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Stewart-Bey v. Busby

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

January 2, 2020

JAMES STEWART-BEY, Plaintiff,
v.
FRANK BUSBY Sergeant at WVCF, individual and official capacities, ZACHARY ADAMS Corrections Officer at WVCF, individual and official capacities, JOHNATHON NEAL Corrections Officer at WVCF, individual and official capacities, SAMANTHA J. DAWDY RN at WVCF, individual and official capacities, Defendants.

          ENTRY GRANTING UNOPPOSED MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT FILED BY DEFENDANTS DAWDY AND NEAL

          JAMES R. SWEENEY II, JUDGE

         I. Background

         Plaintiff James Stewart-Bey, an inmate confined at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility (Wabash Valley), filed this civil rights action on December 4, 2018. Two of the four defendants, Nurse Dawdy and Officer Neal, have moved for summary judgment seeking resolution of the claims against them on the basis that Mr. Stewart-Bey failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies before filing this action. Dkt. 23; dkt. 49. Mr. Stewart-Bey has not opposed the motions for summary judgment and the deadline for doing so has passed. For the reasons explained in this Entry, the moving defendants' unopposed motions for summary judgment must be granted.

         The claim against Officer Neal is that he failed to respond to Mr. Stewart-Bey's emergency medical needs; while the claim against Nurse Dawdy is that she was deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. Dkt. 6.

         II. Legal Standards

         A. Summary Judgment

         Summary judgment should be granted “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). “Material facts are those that might affect the outcome of the suit under applicable substantive law.” Dawson v. Brown, 803 F.3d 829, 833 (7th Cir. 2015) (internal quotation omitted). “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 (1986)). The Court views the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and all reasonable inferences are drawn in the non-movant's favor. See Barbera v. Pearson Education, Inc., 906 F.3d 621, 628 (7th Cir. 2018).

         The motions for summary judgment, brief in support, and Rule 56 notice were served by Nurse Dawdy and Officer Neal on Mr. Stewart-Bey on July 18, 2019, dkt. nos. 23, 24, 25, 26, and on October 18, 2019, dkt. nos. 49, 50, 51, respectively. As noted, Mr. Stewart-Bey has not opposed the motions. The consequence of Mr. Stewart-Bey's failure to respond is that he has conceded the defendants' 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 “[r]educ[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).

         B. Prison Litigation Reform Act

         The substantive law applicable to the motions for summary judgment is the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), which requires that a prisoner exhaust his available administrative remedies before bringing a suit concerning prison conditions. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a); see Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 524-25 (2002). “[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.” Id. at 532 (citation omitted).

         “Proper exhaustion demands compliance with an agency's deadlines and other critical procedural rules because no adjudicative system can function effectively without imposing some orderly structure on the course of its proceedings.” Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 90-91 (2006) (footnote omitted); see also Dole v. Chandler, 438 F.3d 804, 809 (7th Cir. 2006) (“‘To exhaust remedies, a prisoner must file complaints and appeals in the place, and at the time, the prison's administrative rules require.'”) (quoting Pozo v. McCaughtry, 286 F.3d 1022, 1025 (7th Cir. 2002)). Because exhaustion of administrative remedies is an affirmative defense, the burden of proof is on the defendants to demonstrate that Mr. Stewart-Bey failed to exhaust all available administrative remedies before he filed this suit. Thomas v. Reese, 787 F.3d 845, 847 (7th Cir. 2015).

         III. Discussion

         A. Facts

         The following facts, unopposed by Mr. Stewart-Bey and supported by admissible evidence, are accepted as true for purposes ...


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