United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
William T. Lawrence, Senior Judge.
Nate Anderson brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 alleging that he was subjected to excessive force and
denied proper medical treatment while at the Pendleton
Correctional Facility. The defendant seeks summary judgment
on Mr. Anderson's claims based on his failure to exhaust
his administrative remedies as required by the Prison
Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). Mr. Anderson has not responded
to the motion for summary judgment. For the following
reasons, the 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). 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. 56(e).
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). “A
genuine dispute as to any material fact exists ‘if the
evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a
verdict for the nonmoving party.'” Daugherty v.
Page, 906 F.3d 606, 609-10 (7th Cir. 2018) (quoting
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248
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). Any doubt as to the existence of
a genuine issue for trial is resolved against the moving
party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.
Anderson 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”); 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).
Anderson has been incarcerated at Pendleton since October 21,
2016. Dkt. 19-1, ¶ 15. He alleges that he was subjected
to excessive force on December 28, 2017. Dkt. 2, pg. 3.
required under Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC)
policy, there is a grievance program in place at Pendleton,
and this program was in place during the time Mr. Anderson
alleges that his rights were violated. Dkt. 19-1,
¶¶ 6, 16. Inmates may grieve matters that involve
actions of individual staff, including those actions alleged
in Mr. Anderson's Complaint. Dkt. 19-1, ¶¶ 13,
18; Dkt. 19-2, p. 3. The grievance process requires an
attempt to resolve the complaint informally, as well as three
formal steps: a formal written grievance, a formal appeal of
the response to the Warden or a designee, and then a formal
appeal of the response to the IDOC Central Office. Dkt. 19-1,
¶ 10; Dkt. 19-2, p. 3. If an inmate is unable to resolve
his complaint informally, he may file a formal written
grievance no later than ten business days from the date of
the incident giving rise to the complaint. Dkt. 19-1, ¶
10. Dkt. 19-2, pp. 8-9. Exhaustion of the grievance procedure
requires pursuing an appeal to the final step of the
grievance process. Dkt. 19-1, ¶¶ 11-12; Dkt. 19-2,
pp. 12-13. To successfully exhaust a grievance, the offender
must complete each step within the timeframe outlined in the
Offender Grievance Process. Dkt. 19-1, ¶ 11.
Anderson had previously used the grievance procedures. Dkt.
19-3. A review of IDOC records shows that he has not
attempted to file any formal grievance that may relate to the
claims of this lawsuit. Dkt. 19-1, ¶ 21. He has not
filed any formal grievance since June 5, 2017. Dkt. 19-1,
¶ 20; Dkt. 19-3.
defendant moves for summary judgment arguing that Mr.
Anderson failed to exhaust his available administrative
remedies before filing this lawsuit as required by the PLRA.
PLRA provides that “[n]o action shall be brought with
respect to prison conditions under section 1983 of this
title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner confined in
any jail, prison, or other correctional facility until such
administrative remedies as are available are
exhausted.” 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). This language
“is ‘mandatory': An inmate ‘shall'
bring ‘no action' (or said more conversationally,
may not bring any action) absent exhaustion of available
administrative remedies.” Ross v. Blake, 136
S.Ct. 1850, 1856 (2016) (citing Woodford v. Ngo, 548
U.S. 81, 85 (2006); Jones v. Bock,549 U.S. 199, 211
(2007)). “[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 v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 532
(2002). Prisoners are required to properly exhaust all