The opinion of the court was delivered by: SAMUEL DER-YEGHIAYAN, District Judge
This matter is before the court on Defendants' motion for
summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, we grant the
motion for summary judgment in its entirety.
Dugan is currently incarcerated at Pontiac Correctional Center,
but was formerly incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center
("Stateville"). Dugan claims that Defendants, various officials
at Stateville, violated his constitutional rights by denying him
access to the same programs that were available to the general
prison population while Dugan was confined in protective custody
("PC") at Stateville. Dugan claims that he was denied access to
the prison law library, was not allowed to have a job at the prison, was denied access to the same religious
services, and the same recreational activities, and was denied
access to other programs offered by Stateville. Dugan has brought
this action alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section
Summary judgment is appropriate when the record, viewed in the
light most favorable to the nonmoving party, reveals that there
is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party
is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c). In seeking a grant of summary judgment the moving party
must identify "those portions of `the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with
the affidavits, if any,' which it believes demonstrate the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(c)). This initial burden may be satisfied by presenting
specific evidence on a particular issue or by pointing out "an
absence of evidence to support the non-moving party's case."
Id. at 325. Once the movant has met this burden, the non-moving
party cannot simply rest on the allegations in the pleadings,
but, "by affidavits or as otherwise provided for in [Rule 56],
must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). A "genuine issue" in the
context of a motion for summary judgment is not simply a
"metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp,
475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). Rather, a genuine issue of material fact
exists when "the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); Insolia v. Philip
Morris, Inc., 216 F.3d 596, 599 (7th Cir. 2000). The court must
consider the record as a whole, in a light most favorable to the
non-moving party, and draw all reasonable inferences that favor
the non-moving party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255; Bay v.
Cassens Transport Co., 212 F.3d 969, 972 (7th Cir. 2000).
Dugan attempts to support his position with his own affidavit
and affidavits of several other inmates. Defendants have moved to
strike the affidavits. We agree that in regards to some of the
affidavits, they are not properly notarized and are not properly
executed. Also, the affidavits include broad generalizations that
are too vague to be of assistance to the trier of fact. The
affidavits fail to point to specific complaints or dates and the
trier of fact would therefore be required to speculate based upon
the generalized comments included within the affidavits. Also,
certain statements included in the affidavits would be
misleading, unduly prejudicial, and inadmissible for other evidentiary reasons as well. Therefore, we
grant Defendants' motion to strike the affidavits as improper.
II. Denial of Access to the Courts Claim
Dugan argues that he was denied access to the law library. A
plaintiff must show that he suffered an injury from the denial of
access to the court in order to maintain a Section 1983 claim for
denial of access. Nance v. Vieregge, 147 F.3d 589, 591 (7th
Cir. 1998). For a denial of access to the courts claim "a
prisoner must show that unjustified acts or conditions `hindered
his efforts to pursue a legal claim.'" Nance v. Vieregge,
147 F.3d 589, 591 (7th Cir. 1998) (quoting in part Lewis v.
Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 351 (1996)). Dugan claims that his box of
legal papers was in the library and that he was not able to go to
the law library during November of 2001, causing his appeal in
case 99 C 4382 to be dismissed. This claim is not borne out by
the undisputed evidence. According to the public record docket in
that case, which was dismissed by Judge Zagel on June 7, 2001,
Dugan's appeal was dismissed for failure to pay the filing fee.
On October 26, 2001, an order issued indicating that Dugan was
required to pay the filing fee by November 7, 2001. Dugan failed
to do so which resulted in the final dismissal of the appeal on
November 28, 2001. He has failed to show that he was prevented
from pursuing a meritorious claim, as his claim had already been
dismissed. The evidence thus is undisputed that his appeal was
dismissed due to his failure to pay his fling fee rather than his
inability to present adequate legal arguments. Neither has Dugan pointed to evidence
that shows that his efforts were hindered in regards to the
pursuit of any other legal claims. Also, the prison had to
institute a general lockdown for the entire prison population for
legitimate security reasons which prevented inmates from using
the prison library at times. Therefore, we grant Defendants'
motion for summary judgment on the denial of access to the court
III. Denial of Access to Recreation
Dugan claims that his recreational activities were restricted
as a result of being placed in PC. As the Seventh Circuit
recognized in Antonelli v. Sheahan, 81 F.3d 1422 (7th Cir.
1996), the "[l]ack of exercise may rise to a constitutional
violation in extreme and prolonged situations where movement is
denied to the point that the inmate's health is threatened."
Id. at 1432. In Thomas v. Ramos, 130 F. 3d 754 (7th Cir.
1997), the Seventh Circuit discussed the conditions of
confinement related to the sufficiency of exercise in prison.
Id. at 762-64. The court held that there is no Eighth Amendment
violation where a prisoner had room in his cell to do push-ups,
sit-ups, jogging in place and step-ups. Id.
In the instant action, Dugan had much more than that. He had
periodic yard access and gym access, even when in X house. Dugan
complains that he could not go to the weight room, (P. Dep. pp.
73-74), and complains that PC inmates were not allowed to use the
South Yard for exercise like the general population. However, Dugan was in a prison, not a health club. He had no right to
dictate access to his preferred workout facilities. It is not
genuinely disputed that the prison must accommodate more than
2,900 inmates and thus it clearly was not practicable to tie up
the South Yard for a select few PC inmates or to tie up prison
staff to escort the PC inmates to the opposite side of the
prison. Dugan has not shown that he suffered any injury due to
being unable to exercise in his preferred place and fashion.
Also, the evidence is clear that the lockdowns ...