United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
P. Simon Judge United States District Court
Ladig, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a complaint.
“A document filed pro se is to be liberally construed,
and a pro se complaint, however inartfully pleaded, must be
held to less stringent standards than formal pleadings
drafted by lawyers.” Erickson v. Pardus, 551
U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quotation marks and citations omitted).
Nevertheless, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, I must
review the merits of a prisoner complaint and dismiss it if
the action is frivolous or malicious, fails to state a claim
upon which relief may be granted, or seeks monetary relief
against a defendant who is immune from such relief. “In
order to state a claim under § 1983 a plaintiff must
allege: (1) that defendants deprived him of a federal
constitutional right; and (2) that the defendants acted under
color of state law.” Savory v. Lyons, 469 F.3d
667, 670 (7th Cir. 2006).
complains that, during an eighteen-day term of disciplinary
segregation, he was only able to obtain six hours of sleep
per night due to hourly loudspeaker announcements and lights
throughout the rest of the day. He also complains that he was
denied access to telephones, television, radio, commissary,
church, and recreational activities and that he was required
to be in his cell for twenty-three hours per day.
alleges that the conditions of his confinement during his
time in disciplinary segregation were unconstitutional. The
Eighth Amendment prohibits conditions of confinement that
deny inmates “the minimal civilized measure of
life's necessities.” Townsend v. Fuchs,
522 F.3d 765, 773 (7th Cir. 2008). Inmates are entitled to
adequate food, clothing, shelter, bedding, hygiene materials,
and sanitation. Knight v. Wiseman, 590 F.3d 458, 463
(7th Cir. 2009); Gillis v. Litscher, 468 F.3d 488,
493 (7th Cir. 2006). However, “[t]he Constitution does
not mandate comfortable prisons.” Rhodes v.
Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 349 (1981). “Therefore,
extreme deprivations are required to make out a
conditions-of-confinement claim.” Delaney v.
DeTella, 256 F.3d 679, 683 (7th Cir. 2001).
the sleep-related conditions are the only conditions
described by Ladig that relate to life's necessities.
See Garrett v. Thaler, 560 Fed.Appx. 375, 379 (5th
Cir. 2014) (holding that sleep is a basic life necessity);
Walker v. Schult, 717 F.3d 119, 126 (2d Cir. 2013)
(same). However, courts that have specifically considered
claims asserting that prison conditions permitting only six
hours of sleep are unconstitutional have not allowed such
claims to proceed. See e.g., Reynolds v. Herrington,
2014 WL 1330190, at *4 (W.D. Ky. 2014); Allen v.
Hardy, 2012 WL 5363415, at *8 (N.D. Ill. 2012);
Pratt v. New Hampshire Dep't of Corr., 2006 WL
995121, at *15 (D.N.H. 2006); Alger v. Werner, 391
F.Supp. 1051, 1052 (M.D. Pa. 1974). Additionally, in this
case, Ladig spent a relatively short period of time in
disciplinary segregation, and Ladig does not suggest that the
inability to sleep for more than six hours resulted in any
other harm. Therefore, the complaint does not state an
unconstitutional conditions of confinement claim.
also vaguely asserts that his First Amendment rights were
violated. In the context of the First Amendment, “when
a prison regulation impinges on inmates' constitutional
rights, the regulation is valid if it is reasonably related
to legitimate penological interests.” Turner v.
Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 89 (1987); Kaufman v.
McCaughtry, 419 F.3d 678, 682-83 (7th Cir. 2005).
Considering that Ladig was denied access to mail, telephones,
and church for disciplinary reasons and for only eighteen
days, the complaint does not state a claim under the First
conclude that Ladig's complaint does not state a claim,
but I will nevertheless give him the opportunity to file an
amended complaint. See Luevano v. Wal-Mart, 722 F.3d
1014 (7th Cir. 2013). A copy of this court's approved
form - Prisoner Complaint (INND Rev. 8/16) - is available
upon request from the jail law library. However, merely
because he is permitted to file an amended complaint is not a
reason for him to do so. Ladig should file an amended
complaint only if he believes that he has a meritorious
federal claim. If he chooses to file an amended complaint, he
must put the cause number of this case which is on the first
page of this order. He should name the individuals
responsible for his claims as defendants and must describe
his interactions with each defendant in detail, including
names, dates, locations, and explain how each defendant was
responsible for subjecting him to inhumane conditions or for
otherwise violating his constitutional rights.
these reasons, the court:
GRANTS Johnathan Ladig until June 11, 2018, to file
an amended complaint; and
CAUTIONS Johnathan Ladig that, if he does not respond by that
deadline, this case will be dismissed without further notice
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § ...