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Thompson v. Jones

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

January 6, 2015

ROGER N. THOMPSON, Plaintiff,
v.
DR. JONES, et al., Defendants.

ENTRY DISCUSSING DEFENDANTS CAMPBELL AND BURDINE'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT FOR FAILURE TO EXHAUST ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES

WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, District Judge.

I. Background

Plaintiff Roger N. Thompson ("Mr. Thompson") is a former prisoner. In his original complaint, filed on September 30, 2013, Mr. Thompson alleges that psychiatrist Dr. Jones, from January through September 2013, failed to provide him with certain treatment necessary to treat his anxiety condition. In his amended complaint, filed on February 11, 2014, Mr. Thompson alleges that defendants Dr. Walter Campbell and Dr. Burdine, in November and December of 2013, also failed to provide him with a particular medication for his anxiety condition.

Defendants Dr. Campbell and Dr. Burdine have filed a motion for summary judgment seeking resolution of the claims against them based on the affirmative defense that Mr. Thompson failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies prior to filing the amended complaint. Mr. Thompson has opposed the motion for summary judgment.

For the reasons explained in this Entry, defendants Campbell and Burdine's motion for summary judgment [dkt. 50] must be granted.

II. Discussion

A. Legal Standards

Summary judgment should be granted "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). A "material fact" is one that "might affect the outcome of the suit." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute is genuine only if a reasonable jury could find for the non-moving party. Id. If no reasonable jury could find for the non-moving party, then there is no "genuine" dispute. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007). The Court views the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and all reasonable inferences are drawn in the non-movant's favor. Ault v. Speicher, 634 F.3d 942, 945 (7th Cir. 2011).

"The applicable substantive law will dictate which facts are material." National Soffit & Escutcheons, Inc., v. Superior Systems, Inc., 98 F.3d 262, 265 (7th Cir. 1996) (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248). The substantive law applicable to the motion for summary judgment is the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA'"), which requires that a prisoner exhaust his available administrative remedies before bringing a suit concerning prison conditions. 42 U.S.C. ยง 1997e(a); see Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 524-25 (2002). "[T]he PLRA's exhaustion requirement applies to all inmate suits about prison life, whether they involve general circumstances or particular episodes, and whether they allege excessive force or some other wrong." Id. at 532 (citation omitted).

"Proper exhaustion demands compliance with an agency's deadlines and other critical procedural rules because no adjudicative system can function effectively without imposing some orderly structure on the course of its proceedings." Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 90-91 (2006) (footnote omitted); see also Dale v. Lappin, 376 F.3d 652, 655 (7th Cir. 2004) ("In order to properly exhaust, a prisoner must submit inmate complaints and appeals in the place, and at the time, the prison's administrative rules require.'") (quoting Pozo v. McCaughtry, 286 F.3d 1022, 1025 (7th Cir. 2002)). "In order to exhaust administrative remedies, a prisoner must take all steps prescribed by the prison's grievance system." Ford v. Johnson, 362 F.3d 395, 397 (7th Cir. 2004).

B. Undisputed Facts

On the basis of the pleadings and the expanded record, and specifically on the portions of that record which comply with the requirements of Rule 56(c), the following facts, construed in the manner most favorable to Mr. Thompson as the non-movant, are undisputed for purposes of the motion for summary judgment:

At all relevant times, Mr. Thompson was incarcerated at Plainfield Correctional Facility ("Plainfield"). Mr. Thompson alleges that defendants Dr. Campbell and Dr. Burdine violated his constitutional rights by acting with deliberate indifference to Mr. Thompson's serious medical need. Specifically, he claims that all the defendants failed to appropriately treat his serious anxiety disorder.

The administrative remedy available to prisoners regarding the conditions of their confinement is the grievance process. The grievance process begins with the offender contacting staff to discuss the matter and seek informal resolution. If the offender is unable to obtain a resolution of the grievance informally, he may submit a formal written complaint (Level I) to the Grievance Specialist of the facility where the incident occurred. If the formal written complaint is not resolved in a manner that satisfies the offender, he may submit an appeal (Level II) within ten (10) working days from the date of receipt of the grievance response. If the ...


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