now move to strike certain paragraphs of the amended complaint
and to dismiss the claims against some of the defendants.
On January 7, 1984, prison officials removed Hanna to
segregation for purposes of investigation of a rule violation.
Hanna was later cited and found guilty of a disciplinary
infraction. Defendants' motion, however, does not address the
legal claims arising out of these events. Instead, it seeks to
strike 31 of the 74 paragraphs in the amended complaint as
superfluous filler failing to allege a basis for a
constitutional violation. It further seeks dismissal of twelve
of the twenty-two defendants for lack of sufficient
involvement in the circumstances giving rise to Hanna's suit.
While the original complaint suffered from a paucity of
critical facts, the amended complaint is burdened with an
excess of needless detail. But a surfeit of factual
allegations is not necessarily grounds to strike the
pleadings, especially when those pleadings are prepared by a
pro se litigant untutored in the requirements of federal
procedural rules. Rule 12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure only allows a court to strike from a pleading "any
redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter."
With the few exceptions noted infra, most of the paragraphs
which defendants seek to strike do not fit within any of the
grounds enumerated in Rule 12(f). Moreover, inasmuch as motions
to dismiss are looked upon with disfavor, courts ordinarily
will not strike matters unless it both has no relevance to the
subject matter of the litigation and is prejudicial to the
objecting party. Lirtzman v. Spiegel, Inc., 493 F. Supp. 1029,
1030 (N.D.Ill. 1980). The amended complaint is discursive and
clearly in violation of the Rule 8 directive to keep pleadings
simple and concise, but the paragraphs defendants challenge are
for the most part neither wholly irrelevant nor prejudicial.
Therefore, the Court shall overlook the prolixity in Hanna's
amended complaint and deny defendants' motion to dismiss
paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17,
18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 41, 42, 50, 52, and 58, 59, and 60.*fn2
Defendants also move to dismiss paragraph 21. Unlike the
paragraphs cited above, paragraph 21 alleges a claim for
relief, not just supporting facts. Specifically, Hanna alleges
that four of the defendants violated his constitutional right
to adequate security by permitting another inmate with a
history of aggressive and assaultive behavior to reside with
him and other less-aggressive inmates in the general
population at Joliet.
The Eighth Amendment entitles prisoners to reasonable
protection from bodily harm at the hands of fellow prisoners.
Madyun v. Thompson, 657 F.2d 868, 875 (7th Cir. 1981). But to
sustain a claim of cruel and unusual punishment, a prisoner
must show that defendants "deliberately deprived" him of his
right to reasonable security from violence. Little v. Walker,
552 F.2d 193, 198 (7th Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 932,
98 S.Ct. 1507, 55 L.Ed.2d 530 (1978). If a prison official has
strong reason to believe that one inmate is about to attack
another yet fails to take any precautions to safeguard the
intended victim, then he may be held liable under the
deliberate indifference standard for injuries suffered by the
prisoner who was assaulted. See Matzker, 748 F.2d at 1149-50.
But allegations evidencing a "mere possibility" of violence are
not enough to infer callous indifference. Estate of Davis v.
Johnson, 745 F.2d 1066, 1071 (7th Cir. 1984).
Hanna's allegations show, at most, only the mere possibility
of attack. Hanna does not allege that the purportedly
dangerous prisoner ever threatened him personally. Indeed, the
only allegations of actual violence or threats of violence
concern past acts at a different correctional facility. The
only misconduct alleged is that defendants permitted an inmate
with a history of aggression to reside in general population
with Hanna. But as the Seventh Circuit noted in United States
ex rel. Miller v. Twomey, 479 F.2d 701 (7th Cir. 1973), cert.
denied, 414 U.S. 1146, 94 S.Ct. 900, 39 L.Ed.2d 102 (1974):
Within the prison itself the warden and his
agents must also be permitted a wide area of
unreviewable discretion. The proper placement or
classification of the especially dangerous inmate
should not present him with a Hobson's choice
between alternative Eighth Amendment claims;
segregation on the basis of mere suspicion or
inadequate history of violence might have
subjected him to a claim by Bright, whereas the
failure to segregate has given rise to a claim by
Id. at 721. Thus, the decision to permit a potentially
dangerous inmate to reside in the general population does not,
without more, give rise to a claim for relief. Id. Accordingly,
the Court dismisses the claim asserted in paragraph 21 of the
In paragraphs 43, 48, and 70, Hanna complains that officials
required him to wear a security belt and handcuffs when he was
released from segregation for visits with friends and family
on two occasions. He alleges his brother, who did not have as
good a prison record as he, did not have to wear security
devices. He asserts that use of the restraints during his
visits was degrading and "wrongfully defamed" him before
family and friends.
The Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized the need for
federal courts to avoid unnecessary encroachment on difficult
questions of prison administration which are more properly
left to the expertise of the trained officials who run the
prisons. Hudson v. Palmer, ___ U.S. ___, 104 S.Ct. 3194, 3199,
82 L.Ed.2d 393 (1984); Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 351 n.
16, 101 S.Ct. 2392, 2401 n. 16, 69 L.Ed.2d 59 (1981); Bell v.
Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 562, 99 S.Ct. 1861, 1886, 60 L.Ed.2d 447
(1979). Matters of security are of particular importance and
administrative decisions in this critical area are especially
deserving of deference from the courts. Soto v. Dickey,
744 F.2d 1260, 1269 (7th Cir. 1984). Because prison officials are
better equipped to determine what practices and procedures are
best suited to maintain institutional security, the courts will
not interfere with the imposition of a particular security
measure unless the need for it is unjustifiably exaggerated.
See Bono v. Saxbe, 620 F.2d 609, 617 (7th Cir. 1980). A
security measure does not constitute a violation of the Eighth
Amendment absent some showing that it constitutes a wanton
infliction of pain that is totally without penological
justification. See Rhodes, 452 U.S. at 346, 101 S.Ct. at 2398;
Garza v. Miller, 688 F.2d 480, 487 (7th Cir. 1982).
The practice at issue here is not so excessive or
unreasonable as to violate Hanna's right to be free from cruel
and unusual punishment. At the time of the visits, Hanna,
unlike his brother, was confined to segregation. Prisoners in
segregation are usually those who have violated prison rules
or are under investigation for possible disciplinary action.
It is not unreasonable to assume that as a class those
prisoners represent a potential threat to security. Therefore,
courts have sanctioned the use of mechanical restraints on
prisoners in segregation-type status whenever they are taken
out of the segregation unit. Tubwell v. Griffith, 742 F.2d 250,
252-53 (5th Cir. 1984); Fulford v. King, 692 F.2d 11 (5th Cir.
1982). While it is true that Hanna contends he was wrongfully
placed in segregation and had no prior history of violence,
these facts alone are not enough to permit this Court to
substitute its judgment for that of prison officials. See
Tubwell, 742 F.2d at 253. For Eighth Amendment
purposes, the mere fact of segregation is sufficient to
justify use of handcuffs and a security belt for purposes of
receiving contact visits. The burden of individualized
determination of dangerousness is not constitutionally
compelled for a prisoner committed to segregation.
Accordingly, the Court dismisses the claim asserted in
paragraphs 43, 48, and 70.
In paragraph 31 of the complaint Hanna alleges he wrote
defendant Lane giving details of the events and grieving the
actions of the other defendants. Lane purportedly never
responded to Hanna's letter. Michael Lane is Director of the
Illinois Department of Corrections. As Director, Lane cannot
be expected to involve himself with the minutiae of daily
events in the lives of the thousands of prisoners incarcerated
in Illinois prisons. Thus, Lane's failure to respond to
Hanna's letter is not grounds for a claim of constitutional
importance. See Crowder v. Lash, 687 F.2d 996, 1006 (7th Cir.
1982); Partee v. Lane, 528 F. Supp. 1254, 1259 (N.D.Ill. 1981).
Lane is therefore dismissed from the action.
Eleven other defendants move to dismiss on grounds that they
were without authority to rectify the allegedly wrongful
assignment of Hanna to segregation or to order his release.
Hanna concedes as to defendants Jenkins, Cooper, Douglas,
Sibley, Loos, L. Yates, Maxwell, and Brljavac and agrees to
their dismissal. He asserts, however, that defendants Cowan,
G. Yates, and Shields knew of the wrongful action against him
and had authority to release him from segregation. On a motion
to dismiss, the court must accept these allegations as true.
Hanrahan v. Lane, 747 F.2d 1137, 1139 (7th Cir. 1984).
Accordingly, the motion to dismiss as to these three defendants
must be denied.
In conclusion, the Court grants defendants' motion to
dismiss the amended complaint as to paragraphs 21, 31, 43, 48,
and 70 and dismisses from the action defendants Lane, Jenkins,
Cooper, Douglas, Siblley, Loos, L. Yates, Maxwell, and
Brljavac. The motion is denied in all other respects.
It is so ordered.