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Allgood v. Castillo

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

August 23, 2017

JAMONTE ALLGOOD, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. MARCELO CASTILLO, RONALD J. EDWARDS, and DR. JENNIFER BAAS, Defendants.

          ORDER

          J. P. STADTMUELLER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Jamonte Allgood (“Allgood”), a prisoner, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Defendants, prison officials at Racine Correctional Institution, alleging that two physicians acted with deliberate indifference to his medical needs and that a prison guard employed excessive force against him. See (Docket #33, #36). Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on July 7, 2017, arguing that Allgood failed to exhaust his administrative remedies before filing suit on these claims. (Docket #48). The motion has been fully briefed, and for the reasons stated below, it will be granted.

         1. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         1.1 Summary 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); 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).

         1.2 Exhaustion 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); Burrell v. Powers, 431 F.3d 282, 284-85 (7th Cir. 2005). A suit must be dismissed if it was filed before exhaustion was complete, even if exhaustion is achieved before judgment is entered. Perez v. Wis. Dep't of Corr., 182 F.3d 532, 535 (7th Cir. 1999). Several important policy goals animate the exhaustion requirement, including restricting frivolous claims, giving prison officials the opportunity to address situations internally, giving the parties the opportunity to develop the factual record, and reducing the scope of litigation. Smith v. Zachary, 255 F.3d 446, 450-51 (7th Cir. 2001). 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 an offender complaint with the Institution Complaint Examiner (“ICE”) within fourteen days of the events giving rise to the complaint. Id. §§ DOC 310.07(1), 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. §§ DOC 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. § DOC 310.11(6).[1] 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. §§ DOC 310.07(2), 310.11. The reviewing authority may accept or reject the ICE's recommendation. Id. § DOC 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. §§ DOC 310.07(6), 310.13. The CCE issues a recommendation to the Secretary of the Department of Corrections who may accept or reject it. Id. §§ DOC 310.07(7), 310.13, 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. §§ DOC 310.07(7), 310.14.

         Exhausting available remedies in connection with disciplinary proceedings follows a slightly different path. An inmate may not use an ICRS complaint to challenge a conduct report, except that the inmate may file such a complaint after the disciplinary proceedings have been closed to challenge procedural errors during the proceedings. Id. § DOC 310.08. In order to exhaust administrative remedies with respect to issues related to a conduct report, “the inmate must raise it at the time of his disciplinary hearing and again on appeal to the warden, assuming the matter is not resolved at the disciplinary hearing stage.” Lindell v. Frank, 05-cv-003, 2005 WL 2339145, at *27-28 (W.D. Wis. Sept. 23, 2005); Wis. Admin. Code §§ DOC 303.80-303.82. The appeal to the warden is final regarding the sufficiency of the evidence for a disciplinary decision. Wis. Admin. Code § DOC 303.82(4).

         2. RELEVANT FACTS

         2.1 Allgood's Failure to Dispute the Material Facts

         The relevant facts are undisputed because Allgood did not properly dispute them. In the Court's scheduling order, issued May 8, 2017, Allgood was warned about the requirements for opposing a motion for summary judgment. (Docket #28 at 2-3). 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. Most relevant here is Local Rule 56(b)(2), which obligates the non-movant on summary judgment to file “a concise response to the moving party's statement of facts that must contain a reproduction of each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement of facts followed by a response to each paragraph, including, in the case of any disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, declarations, parts of the record, and other supporting materials relied upon[.]” Civ. L. R. 56(b)(2)(B)(i).

         Next, on July 7, 2017, Defendants filed their motion for summary judgment. (Docket #48). In the motion, Defendants also warned Allgood 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 3-14. In connection with their motion, Defendants filed a supporting statement of material facts that complied with the applicable procedural rules. (Docket #50). It contained short, numbered paragraphs ...


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