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Overton v. Grube

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division

April 23, 2015

MARK GRUBE, Defendant.



This matter is before the Court on a Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 18) filed by Defendant Mark Grube ("Lt. Grube"). The plaintiff in this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights action is Aaron Michael Overton ("Mr. Overton"), who at all relevant times has been a pretrial detainee at the Clark County Jail ("the Jail"). Mr. Overton alleges that Lt. Grube wrongfully punished him on or about April 30, 2013, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. Mr. Overton also brings a state law claim of slander. Mr. Overton seeks compensatory damages and requests that Lt. Grube lose his job.

Mr. Overton has opposed the motion for summary judgment and Lt. Grube has replied. For the reasons explained in this Entry, the Motion for Summary Judgment is GRANTED.

I. Legal Standard

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. § 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)).

II. Undisputed Facts

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

On April 30, 2013 there was an altercation in the Jail, for which Mr. Overton and another inmate were wrongfully charged and punished. Mr. Overton was slandered on the Channel 11 news for a C felony battery that he did not commit. He told Lt. Grube and other Jail officers that he did not do anything and that he was innocent. Mr. Overton alleges that Lt. Grube committed perjury in a probable cause affidavit by stating that he reviewed the camera footage of the incident and saw Mr. Overton assault another inmate.

The Clark County Jail's Rules & Regulations Number 13.3, (III) Inmate Grievance Procedures, provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

II. Procedures:
A. The grievance procedures for inmates of the Clark County Jail have been established for inmates to present complaints and problems relating to the conditions of their confinement. It is intended to be the mechanism to which inmates may resort after they have attempted to resolve the problem or complaint with the corrections personnel most directly responsible for the aspect of institutional life in question.
B. Except as otherwise indicated below, a grievance may relate to any aspect of institutional life. It may concern Departmental, Correctional policies, procedures, rule and regulations, or the application of any of these to the grievant. It may also relate to actions on the part of corrections personnel or inmate affecting the grievant. A grievance must be specific in its description of the complaint or problem. A grievance ...

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