Junior v. Anderson

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Case Number: 
No. 11-2999
Decision Date: 
July 30, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Reversed and remanded
Dist. Ct. erred in granting defendant-prison guard’s motion for summary judgment in plaintiff-prisoner’s section 1983 action alleging that defendant failed to protect plaintiff from attack by other inmates, under circumstances where plaintiff alleged that defendant was not at her post when certain inmates attacked him at time when said inmates should have been locked in their cells. While Dist. Ct. found that plaintiff’s allegations demonstrated that defendant was, at worst, merely negligent, jury could find that defendant was deliberately indifferent to plaintiff's safety where: (1) prison rule, which limited number of inmates who could leave their cells, was based on concern for prisoner safety; (2) defendant was actually aware at time of assault that certain cells should have been locked up, but were not locked prior to assault; and (3) defendant’s decision to leave her post for 20 minutes allowed inmates to discover that no one was watching their movements. Dist. Ct. also erred in failing to recruit counsel for plaintiff where plaintiff’s transfer to distant prison severely impacted his ability to obtain relevant documents or otherwise prepare for case.