United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
JUDGMENT (DKT. NO. 70)
PAMELA PEPPER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
plaintiff, who is representing himself, filed this lawsuit
under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that the defendants
violated his constitutional rights. Dkt. No. 1. On November
23, 2016, the court allowed the plaintiff to proceed on three
claims: that defendant Donald Morgan violated his Fourteenth
Amendment due process rights; that Matthew Friend and Russell
Goldsmithviolated his First Amendment right to
exercise his religion; and that a John Doe defendant violated
his Eighth Amendment rights. Dkt. No. 12.
26, 2017, the court dismissed the remaining John Doe
defendant because the plaintiff had not identified him by the
deadline the court had set. Dkt. No. 42 at 3. On March 30,
2018, the court dismissed Morgan because the plaintiff had
failed to exhaust the available administrative remedies
before suing him. Dkt. No. 57 at 13-14. The court also
dismissed one component of the plaintiff's First
Amendment claim against Friend on the same basis.
Id. at 15. The only remaining claim is that Friend
and Goldsmith violated the plaintiff's First Amendment
right to exercise his religion when they prohibited him from
praying on August 2, 2011. Id. at 19.
August 17, 2018, Friend and Goldsmith filed a motion for
summary judgment on that remaining claim. Dkt. No. 70. The
parties have briefed the motion. Dkt. Nos. 71, 77, 83. The
court will grant the defendants' motion and dismiss the
plaintiff was incarcerated at Columbia Correctional
Institution from July 28, 2011 until January 3, 2012. Dkt.
No. 84 at ¶1. Goldsmith and Friend both worked at
Columbia during that time, Goldsmith as a correctional
officer and Friend as a correctional sergeant. Id.
the plaintiff arrived at Columbia, he was housed in Housing
Unit 10, which is also known as the Barracks. Id. at
¶6. According to the defendants, the Barracks is a
temporary housing unit for general population inmates who are
awaiting transfer to a medium- or minimum-security facility
or who are waiting to be placed in a program at a Division of
Community Corrections facility. Id. at ¶7. The
plaintiff argues that Columbia is a maximum security
facility, and that the inmates housed in the Barracks were
coming from lower-security facilities and were on their way
to other lower-security facilities. Id. He disputes
that the inmates in the Barracks were “part of the
[Columbia] general population.” Id. at
Barracks is separated into two sides, A and B, and each side
is separated into four quads. Id. at ¶8. The
quads have barracks-style double bunks, separated by
three-by-eight-foot rows. Id. An officer control
station is located at the front of the Barracks that
overlooks both sides of the unit; there is an officer's
desk on each side of the unit between the front and back
quads. Id. at ¶9. The defendants explain that
there is a dayroom and dining area in the center of the
Barracks; the plaintiff clarifies that each quad has its own
dayroom and dining area. Id. at ¶10.
Barracks dayroom was generally open from 7:30 a.m.-11:00
a.m., 12:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Id. at ¶11; Dkt. No. 75-1 at 18. When the
dayroom is open, inmates may freely move around the Barracks
to do things like playing games, watching television, making
phone calls, exercising, showering or praying. Id.
at ¶12. When the dayroom is closed, inmates must be at
their bunks. Id. at ¶13. (The plaintiff asserts
that there is “no rule in the Red Book requiring
inmates to be in their bunks after the 9:10 p.m.
to the defendants, rules for the Barracks were listed in the
Red Book, which was located on the unit and available for
review upon request. Id. at ¶14. The plaintiff
says that when an inmate went through orientation at the
Barracks, correctional staff was supposed to provide him with
a copy of the Red Book; he says that instead of doing that,
Columbia staff posted certain pages of the Red Book in the
common areas. Id.
Book says that inmates cannot exercise or pray on the floor
by their bunks when the dayroom is closed. Id. at
¶15. It states, “Inmates may perform floor
exercises and prayers in the area on the side of their bunks,
one at a time, in agreement with their bunkmate, during
dayroom hours only.” Id.; Dkt. No. 75
at 20. The defendants indicate that this rule allowed inmates
to pray on the floor by their bunks when the dayroom was
open, and that it did not prohibit them from praying silently
in their bunks when the dayroom was closed. Dkt. No.
84 at ¶16. Night-time quiet hours started after the 9:10
p.m. count. Id. at ¶18. The defendants indicate
that during this time, inmates' movement is limited to
using the restrooms (up to three inmates at a time); the
plaintiff says inmates also were allowed to access their
lockers. All other movement is restricted. Id. at
defendants say that inmates must remain in their bunks during
quiet time because it is more efficient for security staff.
Id. at ¶19. Officers can observe the inmates in
their bunks from the officer's desk or the control
center; if the inmates are moving around, officers are
required to walk around the unit to monitor the inmates.
Id. The plaintiff argues that because of the
location of the control room, there are blind spots that
prevent officers from seeing inmates; he says the officers
still would have to talk around on a regular basis to account
for all the inmates. Id.
plaintiff is Muslim, and, as part of his religion, he
performs prayers at least five times each day. Id.
at ¶2. The parties agree that one round, or
“Rak'ha, ” of prayer requires the plaintiff
to stand, then to prostrate himself, then to stay in a seated
position for a short while, then return to a standing
position. Id. The plaintiff indicates that it
usually takes about five minutes to complete four Rak'has
(and a worshipper performs two to four Rak'has, depending
on which time of day he is praying). Id. at ¶3.
Worshippers must perform the prayers at specific times.
Id. at ¶24; Dkt. No. 69 at 12, Tr. pp. 43-44.
to the plaintiff, officers did not begin to enforce the Red
Book rule prohibiting inmates from praying when the dayroom
was closed until the beginning of the month of Ramadan. Dkt.
No. 84 at ¶16. Specifically, on August 2, 2011, just
after 10:00 p.m., Goldsmith observed inmate Denyal Kahali
praying in his bunk row. Id. at ¶21. Goldsmith
approached Kahali and told him that he could not pray.
Id. The plaintiff, who says he hadn't yet begun
to pray, approached Goldsmith and informed him that he and
Kahali had to pray at that time. Id. at ¶¶
21, 23. Chaplain Teslik had given the plaintiff a timetable,
which specified that the final prayer that day must occur
between 9:55 p.m. and 4:16 a.m. Id. at ¶35; Dkt
No. 74-1 at 3, 13. According to the plaintiff, Goldsmith told
him that they could not pray when the dayroom was closed and
that he would be giving the plaintiff and inmate Theodore
Deibert conduct reports. Id. at ¶22.
plaintiff returned to his bunk row and started his prayer.
Id. at ¶23. After finishing, he saw Kahali and
inmate Anthony Garcia talking to Goldsmith. Id. at
¶24. The plaintiff joined them, and the three inmates
tried to explain to Goldsmith that their religion required
that they pray at certain times. Id.; Dkt. No. 69 at
43:20 - 44:14.
this interaction, Goldsmith issued the plaintiff a conduct
report for disobeying orders, group resistance and petitions,
disruptive conduct and violation of institutional policies
and procedures. Dkt. No. 84 at ¶25. (The plaintiff says
that even before Goldsmith issued the conduct report, he had
the plaintiff placed in the temporary lockup unit, and he
disagrees with the conduct report's version of what
happened. Id.) The adjustment committee found the
plaintiff guilty of disobeying orders, disruptive conduct and
violation of institutional policies and procedures, and gave
him sixty days of disciplinary separation. Id. at
¶30. The defendants say that the plaintiff was able to
perform his prayers that evening, and that no other officer
ever again told the plaintiff that he could not pray at a
certain time. Id. at ¶32.
Summary Judgment Standard
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 324 (1986); Ames v. Home
Depot U.S.A., Inc., 629 F.3d 665, 668 (7th Cir. 2011).
“Material facts” are those under the applicable
substantive law that “might affect the outcome of the
suit.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. A dispute
over “material fact” is “genuine” if
“the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party.” Id.
asserting that a fact cannot be disputed or is genuinely
disputed must support the assertion by:
(A) citing to particular parts of materials in the record,
including depositions, documents, electronically stored
information, affidavits or declarations, stipulations
(including those made for purposes of the motion only),