United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, South Bend Division
JERRY D. HARDMAN, Plaintiff,
WILLIAM R. HYATTE, et al., Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
L. MILLER, JR. JUDGE
D. Hardman, a prisoner without a lawyer, filed a complaint
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against thirteen defendants
because his recreation privileges were restricted while he
was housed at the Miami Correctional Facility. ECF 1. The
court must review the 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. 28 U.S.C. §
1915A. The court applies the same standard as when deciding a
motion to dismiss 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. A pro se complaint must be
liberally construed “however inartfully pleaded.”
Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007).
Hardman alleges that his access to recreation was restricted
in violation of prison policies and the Constitution. He says
he was restricted to indoor recreational facilities and was
denied all outdoor recreation between October 8, 2018, and
December 11, 2018. (ECF 1 at 3.) Elsewhere in the complaint,
Mr. Hardman suggests that he was also denied indoor
recreation. (ECF 1 at 5, noting that his “recreational
abilities were forfeited from indoor recreation” during
this same time period.)
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). However, “the
Constitution does not mandate comfortable prisons, ”
and conditions that may seem “restrictive” or
“even harsh” are “part of the penalty that
criminal offenders pay for their offenses against
society.” Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337,
347-349 (1981). While the nature of the restrictions imposed
upon Mr. Hardman aren't entirely clear, he doesn't
seem to allege that he was deprived of all physical activity.
A total lack of exercise would state a claim when
“movement is denied and muscles are allowed to atrophy,
” French v. Owens, 777 F.2d 1250, 1255 (7th
Cir. 1985), but the denial of “desirable, entertaining
diversions . . . [do] not raise a constitutional issue,
” Harris v. Fleming, 839 F.2d 1232, 1236 (7th
Recreation and the ability to obtain physical exercise have
been properly recognized as important human needs. See,
e.g., Davenport v. DeRobertis, 844 F.2d 1310,
1315-16 (7th Cir.1988). However, there is no constitutional
right to a specific form of recreation. Rather, only the
objective harm that can result from a significant
deprivation of movement implicates the Eighth Amendment.
French v. Owens, 777 F.2d 1250, 1255 (7th Cir.1985)
(the Eighth Amendment is implicated where a denial of
exercise causes the muscles to atrophy and threatens the
health of the individual).
Douglas v. DeBruyn, 936 F.Supp. 572, 578 (S.D. Ind.
1996). So an allegation that Mr. Hardiman was denied access
to recreation time does not state a claim on which relief can
be granted. That the restrictions placed on Mr. Hardman
violated the prison's policy does not state a claim on
which relief can be granted in federal court. Scott v.
Edinburg, 346 F.3d 752, 760 (7th Cir. 2003)
(“However, 42 U.S.C. § 1983 protects plaintiffs
from constitutional violations, not violations of state laws
or, in this case, departmental regulations and police
this complaint doesn't state a claim, and while it seems
unlikely that Mr. Hardman would be able to state a claim,
it's not possible to definitively say that he could not
do so, so the court will give him time to file an amended
complaint. See Luevano v. Wal-Mart, 722 F.3d 1014
(7th Cir. 2013).
these reasons, the court:
(1) DIRECTS the clerk to place this cause number on a blank
Prisoner Complaint form and send it to Jerry D. Hardman; and
(2) GRANTS Mr. Hardman to and including August 9,
2019, to file an amended complaint.
Hardiman doesn't tender an amended complaint by the
deadline, this case will be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A because the current complaint does ...