United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ALLAN J. KIRKLEY, Plaintiff,
NURSE JOHNSON AND LT. STORMS, Defendants.
ENTRY GRANTING UNOPPOSED MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
J. Kirkley filed this action on February 7, 2017, contending
that his constitutional rights were violated while he was
incarcerated at the New Castle Correctional Facility
(“New Castle”). Specifically, Mr. Kirkley alleges
that on August 5, 2016, Mr. Kirkley was assaulted by another
offender in I-1 pod at New Castle Correctional Facility.
During the assault, Mr. Kirkley was injured and he continues
to suffer from headaches, dizziness, jaw pain, and loss of
vision. Defendant Nurse Johnson allegedly failed to provide
Mr. Kirkley with necessary medical care after the assault and
defendant Lt. Storms refused to give Mr. Kirkley health care
forms, grievance forms or attorney calls effectively
obstructing Mr. Kirkley's access to medical attention. As
a result, Mr. Kirkley was denied necessary medical care from
August 5, 2016, until he was released from segregation on or
about August 22, 2016.
the State defendant, Lt. Storms and the medical defendant,
Nurse Johnson move for summary judgment arguing that Mr.
Kirkley failed to exhaust his available administrative
remedies as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”), 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), before
filing this lawsuit.
reasons explained below, the unopposed motion for summary
judgment, dkts , and motion to join the State
defendant's motion for summary judgment , are
Standard of Review
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 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).
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 this motion for summary
judgment is the PLRA, which requires that “[n]o action
shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under
section 1983 . . . until such administrative remedies as are
available are exhausted.” 42 U.S.C. § 1997e;
see Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 524-25 (2002).
“[T]he ordinary meaning of the word
‘available' is ‘capable of use for the
accomplishment of a purpose, ' and that which ‘is
accessible or may be obtained.'” Ross v.
Blake, 136 S.Ct. 1850, 1858 (2016) (internal quotation
omitted). “[A]n inmate is required to exhaust those,
but only those, grievance procedures that are capable of use
to obtain some relief for the action complained of.”
Id. at 1859 (internal quotation omitted).
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 requirement to exhaust provides
“that no one is entitled to judicial relief for a
supposed or threatened injury until the prescribed
administrative remedy has been exhausted.” Woodford
v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 88-89 (2006) (citation omitted).
Exhaustion of available administrative remedies
“‘means using all steps that the agency holds
out, and doing so properly (so that the agency addresses the
issues on the merits).'” Id. at 90
(quoting Pozo v. McCaughtry, 286 F.3d 1022, 1024
(7th Cir. 2002)). Proper use of the facility's grievance
system requires a prisoner “to file complaints and
appeals in the place, and at the time [as] the prison's
administrative rules require.” Pozo, 286 F.3d
at 1025; see also Dole v. Chandler, 438 F.3d 804,
809 (7th Cir. 2006).
exhaustion is an affirmative defense, “the burden of
proof is on the prison officials.” Kaba v.
Stepp, 458 F.3d 678, 680 (7th Cir. 2006). So here, the
defendants bear the burden of demonstrating that Mr. Kirkley
failed to exhaust all available administrative remedies
before he filed this suit. Id. at 681.
response to the motions for summary judgment was filed by Mr.
Kirkley and the deadline for doing so has passed. The
consequence is that Mr. Kirkley has conceded the
defendants' version of the events. 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.”). 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).
the following facts are accepted as true:
times relevant to this action, Mr. Kirkley was confined at
New Castle. Offenders housed at New Castle are informed about