United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DENYING
MOTION TO AMEND
E. SCHREIER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Jeremy Bauer, is an inmate at the South Dakota State
Penitentiary (SDSP) in Sioux Falls. He filed a pro se civil
rights lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Docket 1.
Defendant, Jacob Glaser, now moves for summary judgment.
Docket 16. In response, Bauer moves to amend his complaint.
Docket 29. For the reasons stated below, both motions are
April 20, 2016, Bauer filed a complaint alleging violations
of his right of access to the courts and his rights under the
Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. Docket 1. The court
screened Bauer's complaint and dismissed all defendants
other than Glaser and all claims other than Bauer's
access to the courts claims. Docket 9. Bauer has two access
to the courts claims: (1) Glaser delayed sending Bauer's
motion for certificate of probable cause to the South Dakota
Supreme Court, and (2) Glaser delayed sending Bauer's
motion to reconsider to the South Dakota Supreme Court. On
August 10, 2016, Glaser moved for summary judgment, arguing
that Bauer failed to exhaust his claims through the prison
grievance system. Docket 16. In response, Bauer moved to
amend his complaint. Docket 29. His proposed amended
complaint attempts to cure the deficiencies of his Equal
Protection claim and responds to Glaser's motion for
summary judgment. Id.
judgment is appropriate if 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). The moving party can meet this burden by
presenting evidence that there is no dispute of material fact
or by showing that the nonmoving party has not presented
evidence to support an element of its case on which it bears
the ultimate burden of proof. Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986).
party opposing a properly supported motion for summary
judgment may not rest on mere allegations or denials, but
must set forth specific facts in the record showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial.” Denn v. CSL
Plasma, Inc., 816 F.3d 1027, 1032 (8th Cir. 2016)
(citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 256 (1986)). For purposes of summary judgment, the
facts, and inferences drawn from those facts, are
“viewed in the light most favorable to the party
opposing the motion.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co.
v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986) (quoting
United States v. Diebold, Inc., 369 U.S. 654, 655
Glaser's Motion for Summary Judgment.
argues he is entitled to summary judgment because Bauer has
failed to exhaust his administrative remedies. Under the
Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), “[n]o action shall
be brought with respect to prison conditions under section
1983 . . . by a prisoner confined in any jail, prison, or
other correctional facility until such administrative
remedies as are available are exhausted.” 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e(a). The purpose of the exhaustion requirement is
to afford corrections officials the opportunity to address
inmate complaints internally before such matters are
litigated. Johnson v. Jones, 340 F.3d 624, 627-28
(8th Cir. 2003) (quoting Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S.
516, 524- 25 (2002)). “In some instances, corrective
action taken in response to an inmate's grievance might
improve prison administration and satisfy the inmate, thereby
obviating the need for litigation.” Id. at 628
(quoting Porter, 534 U.S. at 524-25).
satisfy the PLRA's exhaustion requirement,
prisoners must ‘complete the administrative review
process in accordance with the applicable procedural rules,
'-rules that are defined not by the PLRA, but by the
prison grievance process itself. Compliance with the prison
grievance procedures, therefore, is all that is required by
the PLRA to ‘properly exhaust.' The level of detail
necessary in a grievance to comply with grievance procedures
will vary from system to system and claim to claim, but it is
the prison's requirements, and not the PLRA, that define
the boundaries of proper exhaustion.
Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199, 218 (2007) (quoting
Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 88 (2006)).
South Dakota Department of Corrections' procedure for an
administrative remedy requires that, prior to filing a
lawsuit, an inmate must follow a two-step process. Docket
18-2 at 3. First, the inmate must file an Informal Resolution
Request. Id. Second, if the issue is not resolved,
the inmate must file a Request for Administrative Remedy.
Id. Glaser moves for summary judgment, arguing that