equipment. However, the Court finds no authority to support
Plaintiffs contention that he was constitutionally entitled to
weight-training machines, basketball equipment or treadmills. The
jail afforded Plaintiff a constitutionally adequate opportunity
C. Shower Conditions
Plaintiff claims that he slipped and fell, injuring himself,
because the shower area had no floor mats or safety tape. However,
the lack of slip-resistant material on the floor does not approach
a deliberate exposure to an unreasonable risk of harm. To rise to
the level of a constitutional violation, a defendant's actions
must reflect a degree of wantonness tantamount to knowing
willingness that the plaintiff will be harmed by the defendant's
conduct. Duckworth v. Franzen, 780 F.2d 645, 654 (7th Cir. 1985),
cert. denied, 479 U.S. 816, 107 S.Ct. 71, 93 L.Ed.2d 28 (1986).
Negligence is not actionable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Id. Any
reasonably intelligent person must know that wet floors are
slippery and require caution. The record does not support an
inference that Defendants acted with deliberate indifference in
falling to put down floor mats or safety tape.
D. Reading Materials
Plaintiff contends that the jail did not provide sufficient
access to recreational reading materials. Plaintiff admits that
the jail provided soft-cover books, although he is dissatisfied
with the number of books available. Furthermore, Plaintiff was
aware that the jail permitted him to obtain reading materials
from the outside, but never ordered books with his own funds, nor
asked his family to bring him books of his liking. Additionally,
Plaintiff was able to watch television and could socialize with
his fellow inmates, as well as with visitors. The Court is aware
of no constitutional guarantee to unlimited pleasure reading, and
Plaintiff was not exposed to conditions amounting to sensory
Plaintiff states that he was given a mattress and a blanket,
but no pillow or sheets. However, "[p]risons are not required
to provide and prisoners cannot expect to receive the services of
a good hotel." Harris v. Fleming, 839 F.2d 1232, 1235 (7th Cir.
1988). Plaintiff had clothes, a bed, and a blanket with which to
cover himself. The record contains no indication that the jail
was unbearably cold at night. Plaintiffs dissatisfaction with the
bedding at the Adams County Jail is not a matter of constitutional
II. EXERCISE OF RELIGION
Plaintiff, who purports to be a Muslim adherent of the Islamic
faith, maintains that Defendants interfered with the exercise of
his religion. In order to defeat summary judgment, a plaintiff
must provide specific factual allegations to support his claim of
religious discrimination. Price v. Rochford, 947 F.2d 829, 832-33
(7th Cir. 1991). Because Plaintiff has failed to provide any
specific evidence to substantiate his belief that Defendants
singled him out as a member of a group, at least in part for the
purpose of causing an adverse effect on that group, summary
judgment is proper. See New Burnham Prairie Homes, Inc. v. Burnham,
910 F.2d 1474, 1481 (7th Cir. 1990).
Plaintiff first claims that he was denied his Koran during his
second stay in jail. However, Plaintiff admits that the Koran he
wanted his mother to send was a hard-cover book. Plaintiff never
asked Defendant Fergueson whether he could have a soft-cover Koran
sent directly from a publisher as opposed to having the hard-cover
book brought from home.
Prison administrators must permit inmates the reasonable
opportunity to exercise religious freedom. Cruz v. Beto,
405 U.S. 319, 322 n. 2, 92 S.Ct. 1079, 1082 n. 2, 31 L.Ed.2d 263
(1972). An inmate's religious rights are subject to restriction,
however. "[A] prison inmate retains those First Amendment rights
that are not inconsistent with his status as a prisoner or with
the legitimate penological objectives of the corrections system."
Pell v. Procunier, 417 U.S. 817, 822, 94 S.Ct. 2800, 2804,
41 L.Ed.2d 495 (1974). "[M]aintaining institutional security and
preserving internal order are essential goals that may require
limitation or retraction of the retained
constitutional rights. . . ." Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 547,
99 S.Ct. 1861, 1878, 60 L.Ed.2d 447 (1978). Federal judges may not
interfere in the daily administration of state prisons barring
substantial evidence that they have acted disproportionately to
correctional needs. Pell, 417 U.S. at 827, 94 S.Ct. at 2806.
When a challenged prison regulation impinges on an inmate's
constitutional rights, the regulation is valid if it is "reasonably
related" to legitimate penological interests. Turner v. Safley,
482 U.S. 78, 89, 107 S.Ct. 2254, 2261, 96 L.Ed.2d 64 (1987);
Siddigi v. Leak, 880 F.2d 904, 909 (7th Cir. 1989). The Court finds
that the ban against hard-cover books, which can be wielded as a
weapon and can be used to conceal contraband, is reasonable and
sound. Accord, see Ward v. Washtenaw County Sheriff, 881 F.2d 325
(6th Cir. 1989); Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. at 548-52, 99 S.Ct. at
1879-1881 (upholding "publisher only" rule). Likewise, a policy
requiring books to be sent directly from the publisher averts
smuggling by family and friends of inmates. Plaintiff was not
denied a Koran, but rather was required to obtain a soft-cover
version from a publisher, rather than having his mother mail a
hard-cover copy. The requirement was reasonably related to
legitimate security interests, and did not inhibit Plaintiffs
ability to practice his religion.
B. Imam Minister
Fergueson refused to permit Plaintiffs Imam minister, Everette
Webb, to visit Plaintiff at the jail because Webb was on parole.
Fergueson's decision meets the Turner standard, as obvious prison
concerns dictate against allowing paroled felons to meet with
incarcerees. See Farrell v. Peters, 951 F.2d 862, 863 (7th Cir.
1992) (upholding rule barring inmates from corresponding with
each other). Moreover, jail officials never barred any other Imam
from visiting the jail. Neither challenged rule had anything to
do with religion; the same decisions would have been made had
Plaintiff desired a hard-cover romance novel or a visit from a
relative who happened to be a felon.
Plaintiff claims an additional infringement of his religious
rights in that he was not provided with a substitute main dish
on days when pork was served at the jail. However, the record is
devoid of any facts to show that Plaintiff made the named
Defendants aware of his religious dietary requirements. Plaintiff
was served three meals a day. On one occasion, Plaintiff did
mention to the jail cook that he was a Muslim and did not eat
pork. When asked to prepare a different main dish, the cook
informed Plaintiff that she could not do that; however, she gave
Plaintiff extra vegetables on that occasion and thereafter
whenever she served pork. There is no indication that Plaintiff
pursued the matter any further with other jail officials, nor is
there any suggestion that pork was served at the jail to offend
Jews and Muslims. See Hunafa v. Murphy, 907 F.2d 46, 48 (7th Cir.
III. ACCESS TO THE COURTS
Plaintiff alleges that the jail did not have a law library,
thus denying him access to the courts. It is well established
that prisoners have a constitutional right of access to the
courts. Johnson by Johnson v. Brelje, 701 F.2d 1201, 1207 (7th
Cir. 1983), relying on Bounds v. Smith, 430 U.S. 817, 821,
97 S.Ct. 1491, 1494, 52 L.Ed.2d 72 (1977). That right is
possessed not only by convicted prisoners, but also by pretrial
detainees who are jailed pending trial. Johnson, 701 F.2d at 1207.
The relevant inquiry is whether the inmate has been given a
"reasonably adequate opportunity" to present his claim. Martin v.
Tyson, 845 F.2d 1451, 1456 (7th Cir. 1988), cert. denied,
488 U.S. 863, 109 S.Ct. 162, 102 L.Ed.2d 133 (1988), citing Bounds,
430 U.S. at 825, 97 S.Ct. at 1496. In the case at bar, there is
no triable issue as to whether Plaintiff was denied meaningful
Plaintiff concedes that he was represented by counsel during
both stays in the Adams County Jail, thus diminishing any concerns
about access. Martin, 845 F.2d at 1456. Plaintiffs assertion that
he wanted to perform his own research in order to ensure that his
public defenders were doing a proper job is without merit. A
lawyer is strongly presumed to have provided his or her client
with reasonable, competent and professional
assistance of counsel. Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668,
687-91, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 2064-66, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984); see also
United States v. Weaver, 882 F.2d 1128, 1138 (7th Cir. 1989).
To the extent that Plaintiff charges that he was denied an
opportunity to perform research concerning jail standards, he
admits that he was well aware of his rights as a pretrial
detainee; in fact, Plaintiff even was able to cite the two
leading cases on that subject during his deposition. Plaintiff
was familiar with the general theories he needed to present, and
knew that he could file a pro se complaint on his own. For that
matter, Plaintiff was able to press the instant lawsuit in a
timely manner. Plaintiff has shown no prejudice to his criminal
case[s], nor does he point to any civil claim that he was unable
to pursue. Accord, see Martin, 845 F.2d at 1456; Howland v.
Kilquist, 833 F.2d 639, 642 (7th Cir. 1987) (no detriment shown
by lack of legal materials); Mann v. Smith, 796 F.2d 79, 84 (5th
Cir. 1986) (no actual injury shown by pretrial detainee).
Plaintiff has shown no harm caused by the lack of a law library
at the Adams County Jail.
IV. DISCIPLINE WITHOUT DUE PROCESS
Finally, Plaintiff asserts that he was disciplined for throwing
a beverage on a jail trustee without due process. On the date of
the incident in question, orange juice was dashed on a jail
trustee. Defendant Fergueson threatened to "lock down" the entire
jail until he found out who had thrown the juice. Plaintiff
admitted his guilt, whereupon Fergueson ordered him confined to
his cell for ten days. Plaintiff was locked in his regular cell,
not in solitary confinement.
Because Plaintiff confessed his guilt, it was unnecessary to
provide a hearing or any other procedural due process in order
for Plaintiff to protest the charges. Furthermore, Plaintiffs
only "punishment" was confinement to his cell for ten days, with
a loss of the special privileges enjoyed by those who have free
movement. Jail administrators must be accorded wide deference in
the measures employed to preserve institutional order and security.
Bell, 441 U.S. at 544-48, 99 S.Ct. at 1876-1879. Inmates —
whether pretrial detainees or convicts — cannot be permitted
to assault correctional officers with impunity. The Court finds
no constitutional violation.
Plaintiffs three-sentence affidavit, submitted in response to
Defendants' motion for summary judgment, does not create a triable
issue. Pippins states, simply: "Plaintiff categorically denies and
contradicts all assertions that Defendants make in their Request
for Summary Judgment." However, Defendants' statement of facts is
based principally on Plaintiffs own deposition testimony. Plaintiff
may not contradict his previous sworn statements, see Essiek v.
Yellow Freight Systems, Inc. 965 F.2d 334, 335 (7th Cir. 1992); his
general, across-the-board denial is insufficient to establish a
material issue of fact.
In sum, no material facts are in dispute, and the Court finds
that Defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Even viewing the record in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff, no reasonable person could find that the conditions at
the Adams County Jail violated Pippins' constitutional rights. The
record demonstrates adequate reasons for Plaintiffs somewhat
restrictive environment, and Plaintiff was not singled out for
punishment (except on the occasion where he admitted wrongdoing).
There is no evidence whatsoever of a policy or practice of
unconstitutional treatment of pretrial detainees at the Adams
County Jail. Accordingly, Plaintiffs motion for summary
judgment will be denied, and Defendants' cross-motion for summary
judgment will be granted.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Plaintiffs motion for partial
summary judgment is denied.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants' motion for summary
judgment is allowed. The Clerk of the Court is directed to
enter judgment in favor of Defendants and against Plaintiff
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56.
The case is terminated and the parties are to bear their own
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's third motion for
appointment of counsel is denied as moot.