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Case: 1:15-cv-01856 Document #: 66 Filed: 05/31/16 Page 1 of 8 PageID #:394

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT


FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
EASTERN DIVISION

FABIAN SANTIAGO (B79716), )


) No. 15-cv-01856
Plaintiff, )
) The Honorable Judge Ruben Castillo
v. )
) Magistrate Judge Daniel G. Martin
KAREN RABIDEAU, et al., )
)
Defendants. )

DEFENDANTS RESPONSE TO PLAINTIFFS MOTION


FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

NOW COME Defendants KAREN RABIDEAU, LESLIE TURNER, MINDI PIERCE,

COLLEEN M. FRANKLIN, TARRY WILLIAMS, CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS, DANIEL

REED, AND CLARENCE WRIGHT, through their attorney LISA MADIGAN, Attorney

General for the State of Illinois, to respond to Plaintiff FABIAN SANTIAGOS Motion for

Summary Judgment.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Undisputed Facts

Notwithstanding Plaintiffs lengthy Local Rule 56.1 filing, the relevant facts in this case

are very simple. Plaintiff Fabian Santiago is a prisoner of the State of Illinois in the custody of

the Illinois Department of Corrections, and at all times relevant to this matter has been

incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center. (Pls St. of Material Facts 2, Dkt. No. 61.)

Plaintiff sent a letter, dated August 20 2014 (the August 2014 Letter), to then Governor Pat

Quinn. (Id. at 15.) At this time, Quinn, as the Governor of Illinois, was ultimately responsible

for the leadership of the Illinois Department of Corrections. See 730 ILCS 5/3-2-5 (Governor of

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Illinois appoints Director and Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections). The

Letter to then Governor Quinn reads, in its entirety, as follows:

Listen to me you faggot motherfucker! I wrote your punk ass almost a month ago
notifying your office of these piece of shit, corrupt prison officials deliberately
having me placed into a celling location with an [inmate] categorized as an
extremely high escape risk in order to justify having my cell searched every
several days, completely destroying my cell, stealing my property & provoking
physical confrontations between myself, my cellmate & prison guards. These are
criminal acts of misconduct & your fuckin [sic] racist & corrupt office is refusing
to do anything about these abuses.

I have already filed an emergency grievance dated: 8/3/14, concerning these


abuses & this punk ass warden has refused to take correct action. I have every
intention on filing suit in federal court and your offices [sic] roll [sic] in
disregarding & concealing these abuses will be stipulated. You have allowed a
cess pool of corruption & abuse against [inmates] to plague the IDOC & havent
done shit to address these matters I can only hope you lose the election you
fuckin [sic] asshole.

(Pls St. of Mat. Facts at Ex. A, Dkt. No. 61.)

Plaintiff was charged with the prison offense of insolence, which forbids [t]alking,

touching, gesturing, or other behavior that harasses, annoys, or shows disrespect. ILL. ADMIN.

CODE 20, 504, APPX. A. After an investigation and a hearing before the Adjustment Committee,

Plaintiff was found to have violated the offense of insolence and was punished with, inter alia,

30 days incarceration in F-House. (Pls St. of Material Facts 26, Dkt. No. 61.).

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

Summary judgment is appropriate only when the movant shows that there is no genuine

dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R.

Civ. P. 56(a.) In determining whether factual issues exist, the Court must consider all of the

evidence in the record in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draw all reasonable

inferences from that evidence in favor of the party opposing summary judgment. Feliberty v.

Kemper Corp., 98 F.3d 274, 276-77 (7th Cir. 1996.) Summary judgment should be denied if a
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reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477

U.S. 242, 248 (1986.) Competing versions of events and credibility determinations fall within the

fact-finders purview, and are not properly resolved at summary judgment. Townsend v. Fuchs, 522

F.3d 765, 775 (7th Cir. 2008.)

III. DISCUSSION

A. The Majority of Plaintiffs Rule 56.1 Statement is Not Material to the Current
Dispute and Should Not Be Considered By The Court

Although Plaintiff sets forth approximately thirty-five statements of fact in his Rule 56.1

Statement, including sub-parts, he cites to only four of them in his Motion for Summary

Judgment.1 (See generally Pls Mot. for Summ. J., Dkt. No. 60.) This is because only those facts

are pertinent to the sole legal issue set forth in Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment:

whether punishing Plaintiff for insolence based on the August 2014 letter violates the First

Amendment. Plaintiff, by failing to cite the vast majority of ostensibly material facts set forth

in his Rule 56.1 Statement, essentially concedes that none of those statements are actually

material to that legal dispute. Accordingly, the Court should disregard those statements.

B. Well-Settled Seventh Circuit Law Holds That Santiagos Letter Implicated


Governmental Interest In Security, Order, and Rehabilitation

Seventh Circuit precedent holds that regulation on the type of speech used by the Plaintiff

in his letter to then Governor Quinn is a valid means of promoting prison security. A challenged

regulation or practice allowing censorship of outgoing mail is constitutional if it promotes one

or more of the substantial governmental interests of security, order, and rehabilitation, and is

no greater than is necessary . . . to the protection of the particular governmental interest

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Plaintiffs Motion for Summary Judgment cites only to paragraphs 15, 18, 19, and 26 of his Statement of
Material Facts, as well as Exhibits A, C, and D.
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involved. Procunier v. Martinez, 416 U.S. 396, 413 (1974). Prison security and safety is

legitimate governmental interest justifying limitations on inmates First Amendment rights. See

Rowe v. Shake, 196 F.3d 778, 782 (7th Cir. 1999).

The Seventh Circuit has found that punishment for insolence toward prison officials set

forth in outgoing mail is a permissible restriction on an inmates First Amendment rights. For

example, in Ustrak v. Fairman, 781 F.2d 573, 579 (7th Cir. 1986), the Seventh Circuit upheld an

inmates punishment for violating a regulation forbidding, among other things, disrespect or

insolence. The inmate in Ustrak had written a letter describing prison officers as stupid lazy

assholes and challenging them to bring their fat asses around the gallery at night. Id. at 781

F.2d at 580. The Seventh Circuit held that [i]f inmates have some First Amendment rights, still

they have only those rights that are consistent with prison discipline. . . .We can imagine few

things more inimical to prison discipline than allowing prisoners to abuse guards and each

other. Id. Similarly, in Carroll v. Tucker, 17 Fed.Appx. 392 (7th Cir. 2001), the Seventh Circuit

affirmed summary judgment in favor of defendants where the plaintiff-inmate had been punished

for obscenities directed toward prison officials in a letter written to his wife. Id. at 393. Because

the derogatory comments were directed at and meant to [be] read by prison employees, the

Seventh Circuit found that the inmates punishment was justified by the constitutionally

legitimate regulation forbidding insolence directed toward prison staff. 2 Id. at 394.

Ustrak and Carroll clearly apply to the case at bar, as the Governor of Illinois is, by any

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Plaintiffs assertion that Defendant did not bring a charge specifically relating to outgoing mail (Pls
MSJ at 4, Dkt. No. 60) is irrelevant, given that the Seventh Circuit has found that derogatory insults
directed toward prison officials in outgoing mail violates the insolence rule codified at ILL. ADMIN. CODE
20, 504, APPX. A. See Carroll, 17 F. Appx at 394.

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definition, an official of the Illinois prison system. The Illinois Governor is the executive directly

in charge of the Illinois Department of Corrections. 730 I LL. COMP. STAT. ANN. 5/3-2-5.

Furthermore, Illinois law requires the Governor to periodically visit IDOC facilities to

examin[e] into the affairs and conditions promulgated by IDOC. See 730 I LL. COMP. STAT.

ANN. 5/3-2-4. Santiagos abusive letter concerns the perceived inadequacies of his cell

assignment and the frequency that staff searched his cell. It deals directly with the affairs and

conditions of his incarceration. He wrote the letter to the highest State official that could assist

him with these issues. By subjecting then Governor Quinn to his disrespectful and insolent

attack, Plaintiff implicated the same concerns regarding prison discipline and safety as was

considered by the Seventh Circuit in Ustrak and Caroll.

Plaintiff bases his entire argument in favor of summary judgment on Moore v. Miller, No.

96 C 1347, 1997 WL 269595 (N.D. Ill. May 12, 1997), an unpublished District Court case that

has no precedential value. Price v. NCR Corp., 908 F. Supp. 2d 935, 944 (N.D. Ill. 2012)

(Castillo, R.) ([T]he decisions of other courts in this District are not binding upon this Court and

have no precedential value.) (citing Townsel v. DISH Network L.L.C., 668 F.3d 967, 970 (7th Cir.

2012)). In addition, the facts of Moore are far afield from this case. As conceded by plaintiff,

Moore involved an inmates communication with the Ron Goldman Justice Fund. Moore, 1997

WL 26959 at *1. Thus, the target of the disrespectful communications in Moore had no role in

the administration of the Illinois prison system, and the courts decision was based on the

principle that the language used in that case present[ed] no threat to prison order or security.

Id. at *5. That is not the case here, where Governor Quinn was the executive at the head of the

Illinois Department of Corrections by statute.

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C. The Seventh Circuit Has Found That the Insolence Regulation Is


Constitutionally Permissible

Plaintiff also argues that the insolence statute under which Plaintiff was punished, I LL.

ADMIN. CODE 20, 504, APPX., is overbroad. (Pls Mot. for Summ. J. at 6-7, Dkt. No. 60.)

This argument ignores the Seventh Circuits decision in Carroll, which affirmed summary

judgment against an inmates First Amendment challenge of punishment under the same

insolence statute at issue in this case. See Carroll, 17 F. Appx at 394. In affirming summary

judgment, Carroll explicitly rules that the language, harasses, annoys, or shows disrespect, is

appropriate under Constitutional standards, id. This is the same language Plaintiff here argues is

constitutionally overbroad. Accordingly, Plaintiffs argument lacks merit.

D. Plaintiff Has Failed To Establish Personal Responsibility As To The Majority of


Defendants

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages from Defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983. Thus,

Plaintiff must establish that [each Defendant] was personally responsible for the deprivation of

a constitutional right. Knight v. Wiseman, 590 F.3d 458, 462 (7th Cir. 2009) (quoting Johnson v.

Snyder, 444 F.3d 579, 583 (7th Cir. 2006)). Plaintiff can only satisfy the personal responsibility

requirement of section 1983 if the conduct causing the constitutional deprivation occurs at [the

officials] direction or with his knowledge and consent. Arnett v. Webster, 658 F.3d 742, 757

(7th Cir. 2011). That is, [the official] must know about the conduct and facilitate it, approve it,

condone it, or turn a blind eye. Id. In short, some causal connection or affirmative link between

the action complained about and the official sued is necessary for 1983 recover. Id.

Here, even if the Court finds that Plaintiffs punishment was somehow violative of the

First Amendment, Plaintiff has failed to provide evidence of any sort of connection between

most of the Defendants and this punishment. Indeed, the only Defendants Plaintiff even attempts
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to implicate in his legal arguments are Wright and Franklin, who ultimately found Santiago

guilty of insolence. (Pls Mot. for Summ. J. at 2, Dkt. No. 60.) Because Plaintiff fails to connect

any actions of Rabideau, Turner, Pierce, Tarry Williams, Christopher Williams, or Daniel Reed

to Plaintiffs asserted constitutional injury, the Court should decline to enter summary judgment

against those defendants.

WHEREFORE, based on the foregoing, Defendants respectfully request this Honorable

Court to deny summary judgment against them, and for such further relief the Court finds

reasonable and just.

Respectfully submitted,

LISA MADIGAN /s/ Jeffrey J. Freeman______


Attorney General for Illinois JEFFREY J. FREEMAN
Assistant Attorney General
Office of the Illinois Attorney General
100 West Randolph Street, 13th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60601-3397
(312) 814-4451
JFreeman@atg.state.il.us

Attorney for Defendants

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CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

The undersigned certifies that on May 31, 2016, he electronically filed the foregoing

document with the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for the Northern

District of Illinois using the CM/ECF system. Participants in the case who are registered

CM/ECF users will be served by the CM/ECF system.

/s/ Jeffrey J. Freeman