United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING FINAL
Jane Magnus-Stinson, Chief Judge
Antonio Doughty was an Indiana prisoner who was at all
relevant times confined at Plainfield Correctional Facility
(“Plainfield”). The Court screened his complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A and determined that Equal
Protection claims, a retaliation claim, and a Title VII claim
could proceed against various defendants. The defendants have
moved for summary judgment on their affirmative defense that
Mr. Doughty failed to exhaust his administrative remedies.
Mr. Doughty did not respond to the defendants' motion,
and the time to do so has passed.
reasons explained below, the defendants' unopposed motion
for summary judgment is granted, and Mr. Doughty's claims
are dismissed without prejudice.
times relevant to this action, Mr. Doughty was an inmate at
Plainfield. He alleges that the defendants racially
discriminated against him while at his job as an inmate
on these allegations, the Court permitted certain Equal
Protection, retaliation, and Title VII claims to proceed
against the defendants.
defendants move for summary judgment. They argue that these
claims are barred under the exhaustion provision of the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e, that requires a prisoner to first exhaust his
available administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit in
federal court. The time for Mr. Doughty to respond to the
defendants' motion for summary judgment has passed, and
he has failed to respond or file anything with the Court.
This leaves the defendants' motion for summary judgment
consequence of Mr. Doughty's failure is that he 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.”). 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).
the following facts, unopposed by Mr. Doughty and supported
by admissible evidence, are accepted as true:
Indiana Department of Correction (“IDOC”) has an
Offender Grievance Process through which inmates can grieve
issues related to their conditions of confinement, such as
those in Mr. Doughty's complaint. Inmates are made aware
of the Offender Grievance Process during orientation and a
copy of it is also available at various locations in the
prison, including the law library.
Offender Grievance Process consists of four stages. First, an
inmate must attempt to resolve the grievance informally
through officials at the facility by contacting staff to
discuss the incident subject to the grievance. Second, if the
inmate is unable to obtain a resolution of the grievance
informally, he may submit a formal grievance to the
designated staff person. Third, if the formal grievance is
not resolved in a manner that satisfies the inmate, the
inmate may file a grievance appeal to the Warden or other
appointed designee. Fourth, if the initial appeal is denied,
the inmate can appeal once more to the Department Grievance
Manager. The Offender Grievance Process is complete once the
inmate has timely completed all of these steps.
Marks is the Grievance Specialist at Plainfield and reviewed
the records relating to grievances filed by Mr. Doughty. The
grievance records for Mr. Doughty reflect that he never filed
any grievance while at Plainfield. He therefore failed to
complete any of the four steps of the Offender Grievance