Roy A. Smith, Appellant-Plaintiff,
Keith Butts, Jenny Gibson, Amber Berry, Misty Cecil, and Amie Williams, Appellees-Defendants.
from the Henry Circuit Court. The Honorable Kit C. Dean
Crane, Judge. Cause No. 33C02-1504-PL-20
APPELLANT PRO SE Roy A. Smith Michigan City, Indiana
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEES Adam G. Forrest Boston Bever Klinge
Cross & Chidester Richmond, Indiana
Darden, Senior Judge
of the Case
Roy A. Smith appeals the trial court's denial of his
motion for summary judgment and its grant of summary judgment
in favor of Keith Butts, Jenny Gibson, Amber Berry, Misty
Cecil, and Amie Williams ("the Officials"). We
affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.
Smith raises the following issue, which we restate as:
whether the trial court erred in granting the Officials'
motion for summary judgment and in denying Smith's motion
for summary judgment.
and Procedural History
Smith is an inmate in the Indiana Department of Correction
("the DOC") and, at all times relevant to this
case, was imprisoned at the New Castle Correctional Facility
in Henry County. The Officials worked at the New Castle
Correctional Facility in various offices including the law
library and the mail department.
In late 2014, Smith was engaged in pro se litigation in the
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Initially, Smith did not prevail and decided to seek
discretionary review by writ of certiorari to the United
States Supreme Court. On December 26, 2014, Smith gave the
Officials his motion for extension of time to file a petition
for writ of certiorari, expecting that the Officials would
mail it to the Clerk of the United States Supreme Court prior
to the January 6, 2015 filing deadline. A few days later,
Smith gave the Officials his petition for writ of certiorari
and related documents for mailing. On January 4, 2016, Smith
gave the Officials a letter asking them to return the
petition for writ of certiorari to him, explaining that he
had discovered an error in the document that needed to be
corrected. Subsequently, he gave the Officials his corrected
petition for writ of certiorari to be mailed.
On January 20, 2015, the Clerk of the United States Supreme
Court sent Smith a letter indicating that his motion for
enlargement of time was untimely because it had been due on
or before January 6, 2015, but was postmarked January 8,
2015, and received by the clerk on January 16, 2015. As a
result, his petition for writ of certiorari was untimely and
would not be considered. Smith received the letter on
February 17, 2015.
On February 18, 2015, Smith submitted his first informal
grievance, in which he alleged Amber Perry and Keith Butts
failed to properly handle his legal mail, resulting in the
untimely ending of his federal case. On February 20, 2015,
Misty Cecil issued a written response denying the informal
grievance. The document informed Smith he had ten days to
file a formal grievance.
On February 21, 2015, Smith filed his first formal grievance,
claiming Perry, Butts, and Cecil failed to timely send out
his legal mail, resulting in the termination of his case
before the United States Supreme Court. On March 9, 2015, a
grievance coordinator denied the first formal ...