Ruiz v. Botalid et al
ORDER granting 40 Motion for Summary Judgment and granting 43 Motion for Summary. The Court DISMISES without prejudice for failure to exhaust administrative remedies Ruizs claims against Defendants. Further, the Clerk of Court is DIRECTED to enter judgment accordingly and close this case.Signed by Magistrate Judge Gilbert C. Sison on 4/28/2021. (klh)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
JOHN R. BALDWIN,
WEXFORD HEALTH SERVICES, INC.,
Case No. 3:20-cv-00085-GCS
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
SISON, Magistrate Judge:
Plaintiff Andrew, an inmate within the Illinois Department of Corrections, brings
this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for
events that allegedly occurred Pinckneyville Correctional Center. Now pending before
the Court are Defendants’ March 15, 2021 motions on the issue of exhaustion (Doc. 40, 41,
43). That same day, Defendants filed the required Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56
notice to Ruiz informing him of the of the consequences of failing to respond to the
motions for summary judgment. (Doc. 42, 44). As of this date, Ruiz has not responded to
the motion for summary judgment.1 For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS the
The following claims survived the Court’s screening of the complaint pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1915A:
Count 1 – Eighth Amendment claim against Butalid for deliberate indifference to serious
Count 2 – First Amendment retaliation claim against Butalid for denying medical care in
response to Ruiz’s filing grievances against him;
Count 3 – Eighth Amendment claim against Thompson and Baldwin for deliberate
indifference to serious medical need; and
Count 4 – Eighth Amendment claim against Wexford Health Services, Inc., for deliberate
indifference to Plaintiff’s serious medical needs based on its policies and practices that
resulted in a denial of medical care.
(Doc. 15). The Court also added the Warden of Pinckneyville Correctional Center as a
Defendant because Ruiz also seeks injunctive relief.
Lawsuits filed by inmates are governed by the provisions of the Prison Litigation
Reform Act (“PLRA”). See 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a). Pursuant to the Act, “no 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.” Id. “To exhaust remedies,
a prisoner must file complaints and appeals in the place, and at the time, the prison
Pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(c), Plaintiff’s lack of a response could be interpreted as an admission
of the merits of the motions.
administrative rules require.” Pozo v. McCaughtry, 286 F.3d 1022, 1025 (7th Cir. 2005). The
Seventh Circuit requires strict adherence to the PLRA’s exhaustion requirement –
exhaustion must occur before suit is filed. See, e.g., Dole v. Chandler, 438 F.3d 804, 809 (7th
Cir. 2006)(noting that “[t]his circuit has taken a strict compliance approach to
exhaustion”); Ford v. Johnson, 362 F.3d 395, 398 (7th Cir. 2004).
As stated before, Ruiz has not responded to the motion despite being warned
through Defendants’ Rule 56 Notices and the time to respond to the motion has passed.
The Court considers Ruiz’s failure to respond as an admission of the merits of the motions
filed by Defendants. See SDIL Local Rule 7.1(c); Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir.
2003). See also Flynn v. Sandahl, 58 F.3d 283, 288 (7th Cir. 1995)(noting that a failure to
respond constitutes an admission that there are no undisputed material facts). Based on
this admission and the record before the Court, the Court finds that Ruiz did not exhaust
his administrative remedies prior to filing this lawsuit.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS the motions for summary
judgment on the issue of exhaustion filed by Defendants. (Doc. 40, 43). The Court
DISMISES without prejudice Ruiz’s claims against Defendants. Further, the Clerk of
Court is DIRECTED to enter judgment accordingly and close this case.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: April 28, 2021.
by Judge Sison 2
GILBERT C. SISON
United States Magistrate Judge
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