United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
OPINION AND ORDER
L. MILLER, JR. JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Lee Doll, a prisoner representing himself, filed a complaint
alleging that he wasn't allowed to go outside for
recreation at the Indiana State Prison from September 22
through October 26, 2017. The court must review the complaint
and dismiss it if the action is frivolous or malicious, fails
to state a claim, or seeks monetary relief against a
defendant who is immune from such relief. 28 U.S.C. §
1915A(a), (b). Courts apply the same standard under
§1915A as when addressing a motion under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Lagerstrom v. Kingston,
463 F.3d 621, 624 (7th Cir. 2006). To survive dismissal, a
complaint must state a claim for relief that is plausible on
its face. Bissessur v. Indiana Univ. Bd. of Trs.,
581 F.3d 599, 602-03 (7th Cir. 2009). “A claim has
facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content
that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that
the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.”
Id. at 603. Thus, a “plaintiff must do better
than putting a few words on paper that, in the hands of an
imaginative reader, might suggest that something has
happened to her that might be redressed by the
law.” Swanson v. Citibank, N.A., 614 F.3d 400,
403 (7th Cir.2010) (emphasis in original). “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).
Doll alleges that from September 22 through October 26, 2017,
he was denied “any form of access to recreation/outside
air outside of the dormitory.” ECF 1 at 2. Mr. Doll
alleges that this violated his constitutional rights. He sues
ISP Warden Ron Neal and two executive assistants, J. Wallen
and Mark Newkirk.
evaluating a conditions of confinement claim conducts both an
objective and a subjective inquiry. Farmer v.
Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 834 (1994). The objective prong
asks whether the alleged deprivation or condition is
“sufficiently serious” so that “a prison
official's act results in the denial of the minimal
civilized measure of life's necessities.”
Id. Under this standard, inmates are entitled to
adequate recreation. Delaney v. DeTella, 256 F.3d
679, 687 (7th Cir. 2001). The Eighth Amendment can be
violated if correctional officials “deny a prisoner all
opportunity for exercise outside his cell”and if health
issues result. Id. But denying out-of-cell exercise
for less than 90 days is presumptively not cruel and unusual.
Pearson v. Ramos, 237 F.3d 881, 884-85 (7th Cir.
Doll was denied outside recreation for only 34 days and he
doesn't allege he had any resulting health issues. While
he wasn't allowed to go outside the dormitory during that
period, he doesn't say he was denied all opportunities
for exercise - just the opportunity to exercise outside. Mr.
Doll clearly doesn't like the prison's practice of
not allowing inmates to go outside during extended periods of
lockdown, his allegations don't amount to the type of
severe deprivation that would state a constitutional claim.
Id.; see also Antonelli v. Sheahan, 81 F.3d 1422,
1432 (7th Cir. 1995) (only extreme and prolonged situations
where all movement is denied will amount to a constitutional
Doll also complains that not being permitted to go outside
during that 34-day period somehow violated his right to
adequate air. Although inmates are entitled to adequate
accommodations, “the Constitution does not mandate
comfortable prisons, ” Rhodes v. Chapman, 452
U.S. 337, 349 (1981), and inmates shouldn't expect the
“amenities, conveniences, and services of a good
hotel.” Harris v. Fleming, 839 F.2d 1232, 1235
(7th Cir. 1988). Mr. Doll doesn't allege, and it
can't be plausibly inferred from the complaint, that the
prison's air was inadequate. He doesn't allege he
suffered any medical problem or other type of injury from a
lack of outside air. He simply complains that he wasn't
permitted to go outside as desired. That Mr. Doll
couldn't go outside for a month when he wanted to
doesn't amount to a constitutional deprivation. Cf.
Boyd v. Anderson, 265 F.Supp.2d 952, 966 (N.D. Ind.
2003) (inmate's allegation that he was deprived of direct
sunlight failed to state a constitutional claim).
while Mr. Doll sues the Warden and two executive assistants,
he doesn't provide any specific allegations about their
role in these events. He appears to be trying to hold these
defendants liable because the prison has some sort of policy
or practice about when inmates are permitted to go outside.
However, Mr. Doll hasn't alleged any unconstitutional
policy. There is no general respondeat superior
liability under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and “public
employees are responsible for their own misdeeds but not for
anyone else's.” Burks v. Raemisch, 555
F.3d 592, 596 (7th Cir. 2009). Accordingly, Mr. Doll
hasn't stated a claim upon which relief can be granted
against these defendants.
it seems unlikely that Mr. Doll suffered injuries that he
forgot to mention in this complaint, the court will give him
a chance to file an amended complaint if he has facts to add.
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 prison law library.
these reasons, the court GRANTS Gerald Lee Doll until August
6, 2018, to file an amended complaint. If Mr. Doll
doesn't respond by that deadline, his case will be
dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § ...