United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
LATASHA R. ARMSTEAD, Plaintiff,
JONATHAN J. PLATO and ERIC R. ZIEGLER, Defendants.
Stadtmueller U.S. District Judge.
Latasha R. Armstead (“Armstead”), proceeds
against Defendants Johnathan J. Plato (“Plato”)
and Eric R. Ziegler (“Ziegler”) in this action on
a single claim-deliberate indifference to her risk of
self-harm, in violation of her rights under the Eighth
Amendment. (Docket #14). On August 9, 2017, Defendants filed a
motion for summary judgment, along with a brief in support,
proposed findings of fact, and several declarations. (Docket
#25-32). Plaintiff was required to respond to Defendants'
motion on or before September 11, 2017. See Civil L.
R. 56(b)(2). As of today's date, the Court has received
no response to the motion or other communication from
Armstead. The Defendants' motion will be addressed in its
unopposed form and, for the reasons explained below, it will
STANDARD OF REVIEW
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).
Plaintiff's Failure to Dispute the Material
facts relevant to Defendants' motion are undisputed
because Plaintiff failed to dispute them. In the Court's
scheduling order, entered January 23, 2017, Plaintiff was
warned about the requirements for opposing a motion for
summary judgment. (Docket #21 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. In
Defendants' motion for summary judgment, they too warned
Plaintiff about the requirements for her response as set
forth in Federal and Local Rules 56. (Docket #25). She was
provided with additional copies of those Rules along with the
motion. Id. In connection with their motion,
Defendants filed a supporting statement of material facts
that complied with the applicable procedural rules. (Docket
#27). It contained short, numbered paragraphs concisely
stating those facts which Defendants proposed to be beyond
dispute, with supporting citations to the attached
evidentiary materials. See id.
filed nothing in response to Defendants' motion. Though
the Court is required to liberally construe a pro se
plaintiff's filings, it cannot act as her lawyer, and it
cannot delve through the record to find favorable evidence
for her. Thus, the Court will deem Defendants' facts
undisputed for purposes of deciding their motion for summary
judgment. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Civ. L. R.
56(b)(4); Hill v. Thalacker, 210 F. App'x 513,
515 (7th Cir. 2006) (noting that district courts have
discretion to enforce procedural rules against pro
Relevant Material Facts
times relevant, Armstead was a prisoner, Ziegler was a
correctional sergeant, and Plato was a correctional officer
at Taycheedah Correction Institution (“TCI”).
(Docket #27 at 1).
alleges that on March 1, 2016, Ziegler and Plato taunted her
to the point of her requiring attention from the
psychological services unit (“PSU”) because she
was having thoughts of self-harm. (Docket #14 at 3). She
alleges Ziegler and Plato refused to call PSU when she first
asked, and she resulted to cutting herself. Id.
remember the events of March 1, 2016 differently. When Plato
arrived to start his shift, Armstead immediately told him
that she needed to take a shower and go to the laundry room.
Id. Because Plato had not yet attended to the duties
required of him at the beginning of his shift, he told
Armstead that she would have to wait. Id. Armstead
then asked if she could go the PSU. Id. at 3. Plato
asked Armstead if she had thoughts of self-harm or of harming
others, and Armstead said no. Id. Based on this
response, Plato determined Armstead did not require an
immediate visit to the PSU, so he instructed Armstead to fill
out a request for an appointment with the PSU. Id.
at 3. Plato told his sergeant, Ziegler, about this
interaction, and Ziegler confirmed that Plato had followed
the proper procedure for determining whether Armstead
required immediate attention from psychological health staff.
did not submit a request to be seen by the PSU that day.
Id. at 4. There are no health services records
indicating that Armstead engaged in any self-harming behavior