United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
TERRY T. ADAMS, SR., Plaintiff,
DR. SAMUEL BYRD, DR. MARTIN, REED R.N., LUNDY Lt., Defendants.
ENTRY GRANTING DEFENDANT LT. LUNDY'S MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT, AND LIFTING STAY OF PROCEEDINGS
William T. Lawrence, Judge
Lt. Robert Lundy filed his motion for summary judgment on
July 12, 2017, contending that plaintiff Terry Adams had
failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as to him prior
to filing this action. Plaintiff did not timely respond to
the motion, and on September 12, 2017, the Court directed him
to file a response no later than September 29, 2017.
Plaintiff's subsequent response did not address Lt.
Lundy's factual contentions, and instead attempted to
inject other issues and claims into the case. For the reasons
explained below, Lt. Lundy's motion will be granted and
the claims against him dismissed.
Summary Judgment Standard
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.” Fed.
R. Civ. P. 56(a). The movant bears the initial
responsibility of informing the district court of the basis
of its motion, and identifying those portions of designated
evidence that demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 323 (1986). After “a properly supported
motion for summary judgment is made, the adverse party must
set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986) (quotation marks and
factual issue is material only if resolving the factual issue
might change the outcome of the case under the governing law.
See Clifton v. Schafer, 969 F.2d 278, 281 (7th Cir.
1992). A factual issue is genuine only if there is sufficient
evidence for a reasonable jury to return a verdict in favor
of the non-moving party on the evidence presented. See
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. In deciding a motion for
summary judgment, the court “may not ‘assess the
credibility of witnesses, choose between competing reasonable
inferences, or balance the relative weight of conflicting
evidence.'” Bassett v. I.C. Sys., Inc.,
715 F.Supp.2d 803, 808 (N.D. Ill. 2010) (quoting Stokes
v. Bd. of Educ. of the City of Chi., 599 F.3d 617, 619
(7th Cir. 2010)). Instead, it must view all the evidence in
the record in the light most favorable to the non-moving
party and resolve all factual disputes in favor of the
non-moving party. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.
Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”) 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 (citation omitted).
The exhaustion requirement of the PLRA is one of
“proper exhaustion” 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, 84
(2006). This means that the prisoner plaintiff must have
completed “the administrative review process in
accordance with the applicable procedural rules, including
deadlines, as a precondition to bringing suit in federal
court.” Id. at 84; 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)).
Lundy contends that it is undisputed that plaintiff did not
exhaust his administrative remedies as to his alleged actions
- declining to assist him with filling out paperwork to
obtain medical care. He contends that plaintiff's
grievances assert complaints that the medical provider
defendants had not allowed him surgery on his injured arm and
that his pain medications, Tylenol and ibuprofen, were not
working. See Dkt. No. 19-4 (Ex. 3 to motion for
summary judgment, grievance by plaintiff concerning access to
or delay in receiving medical care). Nowhere in
plaintiff's grievances does he take issue with Lt.
Lundy's alleged inaction of not assisting him with
filling out paperwork. Plaintiff has not disputed these
contentions and they are therefore admitted.
level of detail necessary in a grievance will vary from
system to system and claim to claim, but it is the
prison's requirements, and not the PLRA, that define the
boundaries of proper exhaustion. Jones v. Bock, 549
U.S. 199, 218 (2007). Where the administrative policy is
silent, “a grievance suffices if it alerts the prison
to the nature of the wrong for which redress is
sought.” Strong v. David, 297 F.3d 646, 650
(7th Cir. 2002); see also Wilder v. Sutton, 310
Fed.Appx. 10, 15, 2009 WL 330531, *4 (7th Cir. 2009)
(“prisoners must only put responsible persons on notice
about the conditions about which they are
complaining”). An offender “need not lay out the
facts, articulate legal theories, or demand particular
relief” so long as the grievance objects
“intelligibly to some asserted shortcoming.”
Strong, 297 F.3d at 650.
in plaintiff s grievances could have reasonably alerted
prison officials that plaintiff took issue with Lt.
Lundy's actions or inactions. When plaintiffs complaint
was screened and the claim against Lt. Lundy was permitted to
proceed, the claim was described as “Lt. Lundy declined
to assist him with paperwork to obtain medical care, that Lt.
Lundy could have demanded health care for him, and that Lt.
Lundy ‘had no desire to fill our additional forms for
anyone.'” See Dkt. No. 4 (screening Entry of May
17, 2017). The grievances have nothing that would alert
officials to these issues, as the grievances focus entirely
on the issue of surgery. Thus plaintiff did not exhaust his
available administrative remedies concerning his claim
against Lt. Lundy, and the PLRA therefore bars the action
against Lt. Lundy.
Conclusion and Lifting of Stay
Lundy's motion for summary judgment, Dkt. No. 18, is
granted. No partial final judgment shall
issue at this time. Because no other motions remain
concerning the affirmative defense of failure to exhaust
administrative remedies, the stay of proceedings entered
September 14, ...