United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. Rosenstengel Chief U.S. District Judge
Frederick Thomas, an inmate in the Illinois Department of
Corrections who is currently incarcerated in Lawrence
Correctional Center (“Lawrence”), brings this
civil rights action pro se pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983 to address unconstitutional conditions of
confinement at Lawrence. Plaintiff specifically complains
about a lack of hot water in his cell. (Doc. 4, pp. 1-9). He
requests money damages and injunctive relief. (Id. at
pp. 1, 7).
Complaint is now before the Court for preliminary review
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, which requires the Court to
screen prisoner complaints and filter out non-meritorious
claims. 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a). Any portion of a complaint
that is legally frivolous or malicious, fails to state a
claim, or asks for money damages from a defendant who by law
is immune from such relief must be dismissed. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A(b). The factual allegations of the pro
se complaint are liberally construed. Rodriguez v.
Plymouth Ambulance Serv., 577 F.3d 816, 821 (7th Cir.
makes the following allegations in the Complaint: While
housed in Cell R6-C Wing-Lower 5 from May 21-28, 2019,
Plaintiff had no access to hot water. (Doc. 4, pp. 1-7). As a
result, he was unable to properly shower, wash hands, or
clean dishes. (Id. at p. 2). Defendants were aware
of Plaintiff's “general needs” and knew, or
should have known, that having no hot water violated his
rights under the Eighth Amendment. (Id. at pp. 4-7).
on the allegations, the Court deems it appropriate to
designate a single count in the pro se Complaint:
Amendment claim against Defendants for denying Plaintiff
access to hot water in his cell (#R6-C Wing-Lower 5) from May
parties and the Court will use these designations in all
future pleadings and orders, unless otherwise directed by
this Court. Any claim mentioned in the Complaint but
not addressed herein is considered dismissed
without prejudice under
evaluating an Eighth Amendment claim for unconstitutional
conditions of confinement, the Court conducts an objective
and a subjective inquiry. Farmer v. Brennan, 511
U.S. 825, 834 (1994). To satisfy the objective inquiry, the
alleged deprivation must be sufficiently serious.
Id. at 837. To satisfy the subjective inquiry, the
defendants must act with deliberate indifference.
Plaintiff's claim satisfies neither requirement.
are sufficiently serious if they deprive an inmate of the
minimal civilized measure of life's necessities, such as
food, clothing, heat, shelter, bedding, cleaning supplies,
and hygiene items. Gillis v. Litscher, 468 F.3d 488,
493 (7th Cir. 2006) (collecting cases). The Seventh Circuit
has made clear that an “adverse condition of
confinement, if endured over a significant time, can become
an Eighth Amendment violation even if it would not be
impermissible if it were only a short-term problem.”
Knight v. Wiseman, 590 F.3d 458, 463 (7th Cir.
2009). But a week without hot water amounts to an
inconvenience and nothing more. Prisoners do not have a
constitutional right to hot water. Hopkins v.
Klindworth, 556 Fed.Appx. 497 (7th Cir. 2014) (district
court properly dismissed claim regarding placement in cell
lacking hot water) (citing Lopez v. Robinson, 914
F.2d 486, 492 (4th Cir. 1990) (“[T]here is no clearly
established, sufficiently contoured, right to hot showers in
prison.”)). This condition is simply not serious enough
to support a claim.
the allegations do not suggest that Defendants even knew
about the lack of hot water in Cell R6-C Wing-Lower 5.
Plaintiff makes no allegation that he notified them of the
water problem, requested repair of it, or requested repair of
any related issue. Absent any allegations of Defendants'
actual knowledge or intentional disregard of the water
problem, Plaintiff cannot demonstrate that they were
deliberately indifferent to it. Pepper v. Village of Oak
Park, 430 F.3d 809, 810 (7th Cir. 2005) (individual
participation in a constitutional deprivation required for
Section 1983 liability to attach).