United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division
ENTRY DISCUSSING DEFENDANTS’ UNOPPOSED MOTION
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
R. SWEENEY II, JUDGE
Claude Hudson, Jr., filed this civil rights action alleging
that while he was incarcerated at the Vigo County Jail he was
unreasonably cold. He asserts that defendants Jail Matron
Smiley (“Lt. Smiley”), Sgt. Firestone, Sgt. Dyer,
Sgt. Burns, Sgt. Taylor, and Cpl. Newman were responsible for
exposing him to these conditions. See dkt. 7. The
defendants now seek resolution of the claims alleged against
them through summary judgment. They argue that Mr. Hudson has
failed to produce any evidence to support his Eighth
Amendment claim. For the reasons explained below, the
defendants’ motion for summary judgment filed May 30,
2019, dkt. , is granted.
Standard of Review
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). 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
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).
case, the defendants assert that Mr. Hudson does not have any
evidence to support his constitutional claims. Mr. Hudson did
not respond to this argument. 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.”). By not responding to the motion for
summary judgment, Mr. Hudson conceded to the
defendants’ version of the facts. Brasic v.
Heinemann's Inc., 121 F.3d 281, 286 (7th Cir. 1997).
This is the result of Local Rule 56-1, of which Mr. Hudson
was notified. See dkt. 91. This does not alter the standard
for assessing a Rule 56 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).
Hudson was incarcerated at the Vigo County Jail
(“Jail”) from January through September 2017.
Dkt. 89-1 at 5-6 (Hudson Deposition). Mr. Hudson was detained
in the Jail after being charged with touching a police
officer in the line of duty and being a habitual criminal. He
was a pretrial detainee from the time he entered the Jail
until July of 2017 when he was convicted by a jury of both
Hudson was housed in the Health Unit because of high blood
pressure and his age (80 years of age at the
time). Dkt. 89-1 at 8. Mr. Hudson described the
temperatures in the Health Unit at the Vigo County Jail as icy
cold. Id. at 7-8. He testified that the cold
conditions in his living quarters made it impossible to do
his legal work without a coat and blanket. Id.
Hudson complained to defendants Sgt. Burns, Lt. Smiley, and
Sgt. Firestone about the cold temperatures in the Health
Unit. Id. at 9. Lt. Smiley testified that air
circulation and temperatures in the Jail are only an issue
during the winter when the outdoor temperatures are very
Hudson complained about the cold temperatures in the Health
Unit to Lt. Smiley. Id. at 14. Mr. Hudson testified
that he requested transfer to another block due to the cold
temperatures. Id. at 11. Lt. Smiley was cooperative,
and Mr. Hudson was transferred to the segregation unit for a
few weeks. Id. at 12-14. Mr. Hudson testified that
he was more comfortable in the segregation unit because it
was convenient, he had privacy, and his meals were delivered.
February 26, 2017, Mr. Hudson submitted a general request
form asking for stocking caps to be sold through commissary
because he found it warmer and more comfortable if he wore
one to bed. Dkt. 89-1 at 17 and 35. That request was denied.
Id. at 18 and 35. Lt. Smiley testified that stocking
caps were not necessary and that they could be used for
unintended purposes. Dkt. 89-7.
10, 2017, Mr. Hudson filed a general grievance form
complaining that Officer Wyrick removed the covering that
Sgt. Burns had placed to block the air from coming out of the
vent in Mr. Hudson’s cell. Dkt. 89-1 at 19. In
response, Mr. Hudson was told that Mr. Burns did not recall
saying that the vents could stay covered, but even if he did,
it was no longer ...