of Davis' submissions.

         In the Court's scheduling order, entered October 27, 2016, Davis was warned about the requirements for opposing a motion for summary judgment. (Docket #18 at 1-2). Accompanying that order were copies of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 and Civil Local Rule 56, both of which describe in detail the form and contents of a proper summary judgment submission. On December 15, 2016, Defendants filed their motion for summary judgment. (Docket #22). In the motion, Defendants warned Davis about the requirements for his response as set forth in Federal and Local Rules 56. Id. at 1-2. He was provided with additional copies of those Rules along with Defendants' motion. See Id. at 2-6. In connection with their motion, Defendants filed a supporting statement of material facts that complied with the applicable ...


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