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Robinson v. Cox

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

February 23, 2017

LOUSHAWN A. ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
D. COX, Defendant.

          ENTRY GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT

          William T. Lawrence, Judge United States District Court Southern District of Indiana

          I. Background

         Plaintiff Loushawn A. Robinson (“Mr. Robinson”) is a federal inmate formerly confined at the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana (“USP Terre Haute”). After screening the complaint and dismissing some claims, the Court determined that Mr. Robinson's claim of excessive force would proceed against Officer David Cox (“Officer Cox”).

         The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that Mr. Robinson's claim is barred because he failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies. Mr. Robinson has opposed the motion for summary judgment and the defendant has replied. The motion is ripe for ruling.

         For the reasons explained in this Entry, the defendant's motion for summary judgment [dkt. 29] is granted.

         II. Discussion

         A. Legal Standards

         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). The Court must consider the issue of exhaustion before reaching the merits. Perez v. Wis. Dep't of Corr., 182 F.3d 532, 536 (7th Cir. 1999) (“The statute [requiring administrative exhaustion] can function properly only if the judge resolves disputes about its application before turning to any other issue in the suit.”).

         B. Undisputed Facts

         The following statement of facts was evaluated pursuant to the standards set forth above. That is, this statement of facts is not necessarily objectively true, but as the summary judgment standard requires, the undisputed facts and the disputed evidence are presented in the light reasonably most favorable to Mr. Robinson as the non-moving party with respect to the motion for summary judgment. See Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000).

         The Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) has promulgated an administrative remedy system which is codified in 28 C.F.R. § 542.10, et seq., and BOP Program Statement 1330.18, Administrative Remedy Program. The administrative remedy process is a method by which an inmate may seek formal review of a complaint related to any aspect of his imprisonment. 28 C.F.R. § 542.10. To exhaust his remedies, an inmate must first file an informal remedy request through an appropriate institution staff member via a BP-8. 28 C.F.R. § 542.14(a). He must then file a formal administrative remedy request with the Warden, Regional Director, and General Counsel.

         If the inmate is not satisfied with the informal remedy response (BP-8), he is required to address his complaint at the institutional level with the Warden via a BP-9 form within twenty (20) calendar days of the incident. 28 C.F.R. § 542.14(a). If the inmate is dissatisfied with the Warden's response to his BP-9, he may appeal to the Regional Director within twenty (20) calendar days of the Warden's response, via a BP-10. 28 C.F.R. § 542.15(a). If dissatisfied with the Regional Director's response, the inmate may appeal to the General Counsel/Central Office within thirty (30) calendar days of the Regional Director's response, via a BP-11. Id. Once an inmate receives a response to his appeal from the General Counsel/Central Office, after filing administrative remedies at all required levels, his administrative remedies are deemed exhausted, as to the specific issue(s) properly raised therein. See BOP Program Statement, Administrative Remedy Program, 1330.16, available at http://www.bop.gov.

         All codified BOP Program Statements are available for inmate access via the institution law library, including BOP Program Statement 1330.16. Administrative remedy filing procedures are outlined in an Inmate Information Handbook, which ...


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