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Perry v. Sims

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

November 22, 2017

JASON SETH PERRY, Plaintiff,
v.
MARY RUTH SIMS Ph.D., HSPP, DANIEL RIPPETOE M.D., MARY ANN CHAVEZ D.O., DAVID MITCHEFF, Defendants.

          ENTRY DISCUSSING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          HON. JANE MAGNUS-STINSON, CHIEF JUDGE.

         Plaintiff Jason Perry brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 alleging that he was forced to take antipsychotic medications against his will. The defendants have moved for summary judgment arguing that Perry has failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies as required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA") before bringing this lawsuit. For the following reasons, the motion for summary judgment, dkt. [60], is denied and the defendants are provided notice of the Court's intent to grant summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff on this issue.

         Standard of Review

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) provides that summary judgment is appropriate "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." In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the admissible evidence presented by the non-moving party must be believed and all reasonable inferences must be drawn in the non-movant's favor. Hemsworth v. Quotesmith.com, Inc., 476 F.3d 487, 490 (7th Cir. 2007); Zerante v. DeLuca, 555 F.3d 582, 584 (7th Cir. 2009) ("We view the record in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor."). However, "[a] party who bears the burden of proof on a particular issue may not rest on its pleadings, but must affirmatively demonstrate, by specific factual allegations, that there is a genuine issue of material fact that requires trial." Hemsworth, 476 F.3d at 490. Finally, the non-moving party bears the burden of specifically identifying the relevant evidence of record, and "the court is not required to scour the record in search of evidence to defeat a motion for summary judgment. "Ritchie v. Glidden Co., 242 F.3d 713, 723 (7th Cir. 2001).

         Statement of Facts

         A. Grievance Process

         At all times relevant to his claims in this suit, Perry was incarcerated by the IDOC at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. There is an Offender Grievance Process in place at Wabash Valley. The purpose of the Offender Grievance Process is to provide administrative means by which inmates may resolve concerns and complaints related to their conditions of confinement. All offenders are made aware of the Offender Grievance Process during orientation to the IDOC and its facilities. Further, copies of the Offender Grievance Process and its administrative procedures are placed in various locations in IDOC facilities for ready access by the offenders.

         The complete Grievance Process consists of three stages: (i) an informal attempt to solve a problem or address a concern, (ii) the submission of a written formal grievance outlining the problem or concern and other supporting information, and the response to that submission, and (iii) a written appeal of the response to a higher authority and the response to that appeal. Exhaustion of the grievance procedure requires pursuing a grievance to the final step.

         B. Perry's Grievances

         Perry alleges that in August of 2016, he was forced to take anti-psychotic medication against his will. Perry's History of Grievances reflects that although he filed multiple grievances related to other issues, he did not file any grievances related to the issues that are the subject of his lawsuit. Perry attempted to informally grieve this issue with his therapist Dr. Robloy who told him that the only proper way to resolve the decision is through the designated appeal form. Perry has provided a copy of the "Appeal of Treatment Review Committee Decision" form in which he challenges the decision to provide him with the medication at issue in the complaint. That form provides as follows:

An appeal of the decision to approve the involuntary administration of medication must be made within five (5) days of the date that the written decision was received from the Treatment Review Committee. The individual making the appeal will explain the reasons for the appeal below and send it to the Chairman of the Treatment Review Committee who will forward it to the Department of Correction Medical Director. The Department's Medical Director shall be the final reviewing authority for the appeal.

         The form also states: "IF YOU DISAGREE WITH THE DECISION OF THE DEPARTMENT'S MEDICAL DIRECTOR, YOU MAY APPEAL THIS DECISION IN STATE COURT." Perry appealed the involuntary medication decision using the Appeal of Treatment Review Committee Decision form.

         Discussion

         The defendants argue that Perry failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies on his claim that the defendants forced him to take anti-psychotic medications. Perry argues that he tried to grieve the issue informally with his therapist, that she told him that the only way to do so is through ...


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