5 F.3d 1031 (7th Cir. 1993), 92-2926, Stewart v. McGinnis

Docket Nº:92-2926, 92-3206.
Citation:5 F.3d 1031
Party Name:Charles STEWART, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Kenneth McGINNIS, Michael O'Leary, Thomas Roth, Darrell Cobb, Theophilus Smith, Melvin Allen and Marie Jordan, in their official and individual capacities, Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:September 21, 1993
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 1031

5 F.3d 1031 (7th Cir. 1993)

Charles STEWART, Plaintiff-Appellant,


Kenneth McGINNIS, Michael O'Leary, Thomas Roth, Darrell

Cobb, Theophilus Smith, Melvin Allen and Marie

Jordan, in their official and individual

capacities, Defendants-Appellees.

Nos. 92-2926, 92-3206.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

September 21, 1993

Argued May 14, 1993.

Page 1032

Chris Averkiou, Chicago, IL (argued), for plaintiff-appellant.

Page 1033

Dan Softcheck, Asst. Atty. Gen., Diann K. Marsalek, Office of Atty. Gen., Brian F. Barov (argued), Office of Atty. Gen., Criminal Appeals Div., Chicago, IL, for defendants-appellees.

Before CUDAHY, MANION and KANNE, Circuit Judges.

KANNE, Circuit Judge.

Charles Stewart is a prisoner in the Illinois Department of Corrections system ("IDOC"). From 1988 to July 1991, he was incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center ("Stateville") in G Unit. From July 1991 to present, Stewart has been housed in Logan Correctional Center ("Logan"). On August 14, 1989, Stewart initiated this suit, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983, alleging that the defendants had violated several of his constitutional rights during his incarceration at Stateville. During the relevant time period, Kenneth McGinnis was IDOC Director and the remaining defendants were employees at Stateville. To remedy the alleged constitutional violations, Stewart sought money damages as well as injunctive and declaratory relief.

In his four count complaint, 1 Stewart alleged that his constitutional rights were violated at Stateville by the implementation of the following four IDOC procedures: shakedowns, segregation, lockdowns and prisoner discipline. After discovery was conducted, both parties filed motions for summary judgment. In a thorough opinion, the district court granted summary judgment for the defendants. Stewart v. McGinnis, 800 F.Supp. 604 (N.D.Ill.1992). In a separate order, the district court denied Stewart's motion for attorneys fees, rejecting his claim that he was a "prevailing party" under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1988. Stewart appeals both adverse judgments.

I. Standard of Review and Preliminary Matters

We review a grant of summary judgment de novo. Russo v. Health, Welfare & Pension Fund, 984 F.2d 762, 765 (7th Cir.1993). A grant of summary judgment is proper only if there is no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Id. In other the words, the question is "whether the evidence presents a sufficient disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of law." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251-52, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2512, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). "A party bearing the burden of proof on an issue may not simply rest on its pleadings, but must demonstrate that a genuine issue of material fact exists and requires trial." Jamison-Bey v. Thieret, 867 F.2d 1046, 1047 (7th Cir.1989).

Before we address the merits of Stewart's claim, we must first discuss the relationship between Northern District of Illinois Local Rules 12 M and 12 N and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 56. As noted, after discovery both parties filed motions for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56. In accordance with Local Rule 12 M, both parties filed statements of undisputed facts with their summary judgment motions. 2 However, neither side filed the requisite Rule 12 N statements, contesting the other side's inventory of undisputed facts. 3 Given

Page 1034

these circumstances, the district court treated as true and admitted all the plaintiff's statements of fact which were supported by the record. Stewart is disgruntled because he believes that the district court should have treated all the statements in his 12 M as true--regardless of whether the evidence in the record supported them. We disagree with Stewart's position.

In essence, Stewart asks us to literally construe the following portion of Rule 12 N:

All material facts set forth in the statement required of the moving party will be deemed to be admitted unless controverted by the statement of the opposing party.

Under Stewart's view, the district court would have to treat as true even the most fanciful statements made in a Rule 12 M statement. We do not believe that such an interpretation is in line with our previous cases. Nor is it consistent with the language of Rule 12 M or the purpose of Rule 56.

We have consistently held that the district court may strictly apply Rule 12 N and consider a party who fails to submit a Rule 12 N statement as having admitted the uncontroverted facts alleged in the opposing party's Rule 12 M statement. Knox v. McGinnis, 998 F.2d 1405, 1408 n. 8 (7th Cir.1993); Brown v. United States, 976 F.2d 1104, 1108 (7th Cir.1992); Wienco, Inc. v. Katahn Associates, Inc., 965 F.2d 565, 567 (7th Cir.1992); Schulz v. Serfilco, Ltd., 965 F.2d 516, 518-19 (7th Cir.1992); Maksym v. Loesch, 937 F.2d 1237, 1240 (7th Cir.1991); Appley v. West, 929 F.2d 1176, 1179 (7th Cir.1991); Skagen v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 910 F.2d 1498, 1500 (7th Cir.1990); Bell, Boyd & Lloyd v. Tapy, 896 F.2d 1101, 1103 (7th Cir.1990).

However, we have also said that the district court should only consider facts as admitted if the allegations in the 12 M statement are "properly supported by references to the record or other evidentiary material." Appley, 929 F.2d at 1179-80. We believe this approach is sound and advances the goals of the rules of procedure at issue. Rule 12 M requires the moving party to support his statements of fact with specific references to the record. We do not believe that the opposing party's failure to file a 12 N statement relieves the movant of the necessity of supporting his 12 M statement. Rules 12 M and 12 N are designed to enhance the efficiency of the court system by putting the onus on the parties to identify material issues of fact for the district court. Permitting a party to move forward on unsupported allegations simply because the opponent failed to challenge them would obstruct the goal of efficiency. 4

Furthermore, Stewart's position is also inconsistent with the goal of Rule 56:

One of the principal purposes of the summary judgment rule is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims or defenses, and we think it should be interpreted in a way that allows it to accomplish this purpose.

Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2553, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). Requiring the district court to take totally unsupported allegations as true would clearly impede the utility of having a summary judgment rule.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 83 requires Local Rules to be consistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. We agree with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that Rule 83 requires us to interpret Rule 12 N "to mean that facts claimed and adequately supported by the moving party may be assumed by the District Court unless controverted by the opposing party." McKinney v. Dole, 765 F.2d 1129, 1135 n. 12 (D.C.Cir.1985) (interpreting a virtually identical local rule). See also United States v.

Page 1035

White, 980 F.2d 836, 844 (2d Cir.1992) (circuit courts should avoid an interpretation of a local rule which would give rise to a conflict with the Federal Rules); John v. State of Louisiana (Board of Trustees for State Colleges and Universities), 757 F.2d 698, 707 (5th Cir.1985) (rejecting construction of Local Rule which conflicted with Rule 56).

Based on the foregoing, we hold that the district judge properly treated as true only those facts in Stewart's 12 M statement that were properly supported by the record. We turn now to the merits of Stewart's claims. As mentioned, Stewart raised several constitutional issues in his complaint. The district court properly analyzed all of Stewart's claims and we affirm its analysis. Given the district court's thorough discussion, we feel compelled only to address Stewart's shakedown claim and the issue of attorneys fees; as for the other issues, we adopt the district court's opinion found at 800 F.Supp. 604.

II. Shakedowns

Pursuant to the Illinois Administrative Code, Stateville authorities frequently conduct shakedown searches of prisoners' cells looking for contraband. ILL.ADMIN.CODE tit. 20, Sec. 501.220(b)(1). 5 Stewart's cell was searched on July 5, 1989 and May 24, 1990. Stewart alleges that in the first shakedown Stateville officers took a pair of blue jeans, an electric fan and legal papers, and threw them away. After the first search, Stewart was issued a "shakedown slip" 6 listing the following property as taken from his cell: 4 mattresses, 25 sheets, 4 pillow cases, 1 wooden rod, 3 pillows, 3 desks, 1 roll cart, 1 "letter telling about drugs" and an electric fan. The shakedown slip said nothing of blue jeans or legal papers. On July 12, 1989, Stewart received an adjustment committee hearing and was convicted of possession of unauthorized property, including the fan. 7 On August 11, 1989, the electric fan, among other items taken from Stewart's cell on July 5, was disposed of as "broken junk."

As for the second shakedown, on May 24, 1990, Stewart alleges that a pair of blue jeans, a fingernail clipper, a hair tweezer, shoes and a jogging suit were taken from his cell. Stewart never received a shakedown slip for this property and no one knows what became of the items.

We first examine whether Stewart is entitled to money damages as compensation for the missing property for which no shakedown slip was issued. The failure to issue a shakedown slip violates IDOC procedure. Stewart argues that the failure to follow proper procedure deprived him of due process, because he received neither notice nor an opportunity to be heard. As a result, Stewart claims he is entitled to damages under Sec. 1983.

Hudson v. Palmer, 468 U.S. 517, 104 S.Ct. 3194, 82 L.Ed.2d...

To continue reading