United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, New Albany Division
ENTRY GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
WALTON PRATT, JUDGE
Alan Josue Ruiz alleges in his amended complaint that while
he was an inmate at the Clark County Jail, defendant Sgt.
Smith placed him in segregation because he had written
grievances complaining about inadequate medical care.
See dkts 40 (Amended Complaint) and 41 (Screening
Entry). Sgt. Smith seeks the resolution of this First
Amendment retaliation claim through summary judgment. For the
reasons explained below, Sgt. Smith's unopposed motion
for summary judgment, dkt , is granted.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
motion for summary judgment asks the Court to find that a
trial is unnecessary because there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact and, instead, the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P.
56(a). As the 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.P. 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 in the grant of summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P.
Court views the record in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party and draws all reasonable inferences in that
party's favor. Skiba v. Illinois Cent. R.R. Co.,
884 F.3d 708, 717 (7th Cir. 2018). It cannot weigh evidence
or make credibility determinations on summary judgment
because those tasks are left to the fact-finder. Miller
v. Gonzalez, 761 F.3d 822, 827 (7th Cir. 2014). The
Court need only consider the cited materials, Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c)(3), and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals 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. Grant v. Trustees of Indiana
University, 870 F.3d 562, 573-74 (7th Cir. 2017).
Ruiz failed to respond to the defendant's summary
judgment motion. Accordingly, facts alleged in the motion are
deemed admitted so long as support for them exists in the
record. 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.”); 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”). The Seventh
Circuit has “repeatedly held that the district court is
within its discretion to strictly enforce compliance with its
local rules regarding summary-judgment motions.”
Patterson v. Indiana Newspapers, Inc., 589 F.3d 357,
360 (7th Cir. 2009); see also Pearle Vision, Inc. v.
Romm, 541 F.3d 751, 758 (7th Cir. 2008). That is the
case here. The Southern District of Indiana's Local Rule
56-1 shall be enforced. See also McNeil v. United
States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993).
multiple occasions prior to September 22, 2016, Mr. Ruiz
informed officers at the Clark County Jail that he wished to
refuse further medical treatment. See e.g., 54-2 at
p. 8 (“[I] don't need to be seen no more [I'm]
going to refuse.”). At approximately 11:30 a.m. on
September 22, 2016, Clark County Jail Nurse Ben Dooley, along
with fellow Medical Officers Becca Bauer and Alli Kramer,
removed Mr. Ruiz from his housing location so that he could
sign a Refusal of Medical Treatment form memorializing his
previous statements regarding his wish to refuse further
medical treatment. Dkt. 54-2. Once Mr. Ruiz was removed from
his housing location, he signed the Refusal of Medical
Treatment form. Dkt. 54-2.
Dooley testified that after Mr. Ruiz signed the Refusal of
Medical Treatment form, she explained to him that, because of
his refusal of medical treatment, he had to turn over an ACE
bandage, which the Jail had issued for his wrist and that the
Jail would no longer administer him Advil. Dkt. 54-2 at 2
(Dooley Affidavit). Mr. Ruiz then said “f**k it, fine
by me, I'm better off without you guys.”
Id. Mr. Ruiz then turned to Nurse Dooley in a
threatening manner and said “you think you're bad
because you're a big motherfucker?” Id.
Nurse Dooley directed Mr. Ruiz back to his housing location.
Id. at 3. Mr. Ruiz continued to be verbally abusive
towards Jail staff as he returned to his housing location.
his interaction with Mr. Ruiz, Nurse Dooley contacted Sgt.
Smith and requested that Mr. Ruiz be placed into segregation
because of Mr. Ruiz's threatening behavior and abusive
language towards Clark County Jail staff. Id. Nurse
Dooley did not request Mr. Ruiz be placed into segregation as
punishment for submitting grievances and/or medical
Smith testified that at no time did anyone ask him to place
Mr. Ruiz into segregation as punishment for submitting
grievances and/or medical inquiries. Dkt. 54-1 at p. 3 (Smith
Affidavit). Sgt. Smith did not place Mr. Ruiz into
segregation on September 22, 2016, or at any other time, as
punishment for Mr. Ruiz submitting grievances and/or medical
inquiries. Id. Sgt. Smith placed Mr. Ruiz into
segregation on September 22, 2016, because Mr. Ruiz acted in
a threatening manner towards Clark County Jail staff and used
abusive language towards Clark County Jail staff in violation
of the Clark County Jail's rules for inmate behavior.
Id. Specifically, Mr. Ruiz's behavior towards
Nurse Dooley and other Clark County Jail staff on September
22, 2016, was in violation of the Clark County Jail rules
against “threatening, harassing, bribing, or attempting
to bribe any individual while in custody, ” and
“making loud and boisterous noises or using profane
language.” Id. (citing 54-1, Clark County Law
Enforcement Facility Rules at p. 18-19). The Clark County
Jail rules for inmate behavior provide that an inmate may be
placed into segregation for up to 30 days for violating the