United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY GRANTING THE DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT AND DIRECTING THE ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, Judge
David Runyon, an inmate at the United States Penitentiary -
Terre Haute (USP-TH), brings this action pursuant the theory
set forth in Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403
U.S. 388 (1971). Mr. Runyon alleges that while he was
incarcerated at USP-TH, the defendants caused him to be
labeled a “snitch” placing his life in danger.
Dkt. No. 8. The Court screened his complaint and permitted
his Bivens claim against the defendants to proceed.
Dkt. No. 9.
defendants seek resolution of Mr. Runyon's claim through
the entry of summary judgment. Although one defendant,
Michael Sample, has not appeared in the action, the motion
for summary judgment is applicable as to him as well as the
moving defendants. See Malak v. Associated Physicians,
Inc., 784 F.2d 277, 280 (7th Cir. 1986) (“[W]here
one defendant files a motion for summary judgment which the
court grants, the district court may sua sponte
enter summary judgment in favor of additional non-moving
defendants if the motion raised by the first defendant is
equally effective in barring the claim against the other
defendants and the plaintiff had an adequate opportunity to
argue in opposition to the motion.”). The plaintiff
opposes the motion for summary judgment.
Standard of Review
motion for summary judgment asks that the court find that a
trial based on the uncontroverted and admissible evidence is
unnecessary because, as a matter of law, it would conclude in
the moving party's favor. See Fed. R. Civ. Pro.
56. 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. Fed. R. Civ. Pro.
56(e); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323
current version of Rule 56 makes clear, whether a party
asserts that a fact is undisputed or genuinely disputed, the
party must support the asserted fact by citing to particular
parts of the record, including depositions, documents, or
affidavits. Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 56(c)(1)(A). A party can also
support a fact by showing that the materials cited do not
establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute or
that the adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to
support the fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B). Affidavits or
declarations must be made on personal knowledge, set out
facts that would be admissible in evidence, and show that the
affiant is competent to testify on matters stated.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(4). Failure to properly support a fact in
opposition to a movant's factual assertion can result in
the movant's fact being considered undisputed, and
potentially the grant of summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(e). The Court need only consider the cited materials,
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3), and the Seventh Circuit has
“repeatedly assured the district courts that they are
not required to scour every inch of the record for evidence
that is potentially relevant to the summary judgment motion
before them, ” Johnson v. Cambridge Indus.,
325 F.3d 892, 898 (7th Cir. 2003). Furthermore, reliance on
the pleadings or conclusory statements backed by inadmissible
evidence is insufficient to create an issue of material fact
on summary judgment. Id., at 901.
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 Prison
Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“PLRA”) requires
that prisoners who bring suit in federal court must first
exhaust their available administrative remedies. 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)).
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. Runyon 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).
promulgated an administrative remedy system which is codified
in 28 C.F.R. §§ 542.10, et seq., and BOP
Program Statement 1330.18, Administrative Remedy
Procedures for Inmates. Dkt. No. 20-1, ¶ 4.
Administrative Remedy process is a method by which an inmate
may seek formal review of a complaint related to any aspect
of his imprisonment. To exhaust his remedies, an inmate must
first file an informal remedy request through an appropriate
institution staff member via a BP-8. If the inmate is not
satisfied with the informal remedy response, he is required
to first address his complaint with the Warden via a BP-9. If
the inmate is dissatisfied with the Warden's response, he
may appeal to the Regional Director via a BP-10. If
dissatisfied with the Regional Director's response, the
inmate may appeal to the General Counsel via a BP-11. Once an
inmate receives a response to his appeal from the General
Counsel, after filing administrative remedies at all required
levels, his administrative remedies are deemed exhausted as
to the specific issues properly raised therein. Dkt. No.
20-1, ¶ 7.
administrative remedy requests filed by inmates are logged
and tracked in the SENTRY computer database, an electronic
record keeping system used by the BOP. That database shows
the filings of administrative remedy requests by Mr. Runyon
and the responses to those requests. Dkt. No. 20-1.
claim in this action is based on an event which occurred at
the USP-TH on November 20, 2015. On November 30, 2015, Mr.
Runyon filed BP-8 Administrative Remedy No. 845384-F1
alleging that defendant Edwards coerced him to participate in
an interview with FBI staff on November 20, 2015. Dkt. No.
20-4, pp. 12-13. In the BP-8, Mr. Runyon states, “After
being on death row for almost a decade now I am fluent with
the quagmire Edwards' trickery had placed me in, whereas
now I will have a snitch jacket placed on me for coming out
and being interviewed by the FBI.” Id. A
response denying that remedy was issued on December 5, 2015.
Dkt. No. 20-4, p. 11. On December 14, 2015, Mr. Runyon
submitted a BP-9, assigned Remedy No. 845384-F1 disputing and
disagreeing with defendant Sample's response to his
informal remedy request. Dkt. No. 20-4, pp. 8-9. A response
denying the remedy was issued on December 22, 2015. Dkt. No.
20-4, p. 5.
Runyon did not appeal this matter further. Dkt. No. 20-1,