KADAMOVAS et al VS LOCKETT
Entry Discussing Motion to Reconsider and Directing Further Proceedings - Plaintiff, Jurijus Kadamovas, ("Kadamovas"), is a federal inmate currently incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana ("FCC Terre Haute"). On January 18, 2011, Kadamovas filed a civil rights complaint. Now before the Court is Kadamovas' motion to reconsider the entry of summary judgment in favor of the defendants as to Counts One and Two. The motion was filed by the plaintiff pro se and the reply was filed by recruited counsel. For the reasons explained below, the motion to reconsider [dkt. 58] is denied. (See Entry.) Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 5/27/2014. (RSF)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
TERRE HAUTE DIVISION
JO CHARLES LOCKETT Acting Warden,
United States Penitentiary Complex Terre
Haute, IN, T.K. COZZA-RHODES,
CRAIG COIL Food Service supervisor,
United States Penitentiary Complex Terre
Haute IN, ANTHONY SERRATO,
MICHAEL STEPHENS, RICHARD
MYERS Correction Officer/2-10 Shift, United
States Penitentiary Terre Haute IN,
TRACY HEISER, UNITED STATES OF
Case No. 2:11-cv-00015-WTL-DKL
Entry Discussing Motion to Reconsider and Directing Further Proceedings
Plaintiff, Jurijus Kadamovas, (“Kadamovas”), is a federal inmate currently incarcerated at
the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana (“FCC Terre Haute”). On January 18,
2011, Kadamovas filed a civil rights complaint, pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Federal
Narcotics Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), alleging that defendants Warden Charles Lockett, T. K.
Cozza-Rhodes (“AW Rhodes”), Michael Stephens, Craig Coil, Anthony Serrato, and Tracy
Heiser, (in their individual capacities) violated his First and Eighth Amendment rights and the
Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-1(a) (“RFRA”).
On September 30, 2013, this Court issued an Entry granting in part and denying in part the
defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The Court ultimately held that Kadamovas had not
identified a genuine issue of material fact as to his claims in Counts One and Two, and that
defendants Lockett, Cozza-Rhodes, Serrato, Coil and Stevens are entitled to judgment as a matter
of law on those counts. In Count One, Kadamovas alleges his free exercise rights were violated
under the First Amendment and RFRA because the food served to him while on the religious diet
(“Common Fare diet”) was inadequately cooked or prepared or spoiled or nutritionally inadequate.
Dkt. 1, pp. 7-17. In Count Two, Kadamovas claims that his Eighth Amendment rights were
violated by the defendants because he was served inadequately cooked or prepared food causing
him to become sick. Dkt. 1, pp. 18-20. As to Count Three, the Court held that material facts are in
dispute regarding whether Defendant Heiser was deliberately indifferent to Kadamovas’ serious
medical needs in November 2010. Count Three shall be resolved at trial. Counsel has been
recruited to represent Kadamovas in further proceedings.
Now before the Court is Kadamovas’ motion to reconsider the entry of summary judgment
in favor of the defendants as to Counts One and Two. The motion was filed by the plaintiff pro se
and the reply was filed by recruited counsel. For the reasons explained below, the motion to
reconsider [dkt. 58] is denied.
A court may, in the exercise of its discretion, revise any non-final order “at any time before
the entry of a judgment adjudicating all the claims. . . .” Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b); see also Galvan v.
Norberg, 678 F.3d 582, 587 and n. 3 (7th Cir. 2012). “Motions for reconsideration serve a limited
function: to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence,” and
should not “serve as the occasion to tender new legal theories for the first time.” Rothwell Cotton
Co. v. Rosenthal & Co., 827 F.2d 246, 251 (7th Cir. 1987) (quoting Keene Corp. v. Int’l Fidelity
Ins. Co., 561 F.Supp. 656, 665–66 (N.D. Ill. 1982), aff’d, 736 F.2d 388 (7th Cir. 1984)).
Kadamovas’ motion to reconsider raises six claims of error each of which is discussed below.
First, Kadamovas argues that the Court failed to consider the entire factual record in his
favor. Kadamovas’ states that the Court “did not one time address any of specific facts and
corroborating evidence that Kadamovas presented through his complaint, his affidavit attached to
his motion in opposition and/or any other other [sic] plethora of evidence he presented through
both his complaint and his motion in opposition . . . .” Dkt. 58 at p. 4. The Court did in fact review
the entire record in ruling on the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The problem for
Kadamovas was that the majority of his evidence was inadmissible. The defendants thoroughly
outlined the deficiencies in Kadamovas’ evidence in their reply brief. Dkt. 53 at pp. 1-7. The
defendants’ arguments regarding the admissibility of Kadamovas’ evidence were considered and
accepted by the Court in ruling on the motion for summary judgment. Kadamovas could have
properly responded to the defendants’ attacks on the admissibility of his evidence in a surreply, see
Local Rule 56-1(d), but he failed to do so.
Given both the form and substance of Kadamovas’s “copious evidence he attached to the
complaint and evidence he attached to his motion in opposition,” dkt. 58 at p. 4, it is possible that
the Court did overlook some evidence. The Court would be willing to reconsider any admissible
evidence that was unintentionally disregarded at this time if it was cited to with specificity.
Unfortunately, however, Kadamovas does not point to any specific admissible evidence which he
cited in his response in opposition to the motion for summary judgment and which was overlooked
or mistakenly disregarded by the Court. Kadamovas’ general disagreement with the Court’s
conclusions in applying the evidentiary standards and law to the undisputed facts of this case is an
insufficient basis for the Court reconsider its prior rulings. The Court has no obligation to parse
through materials in search of a basis on which to determine whether there is a genuine issue of
fact justifying a trial. United States v. Dunkel, 927 F.2d 955, 956 (7th Cir. 1991) (“Judges are not
like pigs, hunting for truffles buried in briefs.”); Waldridge v. American Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d
918, 922 (7th Cir. 1994) (“[D]istrict courts are not obliged . . . to scour the record looking for
factual disputes. . . .”).
Second, Kadamovas argues that the Court should have stricken the defendants’ statement
of undisputed facts because it did not include short numbered paragraphs with references to the
record supporting the allegations as required by Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
and Local Rule 56-1. Kadamovas is mistaken. The current version of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure and Local Rules of this court do not require a party’s statement of material facts not in
dispute to be numbered. Thus there was no error in this regard. In addition, the Court intended to
rely only on properly supported facts in the record in resolving the motion for summary judgment.
The plaintiff has failed to specifically point to any fact presented by the defendants and relied on
by the court which was not supported by admissible evidence. Accordingly, Kadamovas is not
entitled to relief on this basis.
Third, Kadamovas argues that the court applied the wrong legal standard to his Free
Exercise and Religious Freedom Restoration Act claims. Specifically, Kadamovas claims that the
Court did not apply the “substantial burden test” to his claims. He is mistaken. The court applied
the appropriate test to the facts in the record. See dkt. 54 at pp. 11-16. No relief is warranted on this
Fourth, Kadamovas argues that the court wrongfully ignored his evidence. Once again,
Kadamovas has failed to identify specific admissible evidence (material to the resolution of the
summary judgment) which was disregarded by the Court. No relief is warranted on this basis.
Fifth, Kadamovas argues that the court wrongly relied solely on the defendants’ evidence
in resolving the summary judgment motion. Kadamovas specifically argues that the court erred in
accepting defendant Stephen’s affidavit. Kadamovas states that the affidavit “indubitably did not
come within shouting distance of satisfying Rule 56(e).” Dkt. 58 at p. 12. The relevant testimony is
Inmate Kadamovas did complain to me a few times in 2011 about the religious
services diet. Based on his complaints and in an effort to resolve his complaints, I
conducted random spot checks of the food served in the SCU over a period of
several weeks. The spot checks that I conducted involved my randomly pulling
trays from the food cart and examining the food. At no time during these random
spot checks did I observe any spoiled or out dated food items served to the inmates
in the SCU.
Decl. of M. Stephens, dkt. 38-14 at ¶ 7. Kadamovas argues that this testimony should have been
rejected as conclusory because it lacks specifics including the dates and times foods were checked
and how they were checked. Kadamovas’ complaint in this regard is really that Stevens’ testimony
lacks sufficient detail to determine the adequacy of the investigation he undertook. The declaration
is relevant to the extent that it reflects that Stevens did not ignore Kadamovas’ complaints, but that
he personally acted upon them to investigate the allegations. Based on his personal investigation,
Stevens found Kadamovas’ allegations to be without merit such that no further action was
required. See dkt. 54 at p. 19. This evidence was properly considered and Kadamovas is not
entitled to relief on this basis.
Finally, Kadamovas argues that the Court erred in finding that the individual defendants
were not personally responsible for the federal violations alleged. Kadamovas contends that the
defendants are liable because they “were repeatedly made aware of the deep rooted problems
permeating the religious diets spanning over a five and a half year period and yet sit on their duffs’
and turn a blind [eye] to such chronic and protracted problems.” Dkt. 58 at p. 15. Kadamovas,
however, has not pointed to any admissible evidence upon which the Court could conclude that the
supervisory defendants had knowledge of the problems and failed to act appropriately. Inmate
complaints are not enough to establish knowledge where the allegations are investigated and found
to be without merit. Olson v. Morgan, -- F.3d --, 2014 WL 1687802, *4 (7th Cir. April 30, 2014)
(“prison guards are neither required nor expected to believe everything inmates tell them);
Riccardo v. Rausch, 375 F.3d 521, 527 (7th Cir. 2004) (“a prisoner's bare assertion is not enough to
make the guard subjectively aware of a risk, if the objective indicators do not substantiate the
Kadamovas has failed to identify any manifest errors of law or fact. Accordingly, the
motion for reconsideration [dkt. 58] is denied.
Claim Three of the complaint remains pending against Nurse Heiser. This claim shall be
set for trial by separate ruling.
Kadamovas’s request that the Court issue a partial final judgment as to Claims One and
Two of the Complaint consistent with Rule 54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure remains
under advisement. The defendants shall have through June 10, 2014, to state any objection to this
Claims One and Two alleged against defendants Lockett, Cozza-Rhodes, Coil, Stephens,
Myers and Serrato have been resolved. These claims are different from Claim Three alleged
against defendant Tracy Heiser. The Court is considering severing Claim Three against Tracy
Heiser into a new civil action for trial consistent with Rules 18, 20, and 21 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. If Claim Three is severed, final judgment would then enter as to Claims One and
Two in this action. The undersigned would remain the presiding judge in this and the newly
opened action. Severance would not impact the trial date for Claim Three. Both parties shall have
through June 10, 2014, in which to notify the Court whether they have any objection to this
course of action.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
All Electronically Registered Counsel
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