United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
STEVEN B. BOWLING, Plaintiff,
TINA JORDAN, Defendant.
William T. Lawrence, Judge United States District Court.
Denying Motion for Summary Judgment on Exhaustion
Steven B. Bowling ("Mr. Bowling") is a state
prisoner currently confined at the New Castle Correctional
Facility. Mr. Bowling filed his complaint on February 15,
2017, alleging in relevant part that on December 25, 2015,
while confined at the Plainfield Correctional Facility
("Plainfield"), he broke his nose but defendant
Nurse Tina Jordan refused to call him out on sick call to
treat his nose. He further alleged that Nurse Jordan falsely
documented that Mr. Bowling refused treatment on that day
(and that she just wanted to relax on the holiday). He also
alleged that he had filled out a Health Care Request form for
a broken nose, pain, and anguish. In the Court's
screening Entry, it allowed the claim of deliberate
indifference to a serious medical need, under the Eighth
Amendment, to proceed against Nurse Jordan. Dkt. No. 7.
Jordan filed a motion for summary judgment seeking resolution
of the claim against her on the basis that Mr. Bowling failed
to exhaust his available administrative remedies. Mr. Bowling
opposed the motion for summary judgment and the defendant
replied. For the reasons explained in this Entry, the
defendant's motion for summary judgment, Dkt. No. 18, is
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). A "material fact"
is one that "might affect the outcome of the suit."
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). A dispute is genuine only if a reasonable jury could
find for the non-moving party. Id. If no reasonable
jury could find for the non-moving party, then there is no
"genuine" dispute. Scott v. Harris, 550
U.S. 372, 380 (2007). 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).
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 the motion for summary judgment
is the Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"'),
which requires that a prisoner exhaust his available
administrative remedies before bringing a suit concerning
prison conditions. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a); see Porter
v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 524-25 (2002). "[T]he
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
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)).
"In order to exhaust administrative remedies, a prisoner
must take all steps prescribed by the prison's grievance
system." Ford v. Johnson, 362 F.3d 395, 397
(7th Cir. 2004).
the defendant's burden to establish that the
administrative process was available to Mr. Bowling. See
Thomas v. Reese, 787 F.3d 845, 847 (7th Cir. 2015)
("Because exhaustion is an affirmative defense, the
defendants must establish that an administrative remedy was
available and that [the plaintiff] failed to pursue
it."). "[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).
basis of the pleadings and the expanded record, and
specifically on the portions of that record which comply with
the requirements of Rule 56(c), the following facts,
construed in the manner most favorable to Mr. Bowling as the
non-movant, are undisputed for purposes of the motion for
noted, Mr. Bowling was incarcerated at Plainfield during the
time relevant to the incident alleged in his complaint. He
was then transferred to Westville Correctional Facility
("WCU"), and later to New ...