United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division
MELISSA R. HULSE, Plaintiff,
JOHN MARTOCCIA, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND
DIRECTING ENTRY OF FINAL JUDGMENT
EVANS BARKER, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Melissa R. Hulse, an inmate at Bartholomew County Jail,
brought this civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §
1983 alleging that conditions of the Bartholomew County Jail
were so unclean that inmates were at risk of contracting
Hepatitis A. The defendant moved for summary judgment. Ms.
Hulse has not responded and the time to do so has passed. The
motion is now ripe for review. For the reasons explained in
this Order, the defendant is entitled to summary judgment on
Ms. Hulse's claims.
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.
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.
consequence of Ms. Hulse's failure to respond to the
motion for summary judgment is that she has conceded the
defendant's version of the facts. 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(b) (“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(a) motion but 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 factual
background is thus drawn from the defendant's undisputed
1, 2018, Ms. Hulse was booked into the Bartholomew County
Jail. Jail Commander Martoccia ensured sanitary hygienic
living conditions for jail inmates by making sure jail staff
regularly sanitized inmate living areas and provided cleaning
supplies-mop, bucket, broom, dust pan, and toilet brush-to
the inmates. According to the jail's records, cell blocks
were sanitized approximately once per week. Dkt. 21-1.
had access to hot and cold water, showers, soap and shampoo.
The jail and all inmate living areas were air conditioned and
inmates had access to ice at least once per day in the common
area. If an inmate requested additional ice while confined to
his or her cell, correctional officers would sometimes
provide ice by passing it through a hole in the cell door or
by opening the cell door. Id.
would occasionally flood areas by blocking the drains in
their sinks or toilets. When this occurred, defendant
Martoccia ensured that the water was mopped up and the floor
was cleaned immediately. To prevent the spread of Hepatitis A
in the jail, defendant Martoccia coordinated with the
Bartholomew County Health Department to provide free
Hepatitis A vaccines to all inmates at the jail. Ms. Hulse
refused the vaccine on July 17, 2018. Id.
neither party addresses whether Ms. Hulse remains a pretrial
detainee or is a convicted inmate, the defendant recognizes
that Ms. Hulse was a pretrial detainee at the time of her
complaint. Therefore, the claim of whether jail conditions
subjected Ms. Hulse to cruel and unusual punishment is
analyzed under the Fourteenth Amendment. “[A] pretrial
detainee can prevail by providing objective evidence that the
challenged governmental action is not rationally related to a
legitimate governmental objective or that it is excessive in
relation to that purpose.” Kingsley v.
Hendrickson, 135 S.Ct. 2466, 2475 (2015).
undisputed record shows that defendant Martoccia instituted a
schedule for sanitizing inmate living areas, provided inmates
with necessary cleaning and hygiene supplies, and promptly
removed any water that overflowed from inmate sinks and
toilets before sanitizing the area. He also arranged for free
Hepatitis A vaccines for all inmates. All these actions were
rationally related to the ...