United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
DAMIEN D. GAMBRELL, Plaintiff,
ERICA WEICHART, Defendant.
Stadtmueller U.S. District Judge
November 21, 2016, Defendant Erica Weichart
(“Weichart”) filed a motion for summary judgment.
(Docket #47). Plaintiff Damien D. Gambrell
(“Gambrell”) submitted a response on January 9,
2017. (Docket #56). Weichart replied in support of her motion
on January 24, 2017. (Docket #59). This case was reassigned
to this branch of the Court on March 15, 2017. For the
reasons explained below, Weichart's motion must be
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Rule of Civil Procedure 56 provides the mechanism for seeking
summary judgment. Rule 56 states 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 “genuine” dispute of material fact
is created when “the evidence is such that a reasonable
jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). The Court construes all facts and reasonable
inferences in a light most favorable to the non-movant.
Bridge v. New Holland Logansport, Inc., 815 F.3d
356, 360 (7th Cir. 2016). In assessing the parties'
proposed facts, the Court must not weigh the evidence or
determine witness credibility; the Seventh Circuit instructs
that “we leave those tasks to factfinders.”
Berry v. Chicago Transit Auth., 618 F.3d 688, 691
(7th Cir. 2010).
Gambrell's Failure to Dispute Any Facts
has been informed of the requirements of the Federal and
Local Rules regarding summary judgment at least twice; by
attachments to District Judge Charles N. Clevert's July
21, 2016 scheduling order, and by Weichart's own summary
judgment motion. (Docket #33 and #47). He has chosen to
ignore those rules by failing to even attempt a dispute of
any of Weichart's proffered facts. Instead, he merely
offers various statements in his responsive brief and a
collection of exhibits, none of which are connected to any
discrete statement of fact or response thereto. These
infirmities cannot be overlooked.
the Court is required to liberally construe a pro se
plaintiff's filings, it cannot act as his lawyer; the
Court cannot and will not delve through Gambrell's
submissions in this case to craft a response to
Weichart's statements of fact on his behalf. Indeed:
A district court is not required to “wade through
improper denials and legal argument in search of a genuinely
disputed fact.” Bordelon v. Chicago Sch. Reform Bd.
of Trustees, 233 F.3d 524, 529 (7th Cir. 2000). And a
mere disagreement with the movant's asserted facts is
inadequate if made without reference to specific supporting
material. Edward E. Gillen Co. v. City of Lake
Forest, 3 F.3d 192, 196 (7th Cir. 1993). In short,
“[j]udges are not like pigs, hunting for truffles
buried in briefs.” United States v. Dunkel,
927 F.2d 955, 956 (7th Cir. 1991). Smith's
summary-judgment materials were woefully deficient in either
responding adequately to the defendants' statement or in
setting forth additional facts with appropriate citations to
the record. As such, Smith's purportedly good intentions
aside, the district court did not abuse its discretion in
deeming admitted and only considering the defendants'
statement of material facts.
Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003).
This Court would offer a similar analogy: it is not an
archaeologist, made to sift through Gambrell's filings
hoping to piece together clues to the evidence behind his
Smith, no matter Gambrell's intentions, his
utter failure to comply with the rules of procedure means
that the Court has no choice but to deem Weichart's facts
undisputed for purposes of deciding the motion. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(e)(2). The Court will still consider his legal brief, to
the extent it could be of any value in light of the
facts relevant to the Court's instant determination are
brief. Gambrell was incarcerated in Brown County Jail (the
“Jail”) from August 2015 to May
2016. He claims that during his stay, his food
allergies were not appropriately addressed by Jail medical
staff. With respect to Weichart, Gambrell was allowed to
proceed on a claim of deliberate ...