United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
Robert Pearson is a prisoner confined at the Federal
Correctional Institution at Terre Haute, Indiana (FCI-Terre
Haute). Mr. Pearson filed this lawsuit on June 15, 2017,
asking the Court to order the defendant to transfer him to a
community correctional facility and then to home confinement.
See dkt. 1. The defendant has moved for summary
judgment, arguing that Mr. Pearson 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. Mr. Pearson has not responded to
Summary Judgment Standard
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). The party seeking summary judgment
“bears the initial responsibility of informing the
district court of the basis for its motion, and
identifying” designated evidence which
“demonstrate[s] the absence of a genuine issue of
material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 323 (1986).
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).
accordance with Local Rule 56-1(f), the Court assumes that
facts properly supported by the movant are admitted without
controversy unless the nonmovant specifically disputes them.
Therefore, a nonmovant who fails to respond to a motion for
summary judgment effectively concedes that the movant's
version of the facts is accurate. 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.”). 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).
motion for summary judgment, “[t]he 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 v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247
(1986)). For purposes of this motion for summary judgment,
the applicable substantive law is the PLRA's exhaustion
Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
PLRA requires that a prisoner who files suit in federal court
must first exhaust his available administrative remedies. 42
U.S.C. § 1997e(a). The PLRA was enacted “to reduce
the quantity and improve the quality of prisoner suits”
by “afford[ing] corrections officials time and
opportunity to address complaints internally before allowing
the initiation of a federal case.” 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.
PLRA's exhaustion requirement is not subject to either
waiver by a court or futility or inadequacy exceptions.
Booth v. Churner, 532 U.S. 731, 741 n.6 (2001);
McCarthy v. Madigan, 503 U.S. 140, 112 S.Ct. 1081
(1992) (“Where Congress specifically mandates,
exhaustion is required.”). Moreover, the PLRA requires
“proper exhaustion.” “Proper 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 at 655 (“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)).
U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has promulgated an
administrative remedy system that is codified in 28 C.F.R.
§§ 542.10, et seq., and BOP Program
Statement 1330.18, Administrative Remedy Program
(Jan. 6, 2014) (available at
http://www.bop.gov/policy/progstat/1330 018.pdf.). The
BOP's Administrative Remedy Program “allow[s] an
inmate to seek formal review of an issue relating to any
aspect of his/her own confinement.” 28 C.F.R.
§ 542.10(a) (emphasis added). It “applies to
all inmates in institutions operated by the”
BOP. 28 C.F.R. § 542.10(b) (emphasis added).
exhaust the remedies available through the Administrative
Remedy Program, an inmate typically must file a written
grievance at each of four levels. First, the inmate must file
an informal remedy request through an appropriate institution
staff member. See 28 C.F.R. § 542.13. If the
inmate is not satisfied with the staff's response to that
request, he must file a formal administrative remedy request
with the Warden of his institution. 28 C.F.R. § 542.14.
If the inmate is dissatisfied with the Warden's response,
he must appeal to the Regional Director. 28 C.F.R. §
542.15. Finally, if the inmate is dissatisfied with the
Regional Director's response, he must appeal to the BOP
General Counsel. Id.
confined at FCI-Terre Haute are provided with procedures for
utilizing the Administrative Remedy Program upon their
arrival at the institution and can access the relevant
procedures in the law library. See dkt. 18-1 at
¶ 5. 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. Program
Statement 1330.18 at ¶ 13. Records from that ...