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Lewis v. Mellinger

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

November 15, 2017

JOSEPH D. LEWIS, Plaintiff,
v.
SCOTT MELLINGER, Defendant.

          ORDER

          Hon. Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge United States District Court.

         Entry Granting Motion for Summary Judgment and Directing Entry of Final Judgment

         Plaintiff Joseph Lewis brought this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against multiple defendants, alleging that they violated his constitutional rights while he was incarcerated at the Madison County Jail. The defendants moved to dismiss several of Mr. Lewis's claims pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), and the Court granted their motion. What remains in this action is Mr. Lewis's claim against defendant Madison County Sheriff Scott Mellinger in his official capacity. Mr.

         Lewis contends that Sheriff Mellinger maintains an unconstitutional policy or practice of detaining inmates in the Madison County Jail longer than forty-eight hours without a probable cause determination. Sheriff Mellinger moves for summary judgment on that claim. Mr. Lewis has not responded, and the time to do so has long passed. For the reasons explained, Sheriff Mellinger's motion for summary judgment is granted. Filing No. 40.

         I.

         Standard of Review

         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 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). 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).

         II.

         Background

         As noted, Mr. Lewis failed to respond to Sheriff Mellinger's motion for summary judgment, and the deadline to do so has long passed. The consequence is that Mr. Lewis has conceded Sheriff Mellinger's 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. Lewis and supported by admissible evidence, are accepted as true. Mr. Lewis was arrested by Elwood police officers on two occasions relevant to his claim. First, Mr. Lewis was arrested on September 12, 2015 at 9:22 p.m. and charged with four offenses. See Filing No. 40-1 at 1. Less than twenty-four hours later, a Madison County Magistrate Judge determined that probable cause existed for Mr. Lewis's arrest. See Filing No. 40-1 at 3.

         Second, Mr. Lewis was arrested by Elwood police officers on February 29, 2016 at 11:30 p.m. and again charged with four offenses. See Filing No. 40-2 at 1. Less than forty-eight hours later, a Madison County Magistrate Judge determined that probable cause existed for Mr. Lewis's arrest. See Filing No. 40-2 at 3.

         III.

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