United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WILLIAM T. LAWRENCE, JUDGE
Gregory Hayes brought this civil rights actions pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on an alleged attack he suffered
at the hands of another inmate and the alleged loss and
destruction of his property while he was incarcerated at
Putnamville Correctional Facility
(“Putnamville”). His claims against Officers
Laloux and Bolt regarding the loss and destruction of his
property were severed into a separate civil action.
See Dkt. No. 8. What remain in this action are Mr.
Hayes's Eighth Amendment failure to protect claims
against Sergeant Berry and Captain Chalfin. Presently pending
before the Court is defendants' motion for summary
judgment. For the reasons explained below, the motion for
summary judgment, Dkt. No. 27, is granted.
Summary Judgment Legal Standard
judgment is appropriate when the movant shows that there is
no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
See 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). To survive a motion for summary
judgment, the non-moving party must set forth specific,
admissible evidence showing that there is a material issue
for trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
323 (1986). The court views the record in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party and draws all reasonable
inferences in that party's favor. Darst v. Interstate
Brands Corp., 512 F.3d 903, 907 (7th Cir. 2008). It
cannot weigh evidence or make credibility determinations on
summary judgment because those tasks are left to the
fact-finder. O'Leary v. Accretive Health, Inc.,
657 F.3d 625, 630 (7th Cir. 2011).
dispute about a material fact is genuine only “if the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.” Anderson,
477 U.S. at 248. 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).
Hayes failed to respond to the defendants' motion for
summary judgment, and the deadline for doing so has long
passed. The consequence is that Mr. Hayes has conceded the
defendants' version of the events. See Smith v.
Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003)
(“[F]ailure to respond by the nonmovant as mandated by
the local rules results in an admission.”);
see S.D. Ind. Local Rule 56-1 (“A party
opposing a summary judgment motion must . . . file and serve
a response brief and any evidence . . . that the party relies
on to oppose the motion. The response must . . . identif[y]
the potentially determinative facts and factual disputes that
the party contends demonstrate a dispute of fact precluding
summary judgment.”). Because Mr. Hayes failed to
respond to the defendants' motion, and thus failed to
comply with the Court's Local Rules regarding summary
judgment, the Court will not consider allegations in Mr.
Hayes's complaint in ruling on this motion. Although
pro se filings are construed liberally, pro
se litigants such as Mr. Hayes are not exempt from
procedural rules. See Pearle Vision, Inc. v. Romm,
541 F.3d 751, 758 (7th Cir. 2008) (noting that “pro se
litigants are not excused from compliance with procedural
rules”); Members v. Paige, 140 F.3d 699, 702
(7th Cir. 1998) (stating that procedural rules “apply
to uncounseled litigants and must be enforced”). This
does not alter the standard for assessing a Rule 56 motion,
but it does “reduc[e] the pool” from which the
facts and inferences relative to such a motion may be drawn.
Smith v. Severn, 129 F.3d 419, 426 (7th Cir. 1997).
following statement of facts was evaluated pursuant to the
standard set forth above. That is, this statement of facts is
not necessarily objectively true, but as the summary judgment
standard requires, the undisputed facts and the disputed
evidence are presented in the light reasonably most favorable
to Mr. Hayes as the non-moving party with respect to the
motion for summary judgment. See Reeves v. Sanderson
Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150 (2000).
times relevant to this action, Mr. Hayes was an inmate at
Putnamville. On the morning of January 2, 2017, Mr. Hayes and
another inmate, Bayon, got into a fight. Defendants have
provided a surveillance video recording that captured the
events surrounding the fight. See Dkt. No. 33
(manual filing of a CD). Thus, the events that occurred and
actions taken immediately before, during, and immediately
after the fight are not in dispute because the Court can base
its decision on the video evidence provided. See Scott v.
Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 379-81 (2007) (“[the court]
should have viewed the facts in the light depicted by the
videotape”) Specifically, the video shows that:
• Immediately prior to the fight, Mr. Hayes was seated
at the foot of a bunk. Dkt. No. 33 at 00:32.
• Bayon was returning to the bunks and as he walked in
front of Mr. Hayes, Mr. Hayes gets up and, unprovoked, begins
to attack Bayon. Id. at 00:36. Mr. Hayes's
opening salvo was to hit Bayon with a closed fist to the left
side of Bayon's face. Id.
• Mr. Hayes and Bayon fight and wrestle for
approximately twenty seconds.
• Sergeant Berry and another correctional officer can be
seen approaching and running over about ten seconds after the
fight begins. Id. at 00:48.
• Shortly after arriving, Sergeant Berry successfully
breaks up the fight between Mr. Hayes and ...