United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
ENTRY DENYING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
matter is before the Court on a Motion for Summary Judgment
filed by Defendants B. Dooley, Wimberly and Goltner
(collectively, the “Defendants”). Plaintiff Alan
Josue Ruiz (“Ruiz”), a former inmate of the Clark
County Jail, filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action on
November 16, 2016, against jail Officers Dooley, Wimberley,
and Giltner alleging that while he was incarcerated in the
jail, Officer Dooley assaulted him, and when he asked for
medical help Officers Wimberley and Giltner refused to assist
him. Ruiz's claim of excessive force was allowed to
proceed against Dooley, and his claim of deliberate
indifference to his serious medical needs was allowed to
proceed against Wimberley and Giltner. While Dooley has
admitted that Ruiz exhausted his administrative remedies
against him, Wimberley and Giltner have moved for summary
judgment on the ground that Ruiz failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies as required by the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (PLRA). See 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a).
Ruiz has responded in opposition to summary judgment.
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).
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 nonmoving 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 it 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).
was an inmate in the Clark County, Indiana, Jail on September
22, 2016, when the circumstances giving rise to this lawsuit
occurred. Captain Retha Boley (“Captain Boley”)
is a Clark County Jail employee with knowledge of the
jail's grievance system. According to Captain Boley, the
jail follows a grievance procedure outlined in the Clark
County Jail's Rules and Regulations Number 13.3.
inmates are orally advised of the grievance procedure and
system upon their admission to the jail. There does not
appear to be a time limit for making a grievance after being
aggrieved. Grievances are first made orally to a pod officer,
and then the inmate may request a grievance form through the
jail's TIGER system. Captain Boley receives the requests
daily and causes a grievance form to be delivered to the
inmate. The completed forms are collected daily, and Captain
Boley addresses them within ten days. Appeals from Captain
Boley's decisions may be taken to the jail commander, who
resolves the appeal within twenty days. The jail commander
keeps records of grievances for three years.
Boley submitted the jail grievance records for the period
when Ruiz was incarcerated, which includes grievances filed
on and after September 22, 2016. The records reflect three
grievances filed by Ruiz on September 22 and 23, 2016, and a
few grievances filed later that complain about Dooley's
actions on September 22. But these grievances and others
never specifically mention officers or medical personnel
declining or refusing to provide medical aid on September 22,
2016, or any other date.
opposition to summary judgment, Ruiz provided hand-written
versions of his grievances and contended he exhausted his
administrative remedies. Ruiz's hand-written exhibits are
versions of selected grievances provided in exhibit 3 to
their motion for summary judgment by defendants Wimberley and
Wimberley and Giltner argue that Ruiz failed to exhaust his
available administrative remedies as required by the PLRA
with respect to his claims against them.
PLRA requires that a prisoner exhaust his available
administrative remedies before bringing a suit concerning
prison or jail conditions. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a);
Porter v. Nussle,534 U.S. 516, 524-25 (2002).
“Proper exhaustion demands compliance with an
agency's deadlines and other critical procedural rules
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,
90-91 (2006) (footnote omitted); 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)). Strict compliance is required with respect
to exhaustion, and a prisoner must properly follow the
prescribed administrative procedures in order to exhaust his
remedies. Dole v. Chandler,438 F.3d 804, 809 (7th
Cir. 2006). The PLRA's exhaustion ...