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Edwards v. Haines

United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin

November 13, 2017


          OPINION & ORDER


         Pro se plaintiff Tremayne Edwards, a prisoner at the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility, brings this lawsuit alleging that he was verbally sexually harassed during a urinalysis at which he was forced to disrobe. The parties have filed dueling motions for summary judgment. After considering the parties' summary judgment materials, I will deny Edwards's motion for summary judgment in its entirety, and grant defendants' motion on Edwards's claim against defendant Warden Tim Haines. But I will deny defendants' motion on Edwards's claim against defendant Bradley Gilardi, one of the correctional officers who conducted the urinalysis. The case will proceed to trial on the claim against Gilardi.


         The following facts are drawn from the parties' summary judgment materials, and they are undisputed unless noted otherwise. Pro se plaintiff Tremayne Edwards is a prisoner at the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility (WSPF). Defendant Bradley Gilardi is a correctional officer at WSPF. At the times relevant to this case, defendant Tim Haines was the warden at WSPF.

         On June 4, 2013, Edwards was chosen to provide a urine sample. Inmates are chosen by a random, computer-generated selection process whereby the selection personnel do not know the identity of the inmate. Under the policy in place at that time, two staff members would then instruct the inmate that he would be strip searched and that a random urinalysis (UA) would be completed. Gilardi was one of the officers present for Edwards's UA. Despite the policy stating that inmates were to be strip searched, Edwards provides testimony from two prisoners, Charles Witzel and Johnson W. Greybuffalo, stating that at the time this version of the policy was in effect, they were given less invasive pat searches before giving their urine samples.

         Gilardi explains the procedure for UA tests at the time of the incident at issue here: during the strip search, the inmate would hand his clothing to the officers so that the clothing could be inspected for contraband and to ensure the inmate did not have a urine sample provided by another inmate. After the strip search was completed, officers would return the clothing to the inmate, who would put the clothing back on and then provide the urine sample.[2]At least one of the officers would watch the inmate urinate, and then take the sample cup from the inmate.[3]

         Edwards's version of events is as follows. He says that after he was asked to perform a random UA, defendant Gilardi stated that “he would be performing a body contents search so get ready and show me your balls.” Dkt. 1, at 1, ¶ 6. As Edwards took off his clothes, Gilardi “kept asking me if I worked out because I look real fit and in shape and have strong thighs.” Id., ¶ 8. Edwards asked Gilardi to stop talking to him.

         Contrary to defendants' assertion that inmates were allowed to put their clothes back on before urinating, Edwards says that he “never was allowed his clothes until he was able to pee” and was “never handed his clothes back, ” Dkt. 37, at 1, ¶¶ 3-4, so I take him to be saying that he was forced to urinate while naked. When Edwards took the sample cup from Gilardi and began to urinate, Gilardi stared at him and said “that looks nice it is true I guess what they say about Black men.” Id. at 1-2, ¶ 9. Edwards asked Gilardi to stop harassing him. Gilardi said, “don't tell me what to do I'm in charge.” Id. Edwards says that he felt humiliated, embarrassed, and intimidated, and that he suffered nightmares from the incident.

         Gilardi does not recall the June 4, 2013 incident, but he says that he would never make such statements to an inmate, and that he “has been trained to treat inmates with respect and to conduct strip searches and urine analysis sample collections with professionalism at all times.” Dkt. 29, at 5, ¶ 17.

         Edwards filed an inmate grievance about the incident, stating in part that “[t]he officers asked me to spread my buttocks and genitals I was deliberately sexually harassed.” Dkt. 32-1, at 8. A Prison Rape Elimination Act investigation was conducted by non-defendant Captain Hanfeld, who concluded that the search was properly conducted under prison policy and did not violate the Prison Rape Elimination Act. The completed investigation was approved by non-defendants Security Director Sweeney and Deputy Warden Hermans.

         Defendant Warden Haines had no involvement with the strip search or the UA. Although Edwards says that he sent a letter to Haines regarding the incident, Haines says that his office correspondence file does not contain a letter.


         Summary judgment is appropriate if a moving party “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). “Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). When, as here, the parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment, the court “look[s] to the burden of proof that each party would bear on an issue of trial; [and] then require[s] that party to go beyond the pleadings and affirmatively to establish a genuine issue of material fact.” Santaella v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 123 F.3d 456, 461 (7th Cir. 1997). If either party “fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case, and on which that party will bear the burden at trial, ” summary judgment against that party is appropriate. Mid Am. Title Co. v. Kirk, 59 F.3d 719, 721 (7th Cir. 1995) (quoting Tatalovich v. City of Superior, 904 F.2d 1135, 1139 (7th Cir. 1990)). “As with any summary judgment motion, this [c]ourt reviews these cross-motions ‘construing all facts, and drawing all reasonable inferences from those facts, in favor of . . . the non-moving party.'” Wis. Cent, Ltd. v. Shannon, 539 F.3d 751, 756 (7th Cir. 2008) (quoting Auto. Mechs. Local 701 Welfare & Pension Funds v. Vanguard Car Rental USA, Inc., 502 F.3d 740, 748 (7th Cir. 2007)).

         I granted Edwards leave to proceed on a claim that defendant Warden Haines implemented a policy mandating that inmates would be nude during UAs or failed to change the policy after being alerted to the practice. But after defendants produced facts showing that the DOC policy in place at the time did not require inmates to urinate while nude, and that Edwards's correspondence about the incident was not handled by Haines, Edwards agrees that Haines should be ...

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