United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
OPINION AND ORDER
WILLIAM C. LEE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
Lee Hill, 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).
Nevertheless, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, this 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. “In order to state a claim under [42 U.S.C.]
§ 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).
complaint, Hill alleges that, on May 27, 2018, at the Allen
County Jail, he was wrongfully disciplined for acting as a
lookout for his cellmates as they engaged in a physical
altercation in his cell, which resulted in segregation and
the loss of work release privileges. Since his release from
segregation, Hill has been assigned to overcrowded cells
where is required to sleep on the floor or in a makeshift
bed, which is called a boat, with cellmates afflicted with
hepatitis C. He is not permitted an opportunity to exercise
or to go outside for recreation, and there are flying, biting
insects throughout the unit, but mainly in the shower.
Additionally, inmates are able to pick the locks on cell
doors to fight with other inmates, which causes Hill to lose
sleep. He cannot hear when using the telephone due to other
inmates, and there are no educational opportunities at the
jail. Hill seeks money damages for the wrongful disciplinary
measures and injunctive relief to address the jail
start, Hill names Sheriff David Gladieux as the sole
defendant, alleging that he runs the Allen County Jail.
“It is well established that there is no respondeat
superior liability under § 1983.” Gayton v.
McCoy, 593 F.3d 610, 622 (7th Cir. 2010).
“[Section] 1983 lawsuits against individuals require
personal involvement in the alleged constitutional
deprivation to support a viable claim.” Palmer v.
Marion Cty., 327 F.3d 588, 594 (7th Cir. 2003). Because
Hill does not explain how Sheriff Gladieux was personally
involved with his claims, Hill cannot proceed on a claim of
money damages against him. Nevertheless, Hill may proceed on
injunctive relief claims against Sheriff Gladieux in his
official capacity. See Gonzalez v. Feinerman, 663
F.3d 311, 315 (7th Cir. 2011).
asserts that the jail conditions violate his rights under the
Eighth Amendment. He alleges that the cells are overcrowded,
that he cannot sleep in this setting, that his housing unit
is infested with flying insects, and that he is not allowed
to exercise or to go outside for recreation. In evaluating an
Eighth Amendment conditions of confinement claim, the court
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 is
“sufficiently serious” so that “a prison
official's act results in the denial of the minimal
civilized measure of life's necessities.”
Id. Inmates are entitled to be provided with
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). In some instances, the denial of any
opportunity to exercise may also violate the Constitution.
Delaney v. DeTella, 256 F.3d 679, 686 (7th Cir.
2001). However, “the Constitution does not mandate
comfortable prisons, ” Rhodes v. Chapman, 452
U.S. 337, 349 (1981), and inmates cannot expect the
“amenities, conveniences, and services of a good
hotel.” Harris v. Fleming, 839 F.2d 1232, 1235
(7th Cir. 1988); see also Rice ex rel. Rice v. Corr. Med.
Servs., 675 F.3d 650 (7th Cir. 2012) (“Prison
conditions may be harsh and uncomfortable without violating
the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and
unusual punishment.”). At this stage of the
proceedings, Hill states a plausible injunctive relief claim
with respect to the jail conditions at the Allen County Jail.
“[t]he PLRA circumscribes the scope of the court's
authority to enter an injunction in the corrections context.
Where prison conditions are found to violate federal rights,
remedial injunctive relief must be narrowly drawn, extend no
further than necessary to correct the violation of the
Federal right, and use the least intrusive means necessary to
correct the violation of the Federal right.”
Westefer v. Neal, 682 F.3d 679 (7th Cir. 2012).
Therefore, injunctive relief, if granted, will be limited to
ordering the defendants to remedy the jail conditions to the
extent required by the Eighth Amendment.
these reasons, the court:
(1) GRANTS Kevin Lee Hill leave to proceed on an injunctive
relief claim against David Gladieux in his official capacity
to remedy the conditions at the Allen County Jail to the
extent required by the Eighth Amendment;
(2) DISMISSES all other claims;
(3) DIRECTS the clerk and the United States Marshals Service
to issue and serve process on David Gladieux at the Allen
County Jail with a copy of this order and the complaint (ECF
1) as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1915(d); and
(4) ORDERS, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997e(g)(2), David
Gladieux to respond, as provided for in the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure and N.D. Ind. L.R. 10-1(b), only to the
claims for which Kevin Lee Hill has been ...