927 F.2d 607 (7th Cir. 1991), 90-2045, Williams v. Pate

Docket Nº:90-2045.
Citation:927 F.2d 607
Party Name:James E. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff/Appellant, v. Leanne PATE, Defendant/Appellee.
Case Date:January 24, 1991
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 607

927 F.2d 607 (7th Cir. 1991)

James E. WILLIAMS, Plaintiff/Appellant,


Leanne PATE, Defendant/Appellee.

No. 90-2045.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

January 24, 1991

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA7 Rule 53 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Decided Feb. 28, 1991.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, East St. Louis, Division, No. 88 C 3615, Gerald B. Cohn, Magistrate Judge.



Before CUDAHY, EASTERBROOK and RIPPLE, Circuit Judges.


James E. Williams, an inmate at Menard Correctional Center, appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant in his 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action alleging denial of access to the courts. 1 Williams seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages. We affirm.

Williams alleges that he sent two typed appellant's reply briefs via prison mail to the defendant, a Menard library employee, for photocopying. Williams further alleged that the defendant intentionally failed to make and return to him the requested copies of the briefs, thereby causing him to miss the reply brief filing deadlines in his two appeals. Williams contends that Pate deliberately failed to copy and return the reply briefs in order to hinder Williams from pursuing his appeals against her co-workers. There is no evidence in the record of Pate's suggested motivation for failing to meet Williams' request.

The government filed a motion for summary judgment supported by affidavits, memorandum, and exhibits alleging that Williams failed to demonstrate the defendant's personal involvement in or direct responsibility for the alleged constitutional violation. In defendant's affidavit she states that she never received Williams' briefs or the requests for photocopying by institutional mail or other available means. The government further contended that Williams never alleged that Pate actually received the briefs, nor could he prove by affidavit or otherwise that she received the briefs. Thus, the government argued that no genuine issue of material fact existed for trial regarding the defendant's personal responsibility for the alleged constitutional violation.

In response to the defendant's motion for summary judgment, Williams submitted his own affidavit stating that he sent the defendant reply briefs for two separate cases and written requests that they be photocopied by a specified date. Williams attached copies of the two written requests that he sent to Pate. Additionally, Williams submitted a letter, written by Menard's Assistant Coordinator of Inmate Issues, responding to his inmate grievance claim regarding the defendant's alleged failure to photocopy and return the...

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