United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
KURTIS D. JONES, Plaintiff,
SAMUEL MENNING, JACOB HEFFERNAN, MICHAEL DEDERING, JOSEPH SPENCER, JENNIFER HARRIS-FORBES, SAMANTHA SCHWARTZ-OSCAR, LT. ANDREW WICKMAN, LT. REBECCA LENZ, LT. DANIEL CUSHING, JOSEPH BONNIN, and JOHN LANNOYE, Defendants.
STADTMUELLER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE
November 20, 2017, the Court screened Plaintiff's
complaint. (Docket #8). The complaint alleged that
Defendants, correctional and medical staff at Green Bay
Correctional Institution, failed to respond appropriately to
Plaintiff's various acts of self-harm from May 9 to May
14, 2017 while he was incarcerated there. (Docket #8 at 3).
Plaintiff was allowed to proceed on a claim of deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs, namely his risk of
suicide, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, against each
Defendant. Id. at 5.
1, 2018, Defendants moved for summary judgment. (Docket #36).
Plaintiff's response to the motion was due on or before
May 31, 2018. Civ. L. R. 7(b). That deadline has passed and
no response has been received.
Court could summarily grant Defendants' motion in light
of Plaintiff's non-opposition. Civ. L. R. 7(d). However,
as explained below, Defendants also present valid bases for
dismissing Plaintiff's claim. For both of these reasons,
Defendants' motion must be granted.
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).
relevant facts are undisputed because Plaintiff failed to
dispute them. In the Court's scheduling order, entered
December 4, 2017, Plaintiff was warned about the requirements
for opposing a motion for summary judgment. (Docket #13 at
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 his response as set forth in Federal and Local Rules 56.
(Docket #36). He was provided with additional copies of those
Rules along with Defendant's motion. Id. at
3-12. In connection with their motion, Defendants filed a
supporting statement of material facts that complied with the
applicable procedural rules. (Docket #43). It contained
short, numbered paragraphs concisely stating those facts
which Defendants proposed to be beyond dispute, with
supporting citations to the attached evidentiary materials.
response, Plaintiff filed absolutely nothing-no brief in
opposition, much less a response to the statement of
facts. Despite being twice warned of the
strictures of summary judgment procedure, Plaintiff ignored
those rules by failing to properly dispute Defendants'
proffered facts with citations to relevant, admissible
evidence. Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir.
2003). Though the Court is required to liberally construe a
pro se plaintiff's filings, it cannot act as his
lawyer, and it cannot delve through the record to find
favorable evidence for him. Thus, the Court will, unless
otherwise stated, deem Defendants' facts undisputed for
purposes of deciding his motion for summary judgment.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Civ. L. R. 56(b)(4);
Hill v. Thalacker, 210 Fed.Appx. 513, 515 (7th Cir.
2006) (noting that district courts have discretion to enforce
procedural rules against pro se litigants).
absence of any factual disputes, and in the interest of
brevity, the Court will discuss the material facts as part of
its analysis of Plaintiff's claim. All factual discussion
is drawn from Defendants' statement of proposed facts.
generally alleges that he used various sharp metal objects to
harm himself, and that Defendants' responses to that
behavior violated his constitutional rights. See
(Docket #1 at 4-9). Plaintiff's allegations implicate his
Eighth Amendment right to adequate medical care. Prison
officials violate that right if they exhibit deliberate
indifference to an inmate's serious medical needs.
Orlowski v. Milwaukee Cnty., 872 F.3d 417, 422 (7th
Cir. 2017). To show deliberate indifference, a plaintiff must
prove that “(1) [he] had an objectively serious medical
condition; (2) the defendants knew of the condition and were
deliberately indifferent to treating [him]; and (3) this
indifference caused [him] some injury.” Gayton v.
McCoy, 593 F.3d 610, 620 (7th Cir. 2010).
a completed or attempted suicide satisfies the “serious
medical condition” element. Pittman ex rel.
Hamilton v. Cnty. of Madison, Ill., 746 F.3d 766, 775
(7th Cir. 2014). However, a plaintiff still bears the burden
to show that their suicidal ideation or the self-harm they
inflicted was indeed “objectively [and]
sufficiently” serious. Collins v. Seeman, 462
F.3d 757, 760 (7th Cir. 2006). Prison officials' refusal
to treat “the sniffles or minor aches and pains or a
tiny scratch or a mild headache or minor fatigue-the sorts of
ailments for which ...