Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Armstrong v. Bailey

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

December 28, 2016

HERMAN ARMSTRONG, Plaintiff,
v.
T. BAILEY Doctor, Defendant.

          ENTRY DISCUSSING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          Hon. Jane Magntts-Stinson, Chief Judge.

         Plaintiff Herman Armstrong, a former inmate of the Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) at the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute, Indiana, brought this action alleging that the defendant, Dr. T. Bailey, was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. Dr. Bailey moves for summary judgment arguing that Mr. Armstrong failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies with regard to this claim.[1]

         I. Standard of Review

         Summary judgment is appropriate if “the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A dispute about a material fact is genuine only “if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). If no reasonable jury could find for the non-moving party, then there is no “genuine” dispute. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 127 S.Ct. 1769, 1776, 167 L.Ed.2d 686 (2007).

         II. Facts

         The BOP has an administrative remedy system which is codified at 28 C.F.R. § 542.10 et seq., and BOP Program Statement 1330.16, Administrative Remedy Procedures for Inmates. To exhaust the BOP's administrative remedies, an inmate must first file an informal request (“BP-8”) with an appropriate institution staff member. If not satisfied with the proposed informal resolution, the inmate may file a formal request with the institution Warden (“BP-9”). If not satisfied with the response to the BP-9, the inmate may appeal to the Regional Director (“BP-10”). If not satisfied with the Regional Director's response, the inmate may appeal to the BOP's General Counsel (“BP-11”). Once an inmate receives a response to his appeal from the General Counsel and after filing administrative remedies at all required levels, the administrative remedy process is complete.

         All codified BOP Program Statements are available for inmate access through the institution law library. Additionally, Administrative Remedy filing procedures are outlined in an Inmate Information Handbook which is available to inmates at their respective BOP facility.

         Mr. Armstrong filed five remedy requests related to his claims in the complaint. First, on October 27, 2014, Mr. Armstrong filed remedy #799125-F1 claiming “GI Specialist Consult.” The remedy was closed with explanation on October 31, 2014.

         Mr. Armstrong initially filed the complaint in this action on October 29, 2014.

         On November 7, 2014 Mr. Armstrong filed an appeal of the October 31 response, identified as remedy #799125-R1. The filing was rejected on the same date because he failed to provide a copy of the response, and he was instructed to correct and resubmit within 10 days of the date of the rejection notice. On November 28, 2014, Mr. Armstrong resubmitted his appeal in remedy #799125-R2. The filing was rejected because it was a duplicate to filing #799125-R3, and remedy #799125-R3 was rejected as untimely since it was submitted more than 10 days after remedy #799125-R1 was rejected. On December 22, 2014, Mr. Armstrong filed remedy # 799125-R4, and that submission was again rejected as untimely. Mr. Armstrong was instructed to provide staff verification within 10 days on BOP letterhead stating that the untimeliness of #799125-F1 and #799125-R3 were not his fault.

         Mr. Armstrong asserts that he received a rejection of his regional appeal as untimely on January 6, 2015. The next day, he asked his counselor what his next step should be and his counselor told him that he would have to file a reason for the appeal to the Central Office. On the 21st of January, 2015, Mr. Armstrong received a letter from the United States Supreme Court stating that he had submitted his grievance to the wrong address. He then asked his counselor again for advice and was told that nothing could be done.

         III. Discussion

         The defendant argues that Mr. Armstrong's claims must be dismissed because he failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies with respect to those claims. The Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) 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). The exhaustion requirement of the PLRA is one of “proper exhaustion” 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, 84 (2006). This means that the prisoner plaintiff must have completed “the administrative review process in accordance with the applicable procedural rules, including deadlines, as a precondition to bringing suit in federal court.” Id. at 84; 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)).

         Here, Mr. Armstrong filed his initial administrative remedy request on October 27, 2014. He filed this lawsuit on October 29, 2014, and received a response to his administrative remedy request on October 31, 2014. It is undisputed, therefore, that he failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies before filing this lawsuit. This ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.