United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT MURPHY'S MOTION FOR
EVANS BARKER, JUDGE
Christopher Riddle, an inmate at the Pendleton Correctional
Facility, brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 alleging that he was taken by police to Columbus
Regional Hospital and subjected to an illegal blood draw.
Defendant Jessica Murphy seeks summary judgment on the claims
against her. Mr. Riddle was given through February 25, 2019,
to respond to Murphy's motion for summary judgment, but
he has failed to do so. The motion is now ripe for
resolution. For the following reasons, Ms. Murphy's
motion for summary judgment 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).
deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court need only
consider disputed facts that are material to the decision. A
disputed fact is material if it might affect the outcome of
the suit under the governing law. Williams v.
Brooks, 809 F.3d 936, 941-42 (7th Cir. 2016). On summary
judgment, a party must show the Court what evidence it has
that would convince a trier of fact to accept its version of
the events. Gekas v. Vasilades, 814 F.3d 890, 896
(7th Cir. 2016). The moving party is entitled to summary
judgment if no reasonable fact-finder could return a verdict
for the non-moving party. Nelson v. Miller, 570 F.3d
868, 875 (7th Cir. 2009). The 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).
Riddle failed to respond to Ms. Murphy'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”); Brasic v. Heinemanns, Inc., 121
F.3d 281, 285-286 (7th Cir. 1997) (affirming grant of summary
judgment where the nonmovant failed to properly offer
evidence disputing the movant's version of the facts).
This does not alter the summary judgment standard, but it
does “reduce the pool” from which facts and
inferences relative to the motion may be drawn. Smith v.
Severn, 129 F.3d 419, 426 (7th Cir. 1997).
10, 2017, Mr. Riddle was placed under arrest and taken by
police to the Columbus Regional Hospital Emergency
Department. Dkt. 1, pg. 2; Dkt. 42-1, ¶ 4. At
the time, Ms. Murphy was employed by ScribeAmerica and
working as a scribe in the Emergency Department. Dkt. 42-1,
¶ 2. Ms. Murphy is not a nurse and has never
performed nursing services including in the Columbus Regional
Hospital Emergency Department on July 10, 2017. Id.,
¶ 3. Her duties as a scribe were to perform
note-taking for the Emergency Department physician's
documentation in the Emergency Physician Record. Id.
On July 10, 2017, Mr. Riddle was evaluated in the Emergency
Department by Dr. Samuel Locoh-Donou, who was the Emergency
Department physician. Ms. Murphy performed the scribe
services for Dr. Locoh-Donou's documentation in the
Emergency Physician Record. Id., ¶ 4. Ms.
Murphy did not draw blood from Mr. Riddle nor did she have
any role in the warrant that was issued for collection of the
blood. Id., ¶ 5). Further, Ms. Murphy did not
witness blood being drawn from Mr. Riddle. Id.
Murphy seeks summary judgment on Mr. Riddle's claims
against her arguing that she took no part in the collection
of his blood on July 10, 2017. Mr. Riddle has provided no
evidence to rebut these facts.
Riddle's claims are necessarily brought pursuant to 42
U.S.C. § 1983. See Dkt. 1 (alleging
“illegal search and seizure”); Dkt. 8. “To
state a claim under § 1983, a plaintiff must allege the
violation of a right secured by the Constitution and laws of
the United States, and must show that the alleged deprivation
was committed by a person acting under color of state
law.” L.P. v. Marian Catholic High Sch., 852
F.3d 690, 696 (7th Cir. 2017) (internal quotation omitted). A
defendant in a § 1983 action can be liable only for the
actions or omissions in which she personally participated.
Colbert v. City of Chicago, 851 F.3d 649, 657 (7th
Cir. 2017); Sanville v. McCaughtry, 266 F.3d 724,
734 (7th Cir. 2001). Because it is undisputed that Ms. Murphy
did not participate in the allegedly illegal blood draw, she
cannot be held responsible for violating Mr. Riddle's
civil rights. She is therefore entitled to summary judgment
on his claims against her.
foregoing reasons, Jessica Murphy's motion for summary
judgment, dkt. , is granted. No. partial
final judgment shall issue as to the claim resolved in this
Order. The clerk shall terminate Jessica
Murphy as a defendant on the docket.