Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Circuit Will County, Illinois, No. 10-MR-611 Honorable Marzell L. Richardson, Jr., Judge, Presiding
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice O'brien
JUSTICE O'BRIEN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Justices Lytton and Wright concurred in the judgment and opinion.
¶ 1 Plaintiff Daniel Duane, an inmate at Stateville Correctional Center, brought a mandamus action seeking the trial court order defendant Marcus Hardy, the Stateville warden, to comply with statutory provisions Duane maintains allow him one hour of out-of-cell exercise per day. The trial court dismissed Duane's mandamus petition for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. He appealed. We affirm.
¶ 3 Plaintiff Daniel Duane is an inmate incarcerated by the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) at Stateville Correctional Center. Duane suffers from Type II diabetes, hepatitis C, hypothyroidism, a goiter, and a right inguinal hernia. In July 2009, while housed at Menard Correctional Center, Duane filed an IDOC grievance, complaining that he was denied one hour daily out-of-cell exercise he claimed was mandated by section 3-7-2(c) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Unified Code). 730 ILCS 5/3-7-2(c) (West 2008). Duane forwarded the grievance to the Menard grievance officer, the Menard warden, and twice to the Administrative Review Board (ARB). There is no record of any responses to the grievance. On December 20, 2009, Duane filed another grievance in which he complained that IDOC denied him the ability to monitor his blood sugar and to obtain adequate exercise to combat his diabetes. He did not receive a response from his IDOC counselor, and forwarded the grievance to the grievance officer and twice to the ARB. The record does not indicate any responses to the grievance. In February 2010, Duane was transferred to Stateville, and the following month, Duane forwarded the July and December 2009 grievances to defendant Marcus Hardy, the warden at Stateville. There are no responses from Hardy in the record.
¶ 4 In June 2010, Duane filed a petition for mandamus in which he argued that Hardy refused to perform "specific ministerial duties" such as allowing one hour of out-of-cell exercise time per day pursuant to section 3-7-2(c) of the Unified Code. 730 ILCS 5/3-7-2(c) (West 2008). Duane further argued that he has a "clear entitlement to performance"of the out-of-cell exercise requirement and that his medical conditions necessitate exercise as "an indispensable component of preventive medicine," the denial of which adversely affects his health. Duane also argued the denial of his one hour of outof-cell exercise without notice or hearing violated his due process rights. Copies of Duane's grievances were attached to the petition. On the copies, Duane had noted the administrative steps he took and the lack of response to the grievance. Hardy responded to the mandamus petition with a motion to dismiss. In his motion, Hardy argued that Duane failed to state a claim because the statutory provision on which Duane relied does not require that inmates be given one hour of exercise out of their cells each day, but rather only that inmates be given one hour of out-of-cell time. Pursuant to the trial court's order, Hardy provided IDOC records reflecting out-of-cell movements of Duane's "gallery." The records established that Duane was given out-of-cell opportunities for an hour each day in compliance with the statutory directives.
¶ 5 Duane responded with an addendum to his mandamus petition, asserting that because IDOC was required to allow inmates to exercise out of their cells for one hour each day, any other out-of-cell time that IDOC records indicate occurred does not comply with the statutory requirements. In his addendum, Duane argued that the statutory language of section 3-7-2(c) of the Unified Code is vague and urged the trial court to look to other contemporaneous interpretations of the statutory requirement, which he maintained indicate it provides for one hour of out-of-cell exercise daily. He attached affidavits from four other inmates from his cell block in which they attested that out-of-cell time for meals amounted only to approximately 30 or 40 minutes and included only 10 to 12 minutes of actual physical movement. Duane also attached the Stateville handbook, which referenced inmate rights, including recreation and exercise. Excerpts from Westlaw key digests and Illinois Law and Practice were also attached as support for the exercise requirement.
¶ 6 Duane filed a motion to strike as irrelevant the IDOC records indicating any non-exercise outof-cell time. He contended that the information provided by the IDOC was misleading and not reflective of his individual movements. During the pendency of this mandamus action, Duane filed an additional IDOC grievance complaining that the time he is allotted to eat his meals is insufficient, prevents him from properly chewing and digesting his foods, and causes him indigestion.
The IDOC counselor responded that in order for the entire institution to eat, inmates are given 10 minutes "per chow hall to eat." The record does not include any other responses to the grievance. Duane noted that he submitted the grievance to the grievance officer in August 2011 and to the ARB in September 2011. The trial court held this grievance admissible, but denied Duane's motion to strike and found the IDOC documents also admissible.
¶ 7 A hearing took place on Hardy's motion to dismiss. The trial court granted the dismissal with prejudice, finding that the statute provides an hour of out-of-cell time but does not require that it be specifically for one hour of daily exercise. According to the trial court, under the statute, out-of-cell time may consist of "everyday activities such as meals, showers, counseling, classes, etc." and the evidence established that Duane is "outside of his cell at least one hour each day during his normal activities." The trial court further found Duane failed "to demonstrate a clear right to a daily release from his cell of one hour exclusively for exercise." Duane appealed.
¶ 9 The issue on appeal is whether the trial court erred when it granted Hardy's motion to dismiss Duane's mandamus petition. Duane argues that the trial court based its dismissal order on an incorrect interpretation of section 3-7-2(c) of the Unified Code. Per Duane's interpretation, he is entitled to one hour of out-of-cell exercise daily, which Hardy failed to provide. We note as a preliminary matter that Duane has satisfied the exhaustion requirements by indicating the grievance process he pursued and the lack of response from IDOC. ...