United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
JAMES H. ARCHAMBAULT, Plaintiff,
R SHANNON, et al., Defendants.
ENTRY GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING FINAL
WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
James Archambault is a federal prisoner who was previously
confined at the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute,
Indiana. The Court screened his second amended complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and determined that Mr.
Archambault adequately stated an excessive force claim
against each defendant pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown
Federal Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), stemming
from two alleged assaults. The defendants move for summary
judgment on their affirmative defense that Mr. Archambault
failed to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing
reasons explained, the defendants' motion for summary
judgment [dkt. 61] is granted, and Mr. Archambault's
claims are dismissed without prejudice.
Archambault was a federal prisoner when the events alleged in
his second amended complaint occurred. During all relevant
times he was incarcerated at U.S.P. Terre Haute, and his
claims are against six staff members at that facility: R.
Shannon, Z. Cochran, B. Basinger, J.S. Gibbens, M. Anderson,
and A. Schoeffel. He alleges that the defendants violated his
Eighth Amendment rights when they used excessive force
against him on October 17, 2013, and February 24, 2014.
Specifically, Mr. Archambault alleges that he was, among
other things, kneed in the head, choked, and had a defendant
put all his weight on Mr. Archambault's head when he was
laying on the ground.
defendants move for summary judgment as to both of Mr.
Archambault's claims. They argue that these claims are
barred under the exhaustion provision of the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 42 U.S.C. §
1997e, that requires a prisoner to first exhaust his
available administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit in
court. The defendants present the following undisputed
evidence regarding the administrative remedies procedure
available to Mr. Archambault.
Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) had promulgated an
administrative remedy system, codified in 28 C.F.R. §
542.10, that was in effect at all times relevant to this
case. The administrative remedy process allows an inmate to
seek formal review of a complaint related to any aspect of
his imprisonment. To exhaust his administrative remedies
under this process, an inmate must first file an informal
remedy request through the appropriate institution staff
member (BP-8). If the inmate is not satisfied with the
response to his informal request, he is required to file his
complaint with the Warden (BP-9). See 28 C.F.R.
§ 542.14. The deadline for completion of these two steps
is twenty days following the date on which the basis for the
request occurred. See 28 C.F.R. § 542.14(a).
inmate is dissatisfied with the Warden's response, he may
appeal the decision to the Regional Director (BP-10).
See 28 C.F.R. § 542.15. Finally, if an inmate
is dissatisfied with the Regional Director's response, he
may appeal to the General Counsel (BP-11). See Id.
Once the General Counsel has responded, an inmate has
exhausted all of his administrative remedies.
inmate reasonably believes the issue over which he complains
is sensitive and his safety or well-being would be placed in
danger if his complaint became known at the institution, he
may submit his initial complaint directly to the Regional
administrative remedy requests filed by inmates are logged in
the SENTRY computer database utilized by the BOP to track
such requests. This database was used to review Mr.
Archambault's administrative filings. Twenty-one
administrative remedy requests filed by Mr. Archambault have
been accepted during his incarceration with the BOP. As
discussed further below, only one of these administrative
remedy requests was accepted at the BP-11 Central Office
Standard of Review
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). 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 this motion for summary
judgment is the PLRA, which requires that “[n]o action
shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under
section 1983 . . . until such administrative remedies as are
available are exhausted.” 42 U.S.C. § 1997e;
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). The requirement to exhaust provides
“that no one is entitled to judicial relief for a
supposed or threatened injury until the prescribed
administrative remedy has been exhausted.” Woodford
v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 88-89 (2006) (citation omitted).
Exhaustion of available administrative remedies
“‘means using all steps that the agency holds
out, and doing so properly (so that the agency addresses the
issues on the merits).'” Id. at 90
(quoting Pozo v. McCaughtry, 286 F.3d 1022, 1024
(7th Cir. 2002)). Proper use of the facility's grievance
system requires a prisoner “to file complaints and
appeals in the place, and at the time [as] the prison's
administrative rules require.” Pozo, 286 F.3d
at 1025; see also Dole v. Chandler, 438 F.3d 804,
809 (7th Cir. 2006).
exhaustion is an affirmative defense, “the burden of
proof is on the prison officials.” Kaba v.
Stepp, 458 F.3d 678, 680 (7th Cir. 2006). So here, the
defendants bear the burden of demonstrating that Mr.
Archambault failed to exhaust ...