United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY GRANTING DEFENDANTS’ UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL
William T. Lawrence, Judge
Willard Purvis (“Mr. Purvis”) is a state prisoner
confined at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility
(“Wabash Valley”). In his amended complaint, Mr.
Purvis alleges that defendants Officer Hendershot, Officer
Willis, and Officer Maddox a) violated his Eighth Amendment
rights by failing to protect him and placing him in danger,
and b) violated his First Amendment rights by retaliating
defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment seeking
resolution of the claims against them on the basis that Mr.
Purvis failed to exhaust his available administrative
remedies. Mr. Purvis has not opposed the motion for summary
reasons explained in this Entry, the defendants’
unopposed motion for summary judgment [dkt. 26] must be
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).
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).
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).
exhaustion of administrative remedies is an affirmative
defense, “the burden of proof is on the prison
officials, ” Kaba v. Stepp, 458 F.3d 678, 681
(7th Cir. 2006), to demonstrate that Mr. Purvis failed to
exhaust all available administrative remedies before he filed
this suit. The defendants’ motion for summary judgment,
brief in support, and Rule 56 notice were served on Mr.
Purvis on June 17, 2016. As noted, no response has been
filed, and the deadline for doing so has passed. The
consequence of Mr. Purvis’ failure to respond is that
he has conceded the defendants’ version of the facts.
Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003)
(“[F]ailure to respond by the nonmovant as mandated by
the local rules results in an admission.”);
Waldridge v. American Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918,
921-22 (7th Cir. 1994). This does not alter the standard for
assessing a Rule 56(a) motion, but does “reduc[e] the
pool” from which the facts and inferences relative to
such a motion may be drawn. Smith v. Severn, 129
F.3d 419, 426 (7th Cir. 1997).
the standards set forth above, the defendants have shown the
Indiana Department of Correction (“IDOC”) policy
establishes a three-step grievance process which existed at
the time of the events described in Mr. Purvis’ amended
complaint. The requirements of the grievance process are
clear: the offender has an informal and two formal steps that
he must take in order to exhaust his administrative remedies.
This grievance program was in place at Wabash Valley during
the time Mr. Purvis alleges that his constitutional rights
were violated. The first step requires a prisoner to
informally or verbally address the issues with a staff member
designated by the facility. If the issue is not resolved to
the prisoner’s liking, he must then file a formal
grievance form. If the IDOC ...