United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
DECISION AND ORDER
WILLIAM C. GRIESBACH, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT
Travis Delaney Williams, proceeding pro se, filed
this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that his
civil rights were violated while he was a pretrial detainee
at the Racine County Jail (the Jail). Currently before the
court is plaintiff's motions for summary judgment and
defendants Bradley Friend, Austin Isferding, and Robert
Hernandez's (the Jail Defendants) motion for summary
judgment. Defendants Simeon Ortiz, William Coe, and James
Olstinske (the Medical Defendants) also filed a motion for
summary judgment. The court will address plaintiff's
motion for summary judgment against the Medical Defendants
and the Medical Defendants' motion for summary judgment
in a separate order. For the following reasons, the court
will deny plaintiff's motions for summary judgment
against the Jail Defendants and grant the Jail
Defendants' motion for summary judgment.
was booked into the Racine County Jail on May 8, 2013. ECF
No. 186 at ¶ 1. On June 3, 2014, Hernandez wrote
plaintiff a minor disciplinary ticket for disregarding a jail
rule and recommended that plaintiff receive a twenty-four
hour lockdown. Id. at ¶¶ 7-8; ECF No. 163
at ¶ 16. Plaintiff asserts that other inmates were also
breaking the same rule, but Hernandez singled him out for
punishment because he had filed a complaint against
Hernandez. Id. at ¶¶ 7-8; ECF No. 163 at
¶¶ 15, 18.
appealed the disciplinary ticket to Captain Wearing, the Jail
Administrator; however, Captain Wearing did not address the
merits of plaintiff's appeal because plaintiff had not
followed the appeal procedure set forth in the Jail Rule Book
(also referred to as the Inmate Handbook or the Racine County
Jail Handbook). ECF No. 170-1 at 2. The appeal procedure
required an inmate to first submit an appeal to the Assistant
Jail Administrator or the Lieutenant in charge of Jail
operations. ECF No. 147-11 at 15. Only after the Assistant
Jail Administrator or the Lieutenant in charge of Jail
operations returns a decision to the inmate, may the inmate
submit a written appeal to the Jail Administrator.
Id. Plaintiff asserts that there is no Jail Rule
Book. ECF No. 163 at ¶¶ 30, 33, 79; but see
id. at ¶ 34.
June 3, 2014, shortly after plaintiff was locked down,
defendants assert that plaintiff made an obscene gesture and
cursed at Hernandez, who wrote plaintiff another disciplinary
ticket. ECF No. 186 at ¶ 10. After trying to convene a
disciplinary hearing, Todd Lauer (not a defendant) imposed a
sanction of nine days in segregation. Id. at ¶
11. According to defendants, plaintiff refused to cooperate
in the disciplinary hearing process. Id. at ¶
12. Plaintiff denies that he made an obscene gesture and
cursed at Hernandez; he also denies that he was provided an
opportunity to participate in a disciplinary hearing.
Id. at ¶¶ 10-12; ECF No. 163 at
¶¶ 21, 24. Plaintiff explains that, because there
was no hearing, he could not appeal the hearing; however,
once he learned that he had been given an additional nine
days in segregation, he wrote to Captain Wearing. ECF No. 186
at ¶ 13; ECF No. 147-2 at 35. Captain Wearing did not
address the merits of plaintiff's appeal because
plaintiff failed to follow the appeal procedure in the Jail
Rule Book. ECF No. 147-2 at 35; ECF No. 147-11 at 15.
15, 2014, plaintiff found a piece of hair and some other
unidentified substance in his food, specifically, his
stuffing. Id. at ¶ 15. He ate all of the food
except for the contaminated stuffing and then asked for a new
tray of food. Id. According to plaintiff, Isferding,
at Hernandez's direction, put new stuffing on top of the
old stuffing and refused to provide a new tray. Id.
Plaintiff became upset and went into his cell. Id.
Isferding tried to close plaintiff's cell gate, but
plaintiff had placed toilet paper rolls between the bars, so
Isferding could not close the gate. Id. Isferding
removed the toilet paper rolls, but then plaintiff tied a
sheet around the bars to prevent the gate from closing.
Id. Isferding finished inspecting other cells on the
unit and then ordered plaintiff to lockdown, to which
plaintiff responded, “Fuck you!” Id.
Eventually, other correctional officers approached
plaintiff's cell and told him to turn around with his
hands behind his back. Id. Plaintiff complied and
was double-cuffed behind his back. Id.
does not dispute that he placed toilet paper rolls in his
cell bars, tied a sheet around his cell bars, or cursed at
the officers when told to lock down. Id.;
see ECF No. 163 at ¶¶ 43, 46. Instead, he
explains that he did those things because Isferding provoked
him and having a conduct report issued was the only way to
get his food contamination problems documented. ECF No. 186
at ¶¶ 15-16.
Noonan (not a defendant) came to plaintiff's cell to hold
a due process hearing, but plaintiff states that he was so
sick from consuming the contaminated food and so affected by
medications provided to him by a nurse that he was unable to
participate in the hearing. ECF No. 163 at ¶ 55.
Plaintiff filed several grievances and appeals with respect
to his food contamination and the discipline he received. ECF
No. 186 at ¶ 16. Friendly responded to plaintiff's
complaints and Wearing denied his appeals. Id. at
¶ 17; ECF No. 163 at ¶ 57.
in disciplinary segregation, plaintiff demanded that he be
provided with a mattress accommodation because of his chronic
pain and osteoarthritis. ECF No. 163 at ¶ 10. Typically,
when inmates are in disciplinary segregation, their
mattresses are removed from their cells during the day.
See Id. at ¶ 63. In December 2013, medical
staff had ordered that plaintiff be allowed to keep one
mattress during the day and two mattresses at night while in
disciplinary segregation. ECF No. 186 at ¶ 19; ECF No.
163 at ¶ 61. However, defendants assert that, when
plaintiff was placed in segregation in 2014, medical staff
decided a mattress accommodation was unnecessary. ECF No. 186
at ¶¶ 18-21. Defendants assert that Friendly relied
on the orders of medical staff when determining to deny
plaintiff's request for a mattress accommodation while he
was in disciplinary segregation. Id. at ¶ 21.
states that three times in June 2014 Dr. Simeon Ortiz, the
doctor at the Jail, reaffirmed to him that he was to be
allowed two mattresses at night and one mattress during the
day while in segregation; however, other medical staff and
defendants would interfere with those orders. ECF No. 163 at
¶¶ 67-74. According to Dr. Ortiz, at no time during
June or July 2014, did he believe plaintiff needed two
mattresses to accommodate his medical condition. ECF No. 152
at ¶¶ 20, 28.
from June to August 2014, defendants assert that they
fulfilled all of plaintiff's orders for hygiene kits for
indigent inmates. ECF No. 186 at ¶ 22. In response,
plaintiff argues, “During my 18 month stay at Racine
County Jail there's numerous and many times &
instances where I would order a hygiene kit and it would not
come or it was missing items . . . .” Id. In
support, plaintiff cites to Racine County Jail commissary
receipts, which indicate that plaintiff was sent an indigent
kit each week during the relevant time. Id.; ECF No.
OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) applies to this case
because plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed his
complaint. According to the PLRA, “No action shall be
brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983
of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner
confined in any jail, prison or other correctional facility
until such administrative remedies as are available are
exhausted.” 42 U.S.C. §1997e(a). Various important
policy goals give rise to the rule requiring administrative
exhaustion, 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). If a court determines that an inmate failed to
complete any step in the exhaustion process prior to filing a
lawsuit, the court must dismiss the plaintiff's claim.