United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
TOMMIE E. EVANS, Plaintiff,
JACOB R. DORN, et al., Defendants.
DECISION AND ORDER
WILLIAM C. GRIESBACH, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT
Tommie E. Evans, who is currently serving a state prison
sentence at Wisconsin Secure Program Facility and
representing himself, filed the instant 42 U.S.C. § 1983
action against Defendants Jacob R. Dorn, Andrew Moungey,
Bobby Blake, Quinn Warner, and Kevin Sonntag, alleging
violations of his constitutional rights. Presently before the
court is Defendants' motion for summary judgment. For the
following reasons, the motion will be granted and the case
will be dismissed.
times relevant, Evans was an inmate at Waupun Correctional
Institution (WCI) and housed in the Restrictive Housing Unit
(RHU). Defendants Dorn and Sonntag were correctional officers
stationed in RHU during second shift, Defendant Moungey was a
correctional sergeant who worked third shift in RHU,
Defendant Blake was a correctional sergeant, and Defendant
Warner was a correctional officer in charge of pushing the
canteen cart on December 2, 2016, the date of the incident.
December 2, 2016, at approximately 1:15 p.m., an unknown
officer escorted Evans to private visiting booth #9 to meet
with his attorney. Booth #9 is located in RHU, down a long
hallway from the main corridor and the officer's station.
It is a square room that is divided in half by a wall with a
thick window that runs from approximately table height to the
ceiling. The inmate is seated on one side of the window and
is able to communicate with the attorney, seated on the other
side. There is a steel table attached to one wall, and the
remaining three walls are solid brick with padding. The
inmate enters the room through a steel door, which contains a
small window. The correctional officer secured Evans in the
room by handcuffing him to the metal table. The officer
provided Evans with enough slack in the handcuff chains to
allow Evans to move around a little, stand up, and reach the
door with his foot. Evans was wearing a short-sleeve t-shirt,
thin pants, and sandals. He claims that the vent in Booth #9
was blowing out cold air and that he suffers from a thyroid
condition that makes him sensitive to cold air.
Evans finished communicating with his attorney, Sergeant
Blake entered the attorney's side of Booth #9 to escort
him out. Evans asked Blake if she would alert someone in RHU
that he was ready to go back to his cell and that he was not
feeling well. Blake responded that she would let someone know
and left with the attorney. As Evans waited in Booth #9, he
began to suffer a panic attack. He started yelling for help
and kicking the door, but he did not see anybody and did not
know whether any one could hear him. Eventually, he lost
consciousness. Approximately four hours later, Evans regained
consciousness after Dorn and Sonntag discovered him in Booth
#9. When the officers discovered him, Evans was laying on the
floor, had a knot on his forehead, and had urinated himself.
Evans also felt a lot of pain in his shoulder. The officers
placed Evans in a wheelchair and escorted him to the
nurse's station in RHU. At that time, Evans was provided
with a dry change of clothes. Dr. Manlove ordered that Evans
be transferred to the hospital for further testing and
treatment and noted on the off-site service request that he
had diagnosed a “seizure (first event)” with an
“unknown etiology.” Defs.' Proposed Findings
of Fact (DPFOF) ¶ 16, Dkt. No. 48. Although Evans had a
history of panic attacks, Evans had never suffered a panic
attack, lost consciousness, or urinated himself at WCI prior
to the December 2, 2016 incident. At the hospital, medical
providers gave Evans morphine for the pain and took an x-ray.
He was discharged and returned to WCI later that night.
was assigned as the Sergeant in RHU on third shift from 10:00
p.m. to 6:00 a.m. When Evans returned to WCI, he was placed
in the strip cell to be searched and received clean clothes
and soap. Moungey stopped by the strip cell, and Evans told
him he had not eaten anything since lunch that day and asked
Moungey if he could have a shower and a meal. Moungey
responded that he would check with his supervisor to see what
they could do. Moungey went back to the Sergeant's Office
and called the lieutenant or the captain on duty, explained
what Evans had told him, and asked if they could provide
Evans a staff bag meal. Moungey's superior confirmed they
could give Evans a staff bag meal. After Moungey spoke to his
superior, he took a staff bag meal to Evans while he was in
the strip cell. A short time later, Moungey collected the
remains of the bag from Evans and threw it away. Moungey then
escorted Evans back to his cell. Moungey did not offer Evans
a shower, however, because he knew Evans had fresh clothes,
soap, and hot water in his cell, and given the fact that
there were only three security members on staff, it would
have presented a security risk to accommodate Evans'
request for a shower. Evans asserts that he was not allowed
to shower, did not receive a change of clothes, and was
required to wear his urine-stained clothes for three days
until the next shower.
judgment is appropriate when the movant shows that 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). “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 to establish the
existence of an element essential to the party's case,
and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at
trial.” Austin v. Walgreen Co., 885 F.3d 1085,
1087-88 (7th Cir. 2018) (citing Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986)).
court allowed Evans to proceed on the following Eighth
Amendment claims for deliberate indifference to Evans'
physical safety: (1) defendants Blake, Warner, Dorn, and
Sonntag failed to take any action to get Evans out of Booth
#9 despite his yelling and (2) defendant Moungey denied Evans
a shower and hot meal upon his return from the hospital later
that night. The court will address each claim in turn.
Evans' Eighth Amendment Claim against Blake, Dorn,
Sonntag, and Warner
Conditions of confinement in a prison violate the Eighth
Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment
when “(1) there is a depravation that is, from an
objective standpoint, sufficiently serious that it results
‘in the denial of “the minimal civilized measure
of life's necessities, ”' and (2) where prison
officials are deliberately indifferent to this state of
affairs.” Gray v. Hardy, 826 F.3d 1000, 1005
(7th Cir. 2016) (quoting Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S.
825, 834 (1994)). “An official is deliberately
indifferent when he is subjectively aware of the condition or
danger complained of, but consciously disregards it.”
Rice ex rel. Rice v. Corr. Med. Servs., 675 F.3d
650, 665 (7th Cir. 2012). In other words, to defeat summary
judgment, a plaintiff “must show that a factfinder
reasonably could conclude that the conditions of
[confinement] ‘exceeded mere discomfort and were
constitutionally unacceptable.'” Estate of
Simpson v. Gorbett, 863 F.3d 740, 745 (7th Cir. 2017)
(quoting Rice, 675 F.3d at 664-65). Prison
conditions may be unconstitutionally unacceptable if they
“pose a ‘substantial risk to inmate health or
safety.'” Id. (quoting Farmer,
511 U.S. at 837). An “isolated instance of negligence
temporarily inconveniencing only one inmate” does not
typically implicate the Eighth Amendment. Harris v.
Fleming, 839 F.2d 1232, 1235 (7th Cir. 1988).
case, Evans' alleged deprivation, that he was shackled to
a table and locked in a cold room for several hours, does not
rise to the level of a constitutional violation. While
unpleasant, the hardships Evans endured were temporary and
not sufficiently severe enough to implicate the Eighth
Amendment. See Hernandez v. Battaglia, 673 F.Supp.2d
673 (N.D. Ill. 2009) (finding that prison officials'
conduct in handcuffing plaintiff for eight to nine hours and
keeping prisoner in temperatures of up to 95 degrees for
three to five hours did not constitute deliberate
indifference); cf. Henderson v. DeRobertis, 940 F.2d
1055, 1058 (7th Cir. 1991) (finding that deprivation of
blankets for four days in sub-freezing temperatures ...