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Giles v. Bailey

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

July 25, 2017

DAMON GILES, Plaintiff,
v.
BAILEY DR., GOSSETT MS., SOUTHWICK DR. KAJIMAD GEORGE DR. Defendants.

          ENTRY GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING FINAL JUDGMENT

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge

         Plaintiff Damon Giles is a federal prisoner who was previously confined at U.S.P. Terre Haute. The Court screened his complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and determined that Eighth Amendment medical claims and related state-law claims could proceed against defendants Dr. Bailey, Ms. Gossett, Dr. Southwick, and Dr. Kaj (who was incorrectly referred to as Dr. Kajimad by the plaintiff). The other defendants were dismissed from the action. The four remaining defendants move for summary judgment, by way of three separate motions, on their affirmative defense that Mr. Giles failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. Mr. Giles did not respond to any of the defendants' motions, and the time to do so has passed.

         For the reasons explained, the defendants' unopposed motions for summary judgment, [dkt. 61, dkt. 64, dkt. 68], are granted, and Mr. Giles's claims are dismissed without prejudice.

         I.

         Background

         Mr. Giles is a federal prisoner currently incarcerated at the Rochester Federal Medical Center. His claims that made it through the Court's screening, however, stem from his time incarcerated at U.S.P. Terre Haute and are asserted against four staff at that facility: Dr. Bailey, Ms. Gossett, Dr. Southwick, and Dr. Kaj. He alleges that he was denied adequate medical care for an infection of his right leg, which caused significant pain and blood clots and left two holes in his leg.

         The defendants move for summary judgment. 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.

         As noted, Mr. Giles failed to respond to the defendants' motions for summary judgment, and the deadline for doing so has passed. The consequence is that Mr. Giles has conceded the defendants' version of the events. See Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003) (“[F]ailure to respond by the nonmovant as mandated by the local rules results in an admission.”); see S.D. Ind. Local Rule 56-1 (“A party opposing a summary judgment motion must . . . file and serve a response brief and any evidence . . . that the party relies on to oppose the motion. The response must . . . identif[y] the potentially determinative facts and factual disputes that the party contends demonstrate a dispute of fact precluding summary judgment.”). This does not alter the standard for assessing a Rule 56 motion, but it does “reduc[e] the pool” from which the facts and inferences relative to such a motion may be drawn. Smith v. Severn, 129 F.3d 419, 426 (7th Cir. 1997).

         Accordingly, the following facts, unopposed by Mr. Giles and supported by admissible evidence, are accepted as true:

         At all times relevant to his claims, Mr. Giles was incarcerated at U.S.P. Terre Haute. The 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).

         If the inmate is dissatisfied with the Warden's response, he may appeal the decision to the Regional Director (BP-10) within twenty calendar days of the date the Warden responded. 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.

         All 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. Giles's administrative filings. According to the database, Mr. Giles filed two submissions regarding the allegations in his Complaint during his incarceration with the BOP.

         First, Mr. Giles submitted a BP-9 (Remedy # 824951-F1) on June 17, 2015, which was denied on June 24, 2015. He next submitted a BP-10 (Remedy #824951-R1) on July 27, 2015, but it was rejected as untimely, as it was filed beyond the twenty-day deadline. Mr. Giles was instructed to provide verification on BOP letterhead stating that the untimeliness was not his fault.

         But instead of doing so, he filed two BP-11s (Remedy #s 824951-A1 and 824951-A2) on August 24, 2015. Both were rejected because he did not follow the ...


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