Beasley v. Godinez et al
ORDER ADOPTING 96 Report and Recommendations and DENYING 69 Motion for Summary Judgment on the issue of exhaustion. Signed by Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel on 8/6/15. (klh2)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
SALVADOR GODINEZ, SANDRA
FUNK, MICHAEL D. PYATT, KIM
SEIDEL, RICKEY R. WALLER, and
WESLEY A. MONROE,
Case No. 13-CV-625-NJR-DGW
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ROSENSTENGEL, District Judge:
This matter is before the Court on the Report and Recommendation of United
States Magistrate Judge Donald G. Wilkerson (Doc. 96), which recommends denial of the
Motion for Summary Judgment on the issue of exhaustion filed on February 6, 2015, by
Defendant Kim Seidel (Doc. 69).
Plaintiff Larry Beasley, an inmate in the Illinois Department of Corrections, filed
this pro se lawsuit on June 27, 2013, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff complains that
he was transported to Menard Correction Center on a bus that was not equipped with
seatbelts and was being driven erratically, and as a result, he was tossed from his seat
and sustained injuries. Plaintiff contends that correctional officers on the bus ignored his
requests for medical care and, when he was seen for his intake screening at Menard, he
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was not provided with immediate medical care. The Court conducted a threshold
review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and his claims for deliberate
indifference against the above-captioned Defendants survived (Doc. 7).
Defendant Kim Seidel moved for summary judgment on February 6, 2015,
arguing that Plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies as required by the
Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997(e) (Doc. 69). Plaintiff filed his response in
opposition to the motion for summary judgment on March 31, 2015. (Doc. 80). As
required by Pavey v. Conley, 544 F.3d 739 (7th Cir. 2008), Magistrate Judge Wilkerson
held an evidentiary hearing on the issue of exhaustion on May 1, 2015. Following the
Pavey hearing, on July 16, 2015, Magistrate Judge Wilkerson issued the Report and
Recommendation currently before the Court (Doc. 96). Objections to the Report and
Recommendation were due on or before August 3, 2015. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1); FED. R.
CIV. P. 72(b)(2); SDIL-LR 73.1(b). Neither party filed an objection.
Where timely objections are filed, this Court must undertake a de novo review of
the Report and Recommendation. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B), (C); FED. R. CIV. P. 72(b);
SDIL-LR 73.1(b); Harper v. City of Chicago Heights, 824 F. Supp. 786, 788 (N.D. Ill. 1993); see
also Govas v. Chalmers, 965 F.2d 298, 301 (7th Cir. 1992). Where neither timely nor specific
objections to the Report and Recommendation are made, however, this Court need not
conduct a de novo review of the Report and Recommendation. See Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S.
140 (1985). Instead, the Court should review the Report and Recommendation for clear
error. Johnson v. Zema Systems Corp., 170 F.3d 734, 739 (7th Cir. 1999). A judge may then
“accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by
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the magistrate judge.” 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
The Court has carefully reviewed the briefs and exhibits submitted by the parties,
as well as Magistrate Judge Wilkerson’s Report and Recommendation. Following this
review, the Court fully agrees with the findings, analysis, and conclusions of Magistrate
Judge Wilkerson and adopts the Report and Recommendation in its entirety.
Plaintiff testified that he submitted a grievance on May 6, 2012, but he did not
receive a response to that grievance. Magistrate Judge Wilkerson determined that
Plaintiff’s testimony was credible, and that credibility determination is entitled to
deference because Magistrate Judge Wilkerson actually heard the testimony and
observed the demeanor of the witness. See Pavey v. Conley, 663 F.3d 899, 904 (7th Cir.
2011). Because prison officials failed to respond to Plaintiff’s grievance, they rendered
his administrative remedies unavailable. Brengettcy v. Horton, 423 F.3d 674, 682 (7th Cir.
2005) (citing Lewis v. Washington, 300 F.3d 829, 833 (7th Cir. 2002)). Therefore, Plaintiff is
deemed to have exhausted his administrative remedies. Lewis, 300 F.3d at 833.
For this reason, the Court ADOPTS Magistrate Judge Wilkerson’s Report and
Recommendation (Doc. 96), and DENIES Defendant Kim Seidel’s Motion for Summary
Judgment on the issue of exhaustion (Doc. 69).
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: August 6, 2015
s/ Nancy J. Rosenstengel
NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL
United States District Judge
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