United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ENTRY GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, Judge
Winn filed this action on March 14, 2018, contending that his
civil rights were violated while he was incarcerated in the
Indiana Department of Correction (“IDOC”). Mr.
Winn claims that the defendant used excessive force against
him on October 22, 2017, as Mr. Winn left the chow hall.
defendant moved for summary judgment arguing that Mr. Winn
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. Winn has not responded to the motion
and the time to do so has passed, leaving the defendant's
motion unopposed. For the reasons that follow, the
defendant's motion for summary judgment, Dkt. No. 15, is
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). A “material fact” is one that
“might affect the outcome of the suit.”
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
(1986). 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).
noted above, Mr. Winn failed to respond to the
defendant's motion for summary judgment, and the deadline
for doing so has passed. The consequence is that Mr. Winn has
conceded the defendant's 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. Winn and supported by
admissible evidence, are accepted as true.
At all times relevant to his complaint, Mr. Winn was confined
by the IDOC at Pendleton Correctional Facility
(“Pendleton”). The IDOC has an inmate grievance
process which is intended to permit inmates to resolve
concerns and complaints relating to their conditions of
confinement prior to filing suit in court. As an inmate at
Pendleton, Mr. Winn had access to the inmate grievance
process. According to the IDOC inmate grievance process
policy, upon an inmate's entry into the IDOC, he is
advised of the grievance process and how to obtain the
amended inmate grievance process policy came into effect in
October 1, 2017, a few weeks before the events alleged in Mr.
Winn's complaint. The process described in the amended
policy consists of four steps: an informal attempt to resolve
the issue, submission of a formal grievance on a written
form, a written appeal to the warden or designee, and finally
a written appeal to the grievance manager.
informal process is initiated by the inmate. If the inmate is
dissatisfied with the outcome of the informal process, he may
file a formal grievance within ten days of the event or
circumstance grieved. The grievance specialist must respond
to the formal grievance by either returning it if it does not
comply with the grievance policy, or by providing a receipt
for an accepted form.
inmate is dissatisfied with the outcome of the formal
grievance, the initial appeal to the warden or designee must
be submitted within five days of the inmate's receipt of
the response to the formal grievance. Similarly, if the first
appeal does not satisfactorily resolve the inmate's
concern, then after receipt of the initial appeal response,
the inmate must forward the same document to the grievance
specialist within five days for review by the grievance
IDOC's grievance records for Mr. Winn reflect that he has
not filed any formal grievances while incarcerated in the
IDOC. He filed two requests for interview on November 16,
2017, regarding the allegations contained in his complaint.
Dkt. No. 16-3. One request for interview alleges that Lt.
Williams used excessive force against Mr. Winn on October 22,
2017. The other states that Mr. Winn tried to informally
resolve his complaint with Lt. Williams but received no
response. The grievance specialist ...