United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
Harry Spicer was a pre-trial detainee at the Dearborn County,
Indiana, Law Enforcement Center on January 22, 2015. A
diabetic, Mr. Spicer took insulin shots in the jail. He
alleges that Sheriff Michael R. Kreinhopp had a policy of
using used needles on the jail's inmates, and that
Correctional Officer John Lanter injected him with a used
needle. He brings this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the
Sheriff and Officer Lanter for damages. The time period for
discovery has closed and defendants have moved for summary
judgment contending there is no evidence to support Mr.
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.'” 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.
Undisputed Material Facts
submitted a statement of undisputed facts which Mr. Spicer
has not opposed. Dkt. 46. These facts show that Mr. Spicer
was booked into the Dearborn County Jail in 2014 and
diagnosed with diabetes while in the jail. He started
receiving diabetic treatment in the jail in December 2014.
The jail's diabetes treatment policy calls for inmates to
draw their own insulin medication and then inject themselves.
Mr. Spicer understood the policy and had no trouble
complying. The policy required inmates to be handed a sealed
needle and a sealed vial of insulin. Occasionally, jail
medical staff would perform the injection at the inmate's
request, and Mr. Spicer has requested this service a few
times, but had not requested it on the date in question.
January 22, 2015, Mr. Spicer had been receiving insulin
injections twice daily for just over a month. On this date,
defendant Officer Lanter - not a medical staff employee - was
supervising the insulin administration. While Officer Lanter
was writing down the data from another inmate's
injection, Mr. Spicer took a needle and vial that he saw
sitting in front of him and, without instruction from Officer
Lanter, injected himself. Officer Lanter did not see this
threshold matter concerns Mr. Spicer's response to the
motion for summary judgment. Defendants served their motion
on Mr. Spicer and provided him notice pursuant to Lewis
v. Faulkner, 689 F.2d 100 (7th Cir. 1982), of his rights
and obligations to respond. See dkt. 47.
Lewis, in short, warns non-movant pro se
inmate litigants that they cannot ordinarily rest on their
pleadings to support summary judgment. Mr. Spicer received
two extensions of time in which to respond to defendants'
motion for summary judgment, and on January 4, 2018, filed a
one-page, two-sentence response: “I Harry Spicer
believe there is enough evidence presented to continue to
trial. I dispute the admissibility of the evidence relied
on.” Dkt. 60 (spelling and grammar error corrected for
the nonmoving party bears the burden of proof on an issue at
trial, and where the motion challenges the non-moving
party's ability to meet that burden, the non-moving party
must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(2);
see also Silk v. City of Chicago, 194 F.3d 788, 798
(7th Cir. 1999). The moving party need not positively
disprove the opponent's case. He may prevail by
establishing the lack of evidentiary support for that case.
See Celotex Corp., 477 U.S. at 325.
District of Indiana Local Rule 56.1 governs summary judgment
motions filed in this district and provides tools to manage
the presentation of factual and legal issues in the motions.
Defendants' motion and supporting evidence complied with
the rule. In turn, Local Rule 56.1 required Mr. Spicer, as
the non-moving party, to respond to defendants' properly
supported summary judgment motion with a brief that includes
a “Statement of Material Facts in Dispute.” Local
Rule 56.1(b). Of course, Mr. Spicer's response did not do
so. Moreover, Mr. Spicer was required to point to specific
portions of the record to support his bald contention that
there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. ...