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West v. Matz

United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin

January 29, 2019

STEVIE ALLAN WEST, Plaintiff,
v.
SHERIFF JOHN M. MATZ and CAPTAIN CHRISTIE, Defendants.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          William C. Griesbach, Chief Judge United States District Court

         Plaintiff Stevie Allan West filed this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Defendants Sheriff John M. Matz and Captain Todd Christie of the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office violated his civil rights by placing him in 24-hour disciplinary segregation from April 9, 2017, to September 4, 2017, without affording him due process of law. Presently before the court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment. For the following reasons, Defendants' motion will be granted and the case will be dismissed.

         BACKGROUND

         Defendants assert that their proposed findings of fact must be deemed admitted because West did not respond to them in accordance with Civil L.R. 56 (E.D. Wis.). Because West did not respond to the proposed findings of fact, the court will deem Defendants' proposed findings of fact admitted for the purposes of summary judgment. See Cichon v. Exelon Generation Co., L.L.C., 401 F.3d 803, 809-10 (7th Cir. 2005); Hill v. Thalacker, 210 Fed.Appx. 513, 515 (7th Cir. 2006) (noting pro se litigants “must follow procedural rules of which they are aware, and district courts have discretion to enforce those rules against such litigants”).

         Captain Christie is the Winnebago County Jail Administrator and oversees the day-to-day operations of the Jail. Sheriff Matz is the chief law enforcement officer of the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office. Although he is familiar with the policies and procedures of the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office and Winnebago County Jail, he does not supervise the day-to-day operations of the Jail.

         West was originally booked into the Winnebago County Jail on December 30, 2016, after being charged with battery while housed at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute. From April 9, 2017, to September 4, 2017, West was incarcerated in the Jail's administrative confinement. The Jail places inmates in administrative confinement for management purposes when the inmate's behavior constitutes a threat to the safety of the inmate, to the safety of other inmates, or the safety of jail employees. Administrative confinement is not considered to be punishment but is used when an inmate's behavior requires close monitoring. Captain Christie reviews all decisions to house inmates in administrative confinement.

         West was placed in administrative confinement for management purposes due to his repeated disturbances in the jail that threatened the health and safety of jail inmates, jail staff, and other Winnebago County employees and that threatened the orderly operation of the Jail. While at Winnebago County Jail, West was housed in administrative confinement on the following dates, for the following reasons. On April 7, 2017, West vandalized the fire suppression sprinkler head, attempted to vandalize his cell window, verbally abused and threatened jail staff, threw urine at jail staff and refused to follow orders, and exited his cell without permission and refused to re-enter. On April 12, 2017, West refused to exit his cell to attend his court hearing, vandalized the fire suppression sprinkler head, smeared feces on cell windows and his body, refused orders, and threatened jail staff. On April 22, 2017, West stored feces in his cell, spit at jail staff, possessed contraband in his cell, verbally abused and threatened jail staff, vandalized jail property, exposed himself to female jail staff, and made sexual threats toward female jail staff. On April 26, 2017, West refused to follow orders and smeared feces on his cell windows.

         On May 2, 2017, West smeared feces on his cell window, threatened jail staff, vandalized the fire suppression sprinkler head, and spit at jail staff. The following day, West vandalized the fire suppression sprinkler head and verbally abused jail staff. On May 27, 2017, West vandalized the fire suppression sprinkler head. Two days later, he again vandalized the fire suppression sprinkler head and threatened jail staff. On May 31, 2017, West vandalized the fire suppression sprinkler head.

         On June 9, 2017, West vandalized the fire suppression sprinkler head. On June 24, 2017, he vandalized the fire suppression sprinkler head and verbally abused jail staff. Between June 27, 2017 and June 29, 2017, West vandalized the fire suppression sprinkler head three times, threatened jail staff; smeared feces on cell windows, walls, the ceiling, and himself; threw food at jail staff; threw urine at jail staff; and refused to follow orders. On July 7, 2017, West defecated in the shower. On July 11, 2017, he vandalized the trap door in his cell, threw urine at a Winnebago County employee, covered his cell window with toilet paper, and threatened jail staff and a Winnebago County employee. On July 15, 2017, he smeared feces on his cell window, threatened to harm himself, and vandalized jail property. Two days later, he vandalized the fire suppression sprinkler head. On July 19, 2017, West refused to follow orders, attempted self-harm, refused to attend court, smeared feces on his body, possessed contraband, and resisted.

         On August 4, 2017, West spit at jail staff, refused to follow orders, and threatened jail staff. The next day, West refused to follow orders, spit at jail staff, resisted, and threatened jail staff. On August 7, 2017, West vandalized the fire suppression sprinkler head. On August 19, 2017, West urinated out the cell trap door onto the floor, threatened to harm himself, vandalized jail equipment, threatened jail staff, and smeared feces on his body and cell walls.

         After each incident, the Jail provided West with a notice of the misconduct and a hearing during which discipline was determined for the infractions. The usual discipline for these types of incidents is the imposition of 10 days of administrative segregation with a loss of privileges. The discipline for each of West's incidents, which was added to the accrued time, led to a substantial accrual of administrative segregation time. Due to the serious nature of West's behavior, the disciplinary nature of West's confinement was eliminated and converted to administrative confinement to better contain and manage his actions.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         Summary judgment is appropriate when the movant shows there is no genuine issue of material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the court must view the evidence and make all reasonable inferences that favor them in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Johnson v. Advocate Health & Hosps. Corp., 892 F.3d 887, 893 (7th Cir. 2018) (citing Parker v. Four Seasons Hotels, Ltd., 845 F.3d 807, 812 (7th Cir. 2017)). 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). “[A] factual dispute is ‘genuine' for summary judgment purposes only when there is ‘sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a jury to return a verdict for that party.'” Outlaw v. Newkirk, 259 F.3d 833, 837 (7th Cir. 2001) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986)). “[A] ‘metaphysical doubt' regarding the existence of a genuine fact issue is not enough to stave off summary judgment, and ‘the nonmovant fails to demonstrate a genuine issue for trial where the record taken as a whole could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the non-moving party.'” Id. (quoting Logan v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 96 F.3d 971, ...


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