PURVIS v. HINTON
ENTRY Granting Motion for Summary Judgment and Directing Entry of Final Judgment - The defendant's motion for summary judgment [dkt. 26 ] is granted. Judgment consistent with this Entry shall now issue (SEE ENTRY). Signed by Judge William T. Lawrence on 1/10/2017.(DW)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA
TERRE HAUTE DIVISION
) Case No. 2:15-cv-0293-WTL-MJD
Entry Granting Motion for Summary Judgment
and Directing Entry of Final Judgment
Willard Purvis filed an amended complaint in this action on March 9, 2016, contending
that his Constitutional Rights were violated while he was incarcerated in the Indiana Department
of Correction (“IDOC”). Mr. Purvis claims that the defendant placed him in danger by sharing his
charging and sentencing information with another inmate in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
The offender the defendant shared the information with has animosity toward prisoners, such as
the plaintiff, that had been convicted of sex offenses. Mr. Purvis was allegedly assaulted by this
offender in July of 2013. The defendant moves for summary judgment arguing that Mr. Purvis
failed to exhaust his available administrative remedies as required by the Prison Litigation Reform
Act (“PLRA”), 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), before filing this lawsuit.
Summary Judgment Standard
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). The party seeking summary judgment “bears the initial responsibility of informing the
district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying” designated evidence which
“demonstrate[s] the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 323 (1986).
Once the moving party has met its burden, the non-movant may not rest upon mere
allegations. Instead, “[t]o successfully oppose a motion for summary judgment, the nonmoving
party must come forward with specific facts demonstrating that there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Trask–Morton v. Motel 6 Operating L.P., 534 F.3d 672, 677 (7th Cir. 2008). “The non-movant
will successfully oppose summary judgment only when it presents definite, competent evidence to
rebut the motion.” Vukadinovich v. Bd. of Sch. Trs., 278 F.3d 693, 699 (7th Cir. 2002) (internal
quotation and citation omitted).
Mr. Purvis has failed to respond to the motion for summary judgment. By not responding
properly and with evidentiary materials, he has conceded the defendant’s version of the facts.
Brasic v. Heinemann’s Inc., 121 F.3d 281, 286 (7th Cir. 1997). This is the result of Local Rule 561(e), of which Mr. Purvis was notified [dkt. 33]. This does not alter the standard for assessing a
Rule 56(c) motion, but does “reduc[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).
A. Undisputed Facts
At all times relevant to his Complaint, Mr. Purvis was confined by the IDOC at Wabash
Valley Correctional Facility (“Wabash Valley”). The IDOC has an Offender Grievance Process
which is intended to permit inmates to resolve concerns and complaints relating to their conditions
of confinement prior to filing suit in court. Under the grievance program, offenders may grieve
matters that involve actions of individual staff.
The Grievance Process consists of three steps. It begins with the offender contacting staff
to discuss the matter or incident subject to the grievance and seeking informal resolution. If the
offender is unable to obtain a resolution of the grievance informally, he may submit a formal
grievance to the Grievance Officer of the facility where the incident occurred. If the formal written
grievance is not resolved in a manner that satisfies the offender, he may submit an appeal.
Exhaustion of the grievance procedure requires pursuing a grievance to the final step. A grievance
must be filed within twenty (20) working days from the date of the alleged incident, and exhaustion
requires the inmate pursuing an appeal to the final step of the grievance process.
Mr. Purvis alleges that the defendant shared his charging and sentencing information with
another offender in 2013. Then on either July 20 or 23, 2013, he was assaulted by this offender.
The IDOC’s grievance records for Mr. Purvis reflect that he did not file any grievance regarding
an incident of being assaulted by another inmate in 2013. The only grievance Mr. Purvis filed in
2013 involved a request for a television.
The defendants argue that Mr. Purvis failed to exhaust his available administrative
remedies as required by the PLRA with respect to his claims against the defendant.
The PLRA requires that a prisoner exhaust his available administrative remedies before
bringing a suit concerning prison conditions. 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a); Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516,
524-25 (2002). “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)). Strict compliance is required with respect to exhaustion, and a prisoner must
properly follow the prescribed administrative procedures in order to exhaust his remedies. Dole v.
Chandler, 438 F.3d 804, 809 (7th Cir. 2006). The PLRA’s exhaustion requirement is not subject
to either waiver by a court or futility or inadequacy exceptions. Booth v. Churner, 532 U.S. 731,
741, n.6 (2001); McCarthy v. Madigan, 503 U.S. 140, 112 S. Ct. 1081 (1992) (“Where Congress
specifically mandates, exhaustion is required.”).
The defendants have shown that Mr. Purvis did not exhaust his available administrative
remedies as required by the PLRA. He did not submit any grievances related to the claim in his
complaint. Mr. Purvis has not responded to the motion for summary judgment and therefore has
not disputed these facts. It is therefore undisputed that Mr. Purvis failed to exhaust his available
administrative remedies with regard to his claim in this case. The consequence of these
circumstances, in light of 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(a), is that Mr. Purvis’s claim should not have been
brought and must now be dismissed without prejudice. See Pozo, 286 F.3d at 1024 (explaining that
“a prisoner who does not properly take each step within the administrative process has failed to
exhaust state remedies, and thus is foreclosed by § 1997e(a) from litigating”); Ford v. Johnson,
362 F.3d 395, 401 (7th Cir. 2004)(“We therefore hold that all dismissals under § 1997e(a) should
be without prejudice.”).
The defendant’s motion for summary judgment [dkt. 26] is granted. Judgment consistent
with this Entry shall now issue.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge
United States District Court
Southern District of Indiana
DOC # 985367
WABASH VALLEY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY
Electronic Service Participant – Court Only
Electronically registered counsel
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