United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Michael J. Reagan United States District Judge
2014, Marshall King filed a pro se civil rights complaint in
this Court under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Then confined at
Pinckneyville Correctional Center, King named three
Defendants -- Warden Donald Gaetz and correctional officers
Byron Lawrence and William Harris. King alleged that he was
subjected to deplorable conditions of confinement and
deprived of due process. Specifically, King alleged that he
was housed in a cell that contained insects, dust in the
ventilation, stains on the wall, and a filthy toilet and
sink; that he was denied cleaning supplies despite multiple
requests; and that Warden Gaetz violated due process in
connection with a May 2012 disciplinary hearing.
threshold review under 28 U.S.C. 1915A, the undersigned
dismissed the due process claim against Gaetz but found that
King had stated a colorable claim for unconstitutional
conditions of confinement in violation of the Eighth
Amendment to the Constitution against Lawrence and Harris
(Doc. 8, p. 3).
case is now before the Court on a June 3, 2016 motion for
summary judgment, filed with supporting memo (Docs. 86 and
87) by Lawrence and Harris. King filed a brief in opposition
(Doc. 89). Provided with the materials supporting the motion
is the transcript of Plaintiff King’s deposition, taken
on January 29, 2016 at Western Correctional Center, where
King is now incarcerated (Doc. 87-1). Provided with the brief
opposing summary judgment is King’s sworn declaration
(Doc. 89-1), an affidavit from a former Pinckneyville
Correctional Center inmate who was housed on R4-D Wing during
parts of 2011 and 2012 (Doc. 89-2), and Defendants’
answers to King’s interrogatories (Doc. 89-1). For the
reasons stated below, the Court partially grants and
partially denies the motion.
Summary of Allegations and Evidence
King was housed at Pinckneyville Correctional Center from
June 25, 2010 to December 3, 2014. He was housed in the cell
at issue in this case, cell R4-D-62, from June 4, 2011 to
August 18, 2013 (Doc. 87-1, pp. 11, 13, 19). When King was
placed in the cell, the vent was fully covered with dust, and
the inside of the toilet bowl was encrusted with feces and
urine (Id. p. 14-15). The toilet and sink did
function (Id., p. 18). The cell had flying insects
which bit King’s arms, chest, and legs (Id.,
p. 15). The bugs were mostly mosquitos, June bugs, or
ladybugs (Id., p. 16). King was on the top bunk, and
at night the insects would swarm the light and bite him
(Id.). There were spider webs in the corners of the
cell and under the bunks (Id. at p. 17).
exterminator also mentions ants and mice. The comment section
of the exterminator notes for the prison (not necessarily
King’s cell) indicates the presence of ants in February
through June 2012 and again in September 2012 (Doc. 89-3, pp.
28-35). Mice were noted on February 15, 2012 (Doc. 89-3, p.
testified that he was kept in the cell 22 hours a day (Doc.
87-1, p. 18). He was able to leave his cell three times a day
for meals until the prison went to a two-meal schedule (Doc.
87-1, pp. 24-25). He went to the prison yard three times a
week and went to the law library weekly (Id. at pp.
25-26). Although the dayroom was open for 45 minutes in the
morning and 90 minutes in the evening, King would only go to
the dayroom during one of those periods (Id., p. 27;
Doc. 89-1, p. 19).
experienced similar unsanitary conditions in another cell,
R4-D-64, through 2014 when the prison started passing out
cleaning supplies, at least partly due to King’s
complaints (Id., pp. 19-20; Doc. 89-1, p. 4).
result of these dirty conditions, King testified that he
experienced medical issues. King claims that he developed a
cough and allergies from the dusty vents and developed
inflammation, scars, and pock marks on his arms, leg, and
chest as a result of the bug bites (Doc. 89-1, p. 3). King
admitted, however, that a nurse diagnosed the inflammation as
psoriasis and gave him cream which helped (Doc. 87-1, p. 35,
also testified that he had mental suffering due to
aggravation from the guards refusing to distribute cleaning
supplies (Id., pp. 36-37). King testified that the
officers just wanted to hang out in the foyer all day and not
be bothered by the inmates; they just ignored the inmates
(Id.). King stated that there were outbreaks of
staph and MRSA in the prison which King believes were due to
the cells not being clean. King testified that he
did not have any of those conditions (Doc. 89-1, p. 4; Doc.
87-1, p. 47).
testified that when he first arrived in the cell, for the
first two days he asked for cleaning supplies daily (Doc.
87-1, pp. 22, 35). He made the request to the wing officer
while in the day room (Id., pp. 22, 36). Throughout
the time he was in the cell, King continued to request
cleaning supplies, but he eventually gave up (Id.).
He was told by the counselor that cleaning supplies were
passed out on the weekends, but King never had access to
supplies (Id., p. 23; Doc. 89-2, p. 39). Records
from the prison indicate that the assistant warden ordered
that cleaning supplies be made available to inmates for
cleaning their cells every Saturday starting in September 21,
2012 (Doc. 89-1, p. 16). Inmate porters also had access to
cleaning supplies, but King testified that they only cleaned
the common areas -- not the individual cells (Doc. 87-1, p.
King was in R4-D-62, maintenance personnel came and vacuumed
the dust out of the vent and called an exterminator for the
insects (Doc. 89-1, p. 21). An exterminator arrived and
sprayed for insects (Id.). The exterminator came
once while King was in cell D-62 and once while he was in
cell D-63 (Id., p. 22). King stopped getting insect
bites for a while after the exterminator came (Doc. 87-1, p.
32). King said the maintenance person and exterminator only
came after King voiced complaints and filed grievances (Doc.
89-1, p. 4)
testified that he spoke to Defendant Harris on one occasion
on a weekend and asked for cleaning supplies (Doc. 87-1, p.
39). This was after King received a counselor’s
response saying that cleaning supplies were passed out on
weekends, so King checked with Harris about the cleaning
supplies (Id., pp. 39-40, 50). Harris said that he
was not passing out cleaning supplies and that he could not
move King to a different cell (Id.). This
conversation took place while Harris was in the dayroom on
the 7-to-3 shift (Id.). Harris did not see
King’s cell (Id., p. 41). King showed Harris
his bug bites but did not ask Harris for medical attention
for the bites, just cleaning supplies (Id.).
testified that he spoke with Defendant Lawrence, who was the
primary wing officer Monday through Friday, at least four or
five times (Doc. 87-1, p. 42, 51). King eventually stopped
talking to Lawrence because Lawrence had an attitude
(Id.). The first time King spoke with Lawrence about
cleaning supplies, Lawrence just looked at King strangely
(Id., p. 43). King repeatedly asked Lawrence for
cleaning supplies in the following days and Lawrence
responded, as King described it, flippantly (Id., p.
43; Doc. 89-1, p. 3). King did not recall the exact words
that Lawrence used to deny cleaning supplies (Id.,
p. 43). King specifically told Lawrence that he wanted to
clean the sink and toilet in his cell, because the toilet had
urine and feces on the inside and the sink had calcium stains
(Id.). King tried to show Lawrence his cell, but
Lawrence made it clear that he did not want to talk to King
(Id., pp. 44-45). King later testified that Lawrence
saw his cell (Id., ...