United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY GRANTING PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, United States District Court Judge
plaintiff in this civil rights action is Tommy Kirtdoll, an
inmate at the Indiana Department of Correction's (IDOC)
Correctional Industrial Facility (CIF) at Pendleton, Indiana.
The defendants are health care professionals who, at the time
of the incidents described in the complaint, were employed by
Corizon, Inc. and Wexford Health to provide medical treatment
to inmates at CIF. This matter is before the Court on the
defendants' motion for summary judgment on the basis that
the plaintiff failed to exhaust available administrative
remedies before bringing this lawsuit as required by the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 42 U.S.C. §
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 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). A dispute is genuine only if a reasonable jury could
find for the non-moving party. Id. 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). 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).
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, 477 U.S. at 248). The substantive law
applicable to this motion for summary judgment is the PLRA,
which requires that a prisoner exhaust his available
administrative remedies before bringing a suit concerning
prison conditions. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a); see 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.” Porter, 534 U.S.
at 532 (citation omitted).
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 652, 655
(7th Cir. 2004) (“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)).
“In order to exhaust administrative remedies, a
prisoner must take all steps prescribed by the prison's
grievance system.” Ford v. Johnson, 362 F.3d
395, 397 (7th Cir. 2004).
the defendants' burden to establish that the
administrative process was available to Mr. Kirtdoll. See
Thomas v. Reese, 787 F.3d 845, 847 (7th Cir. 2015)
(“Because exhaustion is an affirmative defense, the
defendants must establish that an administrative remedy was
available and that [the plaintiff] failed to pursue
it.”). “[T]he ordinary meaning of the word
‘available' is ‘capable of use for the
accomplishment of a purpose,' and that which ‘is
accessible or may be obtained.'” Ross v.
Blake, 136 S.Ct. 1850, 1858 (2016) (internal quotation
omitted). “[A]n inmate is required to exhaust those,
but only those, grievance procedures that are capable of use
to obtain some relief for the action complained of.”
Id. at 1859 (internal quotation omitted).
Scope of Motion
party must “identify each claim or defense” on
which it seeks summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).
Additionally, a party moving for summary judgment must
specifically cite evidence that supports the facts asserted
in its brief. S.D. Ind. Local Rule 56-1(e). “The court
has no duty to search or consider any part of the record not
specifically cited in” that manner. S.D. Ind. Local
Kirtdoll's complaint asserts claims that, beginning in
March 2017, the defendants refused to properly treat two
serious medical conditions-a knee condition causing serious
pain, and internal bleeding evidenced by blood in his stool.
See Dkt. No. 1 at 2; Dkt. No. 9 at 2. The
defendants' motion for summary judgment addresses only
his allegations related to knee pain. It does not acknowledge
Mr. Kirtdoll's allegations that he was denied treatment
for internal bleeding, address the question of whether he
exhausted claims related to that issue, or cite any evidence
in support of factual allegations that he did not exhaust
claims on that issue. Therefore, the Court must treat the
defendants' motion as seeking summary judgment only on
the knee-pain claims. By failing to seek summary judgment,
the defendants have abandoned their exhaustion defense as to
the internal-bleeding claims. See Dkt. No. 18.
Kirtdoll has not responded to the defendants' motion for
summary judgment, and the time to do so is long past.
Accordingly, the defendants' properly supported factual
assertions are undisputed. The following statement of facts
reflects those undisputed facts in the light most favorable
to Mr. Kirtdoll as the nonmovant.
IDOC maintains an offender grievance process that allows
inmates to seek administrative resolutions of issues
regarding the conditions of their confinement, including
issues related to their medical care. See Dkt. No.
24-1 ¶¶ 3, 6. As a matter of practice, inmates are