United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
A. TSUCHIDA, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
a prisoner detained at the Snohomish County Jail, filed a
pro se complaint seeking relief under 42 U.S.C
§ 1983. Dkt. 5. The Court screens complaints filed by
plaintiffs who are prisoners under 28 U.S.C. § 1915A(a).
The statute directs a court to “dismiss the complaint,
or any portion of the complaint, if it is: (1) frivolous,
malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief may be
granted; or (2) seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is
immune from such relief.” Id. at (b); 28
U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2); see Barren v. Harrington,
152 F.3d 1193 (9th Cir. 1998).
complaint names as defendant Taylor Jones, a corrections
officer. Plaintiff alleges on April 2, 2019, Mr. Jones woke
plaintiff up at 3:00 am and asked if he wanted “his
recreation.” Plaintiff alleges he asked to have his
recreation time after he had breakfast and showered. Dkt. 5
at 2. Plaintiff alleges defendant responded that plaintiff
had to take his recreation time immediately not later.
Plaintiff alleges that he was therefore forced to choose
between continuting to sleep, taking recreation time and
showering and this forced choice violated his Consitutional
rights. Id. As relief, plaintiff asks the Court to
issue an order prohibiting defendant from requiring inmates
from choosing between sleeping and hygiene and to award him
$1, 000, 000 in damages. Id. at 3.
complaint is brought under the Fourteenth Amendment and
raises the issue of whether his Eighth Amendment rights were
violated due to the conditions of his confinement. To
constitute cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the
Eighth Amendment, prison conditions must involve the
“wanton and unnecessary infliction of pain.”
Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337, 347 (1981).
Generally, a prison's “obligation under the
[E]ighth [A]mendment is at an end if it furnishes sentenced
prisoners with adequate food, clothing, shelter, sanitation,
medical care, and personal safety.” To prevail on a
“conditions of confinement” claim, a plaintiff
must show serious deprivation and deliberate indifference.
See Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294, 297-300 (1991).
Generally, indigent jail inmates have the right to personal
hygiene supplies. See Hoptowit v. Ray, 682 F.2d
1237, 1246 (9th Cir. 1982). However, not every deprivation or
poor condition of confinement violates the Eighth Amendment.
For example Courts have found that denying a prisoner 21 days
of exercise and providing inadequate food, sanitation and
care does not necessarily violate the Constitution. See
May v. Baldwin, 109 F.3d 557, 565-66 (9th Cir. 1997).
deprivation of sanitation may violate the Eighth Amendment.
But temporary deprivations involving no proof of harm do not.
See e.g., Cnesale v. Jackson, 2018 WL 3730062 at * 4
(N.D. Cal. Aug. 6, 2018) (Inmate spending four to six hours a
week in unsanitary cell does not violate the Constitution.).
By these standards, plaintiff's complaint fails to state
a claim for relief. The complaint alleges a one-time demand
by defendant that plaintiff shower or take recreation time or
forfeit it. There is no evidence of a prolonged deprivation
that would violate the Constitution. Additionally, there is
no legal basis supporting plaintiff's claim he is
entitled to choose the time of day he takes his showers or
recreation time. The fact the time period that defendant
offered for these activities did not meet plaintiff's
preferences does not state a claim because prisoners are not
entitled under the constitution to pick and choose when he or
she may take recreation time.
this Court must normally give prison officials
“wide-ranging deference in the adoption and execution
of policies and practices that in their judgment are needed
to preserve internal order and discipline and to maintain
institutional security.” Anderson v. County of
Kern, 45 F.3d 1310, 1316 (9th Cir. 1995). In Turner
v. Safley, 482 U.S. 78, 84, (1987), the Supreme Court
set forth the standard for evaluating prisoners'
constitutional claims. Turner held a regulation that
impinges upon a prisoner's constitutional rights is valid
if the regulation is reasonably related to legitimate
penological interests. To guide courts in evaluating whether
a challenged regulation is reasonably related to legitimate
penological interests, Turner established the
following four-part test:
(1) whether the regulation is rationally related to a
legitimate and neutral governmental objective; (2) whether
there are alternative avenues that remain open to the inmates
to exercise the right; (3) the impact that accommodating the
asserted right will have on other guards and prisoners, and
on the allocation of prison resources; and (4) whether the
existence of easy and obvious alternatives indicates that the
regulation is an exaggerated response by prison officials.
Id. at 89-90. Although each factor is relevant, the
Ninth Circuit considers the first factor to be the most
important. See Walker v. Sumner, 917 F.2d 382, 385
(9th Cir. 1990). Applying the first factor to this case,
defendant's action is rationally related to a legitimate
penological objective. The defendant's action reflects
the many demands placed on the jail in providing for the
needs of many inmates and activities. Plaintiff attached to
the complaint a grievance regarding the allegations. In the
grievance, the jail responded to plaintiff's complaint
about not being able to choose when he could shower, sleep
and take recreation time. The Jail stated:
You have a choice to accept or decline your rec when it is
offered. Your rec is offered on an alternating basis and is
balanced with the many other activities that must occur at
particular times in the unit in which you are housed.
Dkt. 5 (Exhibit). The jail's response clearly shows that
the actions alleged in this case - the timing of showers and
recreation time are rationally related to maintaining jail
operations and security.
plaintiff alleges he was asked on April 2, 2019, to take his
recreation time/shower at a time that he wanted to continue
sleeping. He alleges being forced to make such a choice
between continuing to sleep or take recreation time violates
his rights. What occurred that day, however, does not offend
the Constitution. Plaintiff has no right to self-select the
exact time he can sleep or shower or have recreation time,
and the allegations involves a one-time event. If every
prisoner could pick and choose when he or she wanted to
sleep, shower and have recreation time, the jail would be
unable to operate the jail in any sensible fashion or
maintain jail security. The allegation presented here fails
to state a Consitutional violation, and should accordingly be
dismissed. If plaintiff disagrees or has other facts that he
believes would alter this conclusion, he should file
objections to the report and recommendation within the time
frame set forth below, and also file an amended complaint at
the same time containing those additional facts.
Court recommends for the reasons above the complaint be
dismissed with prejudice. Plaintiff should not file an appeal
in the Circuit Court until and unless the District Judge
enters judgment in this case. Plaintiff is advised he may
file objections to this Report and Recommendation, and that
his objections are due no later than June 19,
2019. The Clerk should note the matter for
June 21, 2019, as ready for the District
Judge's consideration. Objections shall not exceed seven
(7) pages. The failure to timely object may affect the right