United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY ON STATE DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
EVANS BARKER, JUDGE
Indiana Department of Child Services and Ruth Phelps
(collectively “state defendants”) October 18,
2016, motion for summary judgment is before the Court.
Plaintiff has responded in opposition, and the state
defendants have replied.
Summary Judgment Standard
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). The party seeking summary
judgment “bears the initial responsibility of informing
the district court of the basis for its motion, and
identifying” designated evidence which
“demonstrate[s] the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 323 (1986).
the moving party has met its burden, the non-movant may not
rest upon mere allegations. Instead, “[t]o successfully
oppose a motion for summary judgment, the non-movant party
must come forward with specific facts demonstrating that
there is a genuine issue for trial.” Trask-Morton
v. Motel 6 Operating L.P., 534 F.3d 672, 677 (7th Cir.
2008). “The non-movant will successfully oppose summary
judgment only when [he] presents definite, competent evidence
to rebut the motion.” Vukadinovich v. Bd. of Sch.
Trs., 278 F.3d 693, 699 (7th Cir. 2002) (internal
quotation and citation omitted).
ruling on a summary judgment motion, the Court accepts as
true the non-movant's evidence, draws all legitimate
inferences in favor of the non-movant, and does not weigh the
evidence or the credibility of witnesses. Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250. The non-movant
may oppose the motion with any of the evidentiary materials
listed in Rule 56(c), but reliance on the pleadings alone is
not sufficient to withstand summary judgment. Posey v.
Skyline Corp., 702 F.2d 102, 105 (7th Cir. 1983).
law determines which facts are material; that is, which facts
might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. Irrelevant or unnecessary
facts do not preclude summary judgment even when they are in
dispute. Id. The issue of fact must be genuine.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c), (e). To establish a genuine
issue of fact the non-movant “must do more than simply
show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the material
facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith
Radio, 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). The non-movant must
come forward with specific facts showing that there is a
genuine issue for trial. Id. A summary judgment
determination is essentially an inquiry as to “whether
the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require
submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one
party must prevail as a matter of law.”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 251-52.
facts are taken from the complaint and evidentiary materials
submitted in support of and opposition to summary judgment.
1995, plaintiff Willard Purvis was a sixteen-year-old minor
who had been designated a Child in Need of Services
(“CHINS”) by defendant Indiana Department of
Child Services (“DCS”), then known as the
Division of Family and Children. Defendant DCS referred
plaintiff to a treatment provider in Henry County, Indiana,
Mid-Town Mental Health of Henry County. Mid-Town assigned
defendant Darrell Hughes, its employee, to counsel plaintiff.
Plaintiff alleges that during the course of the counseling,
Hughes began to make inappropriate comments and ask sexually
specific questions. Hughes also would touch plaintiff on the
upper thigh during these conversations. When plaintiff
expressed concerns about this conduct to Hughes's
supervisor, defendant Ruth Phelps, she did nothing about it,
and told plaintiff to “pay it no mind.”
Thereafter Hughes sexually abused plaintiff on a number of
occasions and used a Polaroid camera to take plaintiff's
photograph while nude or during sexual acts. Plaintiff
reported these sexual assaults to Phelps, but was rebuffed
when Phelps accused plaintiff of lying and said she did not
want Hughes smeared. She suggested that plaintiff
“should move.” The sexual abuse continued, but
after plaintiff and his mother moved to Indianapolis, there
was one more incident of sexual abuse before it stopped.
Plaintiff alleges he discussed the sexual abuse a third and
final time with Phelps after moving to Indianapolis, but,
again, she did not believe him. Plaintiff was not a minor
when he moved to and lived in Indianapolis.
years later, on May 30, 2014, plaintiff learned that Hughes
had been arrested for a sex offense. He alleges this news
caused him to remember the incidents of his own sexual abuse,
which he had repressed and forgotten. Working with a mental
health professional, plaintiff now remembers approximately
twenty incidents of sexual assault.
brought suit against defendants in state court on December
29, 2014, alleging claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, 18
U.S.C. § 2255, and state law. The action was removed to
this Court on April 9, 2015, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1441 & 1446. Plaintiff seeks monetary
damages. During screening pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A,
the Court dismissed plaintiff's section 1983 claims, but
allowed the section 2255 claim and pendant state law claims
federal claim arises under Section 2255(a) of Title 18,
United States Code, which is a part of the Child Abuse
Victims' Rights Act of 1986. This particular section,
enacted as part of the ...