THOMPSON v. DR. JONES
ENTRY Discussing Defendants Campbell and Burdine's Motion for Summary Judgment for Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies. For the reasons explained in this ENTRY, the 50 motion for summary judgment filed by defendants Dr. Campbell and Dr . Burdine is GRANTED. The motion for summary judgment filed by Dr. Jones remains pending. No partial final judgment shall issue at this time as to the claims dismissed in this Entry. Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 1/6/2015. Copy sent to Plaintiff via U.S. Mail. (BGT)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
ROGER N. THOMPSON,
DR. JONES, et al.,
Case No. 1:13-cv-1566-WTL-DML
Entry Discussing Defendants Campbell and Burdine’s Motion for Summary Judgment for
Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies
Plaintiff Roger N. Thompson (“Mr. Thompson”) is a former prisoner. In his original
complaint, filed on September 30, 2013, Mr. Thompson alleges that psychiatrist Dr. Jones, from
January through September 2013, failed to provide him with certain treatment necessary to treat
his anxiety condition. In his amended complaint, filed on February 11, 2014, Mr. Thompson
alleges that defendants Dr. Walter Campbell and Dr. Burdine, in November and December of
2013, also failed to provide him with a particular medication for his anxiety condition.
Defendants Dr. Campbell and Dr. Burdine have filed a motion for summary judgment
seeking resolution of the claims against them based on the affirmative defense that Mr.
Thompson failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies prior to filing the amended
complaint. Mr. Thompson has opposed the motion for summary judgment.
For the reasons explained in this Entry, defendants Campbell and Burdine’s motion for
summary judgment [dkt. 50] must be granted.
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 a judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.
R. Civ. P. 56(a). A “material fact” is one that “might affect the outcome of the suit.” Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute is genuine only if a reasonable jury
could find for the non-moving party. Id. If no reasonable jury could find for the non-moving
party, then there is no “genuine” dispute. Scott v. Harris, 550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007). 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. Ault v. Speicher, 634 F.3d 942, 945 (7th Cir. 2011).
“The applicable substantive law will dictate which facts are material.” National Soffit &
Escutcheons, Inc., v. Superior Systems, Inc., 98 F.3d 262, 265 (7th Cir. 1996) (citing Anderson,
477 U.S. at 248). The substantive law applicable to the motion 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 Dale v. Lappin, 376 F.3d 652, 655 (7th Cir. 2004) (“In order to
properly exhaust, a prisoner must submit inmate 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)). “In order to exhaust administrative remedies, a prisoner must take all steps
prescribed by the prison’s grievance system.” Ford v. Johnson, 362 F.3d 395, 397 (7th Cir.
On the basis of the pleadings and the expanded record, and specifically on the portions of
that record which comply with the requirements of Rule 56(c), the following facts, construed in
the manner most favorable to Mr. Thompson as the non-movant, are undisputed for purposes of
the motion for summary judgment:
At all relevant times, Mr. Thompson was incarcerated at Plainfield Correctional Facility
(“Plainfield”). Mr. Thompson alleges that defendants Dr. Campbell and Dr. Burdine violated his
constitutional rights by acting with deliberate indifference to Mr. Thompson’s serious medical
need. Specifically, he claims that all the defendants failed to appropriately treat his serious
The administrative remedy available to prisoners regarding the conditions of their
confinement is the grievance process. The grievance process begins with the offender contacting
staff to discuss the matter and seek informal resolution. If the offender is unable to obtain a
resolution of the grievance informally, he may submit a formal written complaint (Level I) to the
Grievance Specialist of the facility where the incident occurred. If the formal written complaint
is not resolved in a manner that satisfies the offender, he may submit an appeal (Level II) within
ten (10) working days from the date of receipt of the grievance response. If the offender receives
no grievance response within twenty-five (25) working days of the day he submitted the
grievance, he may appeal as though the grievance had been denied.
Exhaustion of the grievance procedure requires pursuing a grievance to the final step.
Exhaustion of the grievance procedure also requires complying with the timing requirements for
submitting formal grievances and appeals.
During the time he was incarcerated at Plainfield, Mr. Thompson filed grievances dated
April 3, 2013; August 22, 2013, and April 14, 2014. None of these grievances named or
described defendants Campbell or Burdine or discussed any alleged misconduct on their part.
Mr. Thompson does not dispute that he did not file any grievances against Dr. Campbell
and Dr. Burdine. Rather, he argues that he was not required to exhaust his claims against these
defendants because he had already exhausted his claim against the original defendant in this
action, Dr. Jones. He contends that if he were required to complete all three steps of the
grievance process against defendants Dr. Campbell and Dr. Burdine, then there would be an
unnecessary delay in this case. Mr. Thompson cites to no legal authority for this contention.
Indeed, there is no such authority. Even in cases where an inmate believes exhaustion would be
futile, he is required to complete the process. See Thornton v. Snyder, 428 F.3d 690, 694 (7th Cir.
2005) (“An inmate’s perception that exhaustion would be futile does not excuse him from the
exhaustion requirement.”). In addition, the alleged incidents of failure to properly treat him
occurred at different times and involved different personnel and circumstances, each requiring
the completion of the grievance process.
It is undisputed that Mr. Thompson failed to complete the exhaustion process against Dr.
Campbell and Dr. Burdine before filing his amended complaint. Therefore, in light of 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e(a), the claims against them should not have been brought and must now be dismissed
without prejudice. See Ford, 362 F.3d at 401 (“We therefore hold that all dismissals under §
1997e(a) should be without prejudice.”).
For the reasons explained above, the motion for summary judgment filed by defendants
Dr. Campbell and Dr. Burdine [dkt. 50] is granted. The motion for summary judgment filed by
Dr. Jones remains pending. No partial final judgment shall issue at this time as to the claims
dismissed in this Entry.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
ROGER N. THOMPSON
1804 North Lincoln Street
Greensburg, IN 47240
Electronically registered counsel
Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
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