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Gregory Turley, #N-08083 v. David Rednour

February 11, 2011

GREGORY TURLEY, #N-08083 PLAINTIFF,
v.
DAVID REDNOUR, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge:

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Plaintiff, an inmate in the Menard Correctional Center, brings this action for deprivations of his constitutional rights pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983. This case is now before the Court for a preliminary review of the complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1915A, which provides, in pertinent part:

(a) Screening.-- The court shall review, before docketing, if feasible or, in any event, as soon as practicable after docketing, a complaint in a civil action in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.

(b) Grounds for Dismissal.-- On review, the court shall identify cognizable claims or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if the complaint--

(1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim on which relief may be granted; or

(2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief.

28 U.S.C. § 1915A.

An action or claim is frivolous if "it lacks an arguable basis either in law or in fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 325 (1989). Upon careful review of the complaint and any supporting exhibits, the Court finds that the claims in the complaint are subject to dismissal.

Facts:

Defendants Randle, Hartline, Hulick, Gaetz, Ramos, Rednour, Conder, Stock, Spiller, Thomas, Pautler, and John Does conspired to knowingly exaggerate their responses to security concerns so as to put the entire Menard prison in lockdown as a form of punishment. During such lockdown periods, Plaintiff was locked in his cell 24 hours a day without privileges, exercise, or property.

Defendants Bayer, Ferranto, Mueller, Smith, Hamilton, AFSCME and John Does knowingly contributed to the incidence of lockdowns by organizing employee paid days off so as to create a staff shortage; where the prison is short staff members, it goes into lockdown. These Defendants also caused extended lockdowns due to staff shortages where an attempt was made to negotiate with the union for staff pay raises.

During the lockdowns, Plaintiff was confined to his small cell for nearly 24 hours a day. Defendants Randle, Hulick, Gaetz, and Rednour were aware of the size of Plaintiff's cell, but continued to confine Plaintiff in his cell during lockdown periods, despite the injuries Plaintiff sustained as a result, including sleep deprivation, headaches, a hissing noise in both ears, and colon spasms. Defendants Creason, Sauerwein, Randle, Hulick, and Gaetz were made aware of Plaintiff's health issues, but continued to confine Plaintiff in the small cell.

Discussion:

Plaintiff first claims that the prison lockdown, whereby inmates were kept confined to their cells for nearly 24 hours a day, by Defendants Randle, Hartline, Hulick, Gaetz, Ramos, Rednour, Conder, Stock, Spiller, Thomas, Pautler, and John Does was an unconstitutional means of punishment. Plaintiff further claims that Defendants Bayer, Ferranto, Mueller, Smith, Hamilton, AFSCME, and John Does knowingly contributed to the number of days inmates spent in lockdown. While the Seventh Circuit has stated that long periods in which exercise is denied can amount to cruel and unusual punishment, a short lockdown period does not rise to that level. See Delaney v. DeTella, 256 F.3d 679, 683-84 (7th Cir. 2001)( six-month denial of exercise because of prison lockdown was serious deprivation); Pearson v. Ramos, 237 f.3d 881, 884 (7th Cir. 2001) (denial of out-of-cell exercise for more than 90 days can constitute cruel and unusual punishment). Plaintiff has not stated how long the lockdown lasted, making it impossible for the Court to determine at this stage whether there ...


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