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Bibbs v. Wilson

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

March 26, 2018

WILLIAM JEROME BIBBS, Plaintiff,
v.
WILSON[1], KOJIMAD, [2] Defendants.

          ENTRY ON PENDING MOTIONS

          TANYA WALTON PRATT, JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants Wilson (“Dr. Wilson”) and Kojimad's (“Dr. Koj). Plaintiff William Jerome Bibbs (“Mr. Bibbs”), a federal prisoner, filed a Second Amended Complaint and Statement of Additional Claims (dkts. 11, 12 and 18) alleging that Dr. Wilson and Dr. Koj were aware that he needed a higher level of care and that his condition was too complex to be handled at the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. Despite this knowledge, the doctors allegedly failed to transfer Mr. Bibbs to a medical facility that could provide the care Mr. Bibbs required and thus violated his Eighth Amendment rights. Each defendant asserts in a separately filed motion that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law because Mr. Bibbs 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.

         Also before the Court is Mr. Bibb's Motion to Amend Statement of Material Facts in Dispute, dkt. [67], and Dr. Koj's Motion to Strike Plaintiff's Untimely Response, dkt. [70]. For the reasons explained below, defendant Wilson's motion for summary judgment, dkt. [50], and defendant Koj's motion for summary judgment, dkt. [56], are granted and the remaining motions, dkts. [67] and [70], are denied as moot.

         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 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). “The 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).

         Once 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). 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. Undisputed Facts

         Applying the standard set forth above, the following facts are undisputed. Mr. Bibbs is a federal inmate currently housed at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, North Carolina. He has been housed there since November 18, 2016. Mr. Bibbs was housed at the United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, from June 24, 2013 to May 7, 2015, and then at the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute, Indiana, from May 7, 2015 to October 31, 2016.

         Mr. Bibbs filed his original Complaint on December 9, 2016. The operative pleading is the Second Amended Complaint that was re-docketed on March 24, 2017. That pleading was clarified by Mr. Bibb's Statement of Additional Claims filed April 28, 2017.

         The Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) has promulgated an administrative remedy system which is codified in 28 C.F.R. §§ 542.10, et seq., and BOP Program Statement 1330.18, Administrative Remedy Procedures for Inmates.[3]The administrative remedy process is a method by which an inmate may seek formal review of a complaint related to any aspect of his imprisonment. To exhaust his remedies, an inmate must first file an informal remedy request through an appropriate institution staff member via a BP-8. If the inmate is not satisfied with the informal remedy response, he is required to first address his complaint with the Warden via a BP-9. If the inmate is dissatisfied with the Warden's response, he may appeal to the Regional Director via a BP-10. If dissatisfied with the Regional Director's response, the inmate may appeal to the General Counsel via a BP-11. Once an inmate receives a response to his appeal from the General Counsel, after filing administrative remedies at all required levels, his administrative remedies are deemed exhausted as to the specific issues properly raised therein.

         All BOP Program Statements are available for inmate access via the institution law library, including BOP Program Statement 1330.18. Additionally, administrative remedy filing procedures are outlined in the Inmate Information Handbook, which is available at the inmate's respective BOP facility. All administrative remedy requests filed by inmates are logged and tracked in the SENTRY computer database, an electronic record keeping system utilized by the BOP.

         The SENTRY system reflects that Mr. Bibbs had not file a single administrative remedy request as of April 27, 2017. Mr. Bibbs first initiated the administrative remedy process on May 6, 2017, with the completion of a BP-8, an attempt at informal resolution. He then proceeded through the process by filing a BP-9, with the Warden, on June 12, 2017. That complaint was denied June 29, 2017. Mr. Bibbs next submitted a BP-10 and BP-11. Mr. Bibbs received his final BP-11 response on March 5, 2018.

         III. Discussion

         Defendants argue that because Mr. Bibbs failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as required prior to filing this action, his claims must be dismissed. See Pozo, 286 F.3d at 1024-25; see also Roberts v. Neal, 745 F.3d 232, 234-35 (7th Cir. 2014). Mr. Bibbs argues that Defendants are not entitled to ...


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