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Chancy v. Smith

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

March 15, 2018

ANTHONY C. CHANCY, SR., Plaintiff,
v.
JUDY P. SMITH, et al., Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge

         The pro se plaintiff, Anthony C. Chancy, Sr., is a Wisconsin state prisoner. He claims that the defendants retaliated against him for his refusal to be an informant in a staff gang investigation and for filing inmate grievances. The defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. For the reasons explained in this order, the Court will grant the defendants' motion and dismiss this case.

         BACKGROUND[1]

         Chancy was incarcerated at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution (Oshkosh) at all times relevant. Judge Charles N. Clevert, Jr., screened the original complaint and allowed Chancy to proceed on claims against defendants Judy P. Smith and Carrie Spranger based on allegations that they rejected his offender complaints, and that Smith denied Chancy's appeal related to Conduct Report No. 236355, both in retaliation for his refusal to be an informant and assist staff in their investigation of gang activity, and for filing grievances. Judge Clevert subsequently granted Chancy's motion to amend the complaint to add nine defendants. The case was reassigned to this Court on March 29, 2017.

         In the amended complaint, Chancy alleges that Oshkosh staff retaliated against him for his refusal to be an informant and assist staff in their investigation of the gang activity at the institution. Specifically, in addition to his allegations against defendants Smith and Spranger, Chancy alleges that defendant Emil Toney interviewed him on April 19, 2014, after a money disbursement from inmate Joseph Hammer to Chancy's mother was intercepted. Defendant Toney allegedly verbally abused Chancy, accused him of being a gang member, and encouraged him to conspire against inmate Hammer. Defendant Nicholas Nooyen issued Chancy Conduct Report No. 2363555 on May 15, 2014, related to the intercepted money disbursement. Defendant Craig Nicholson was assigned as Chancy's staff advocate for Conduct Report No. 2363555 and failed to ensure requested witnesses and evidence were presented at a disciplinary hearing. Defendant Jason Mentzel allegedly agreed to “advocate” for Chancy regarding his being in possession of a witness form. Defendant Sherri Amundson was in charge of processing witness forms and did not reschedule a second disciplinary hearing for Chancy after learning that the witnesses were not allowed at the first disciplinary hearing. Defendants Hans Kuster, Stan Doman, and Mary Casper were the Adjustment Committee members who held Chancy's disciplinary hearing on June 2, 2014, and did not allow witnesses to testify. Kuster, Doman, and Casper found Chancy guilty of charges and gave him a disposition of 120 days in disciplinary separation.

         Chancy's Inmate Complaint History Report, as of September 18, 2017, shows that he did not file an offender complaint under the Inmate Complaint Review System (ICRS) related to his retaliation claims against any of the defendants in this lawsuit.

         Chancy alleged in his amended complaint that he exhausted his claims by filing inmate complaints OSCI-2014-13231, OSCI-2014-19120, and OSCI-2014-19121.[2]

         In OSCI-2014-13231, Chancy complained that a witness form went missing and that, as a result, he was refused the opportunity to present witnesses at a conduct report hearing held on June 2, 2014. Chancy made no claims of retaliation in OSCI-2014-13231. Defendant Spranger ultimately rejected the conduct report because Chancy submitted it beyond the fourteen calendar-day-limit. Chancy requested review of the rejection of OSCI-2014-13231 but again made no claims of retaliation. Defendant Smith upheld the rejection.

         In OSCI-2014-19120, Chancy complained that his mother had not received the money that was the subject of the June 2, 2014, disciplinary hearing. Chancy made no claims of retaliation in OSCI-2014-19120. Defendant Spranger rejected OSCI-2014-19120 because it was untimely. Chancy requested review of the rejection of OSCI-2014-19120 but again made no claims of retaliation. Defendant Smith upheld the rejection.

         In OSCI-2014-19121, Chancy complained about Director Rex Smith's authorization of a money transfer that was the subject of the June 2, 2014, disciplinary hearing. He complained that he should not have received a conduct report (Conduct Report 2363555) because Director Smith authorized the transfer of property, which transfer was the underlying basis for the conduct report. Chancy made no claims of retaliation. Defendant Spranger rejected this inmate complaint as being untimely. Chancy appealed this rejection but made no claims of retaliation in his appeal. Defendant Smith upheld the rejection.

         All of the above complaints related to Conduct Report No. 2363555, issued to Chancy on May 14, 2014. Chancy had a disciplinary hearing on June 2, 2014, for Conduct Report No. 2363555, at which time the Adjustment Committee found him guilty of DOC 303.32, Enterprises and Fraud, and DOC 303.40, Unauthorized Transfer of Property. Chancy appealed this decision to the Warden on June 3, 2014. He did not allege any retaliation claims in his appeal. On June 11, 2014, the Deputy Warden affirmed the Adjustment Committee's decision.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Summary judgment is appropriate when the moving party shows that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). All reasonable inferences are construed in favor of the nonmoving party. Foley v. City of Lafayette, 359 F.3d 925, 928 (7th Cir. 2004). The party opposing the motion for summary judgment must “submit evidentiary materials that set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Siegel v. Shell Oil Co., 612 F.3d 932, 937 (7th Cir. 2010) (citations omitted). “The nonmoving party must do more than simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Id. Summary judgment is properly entered against a party “who fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the ...


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