United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
Barbara D. Holmes, United States Magistrate Judge.
Honorable Aleta A. Trauger, District Judge.
Order entered April 5, 2018 (Docket Entry No. 6), the Court
referred this prisoner civil rights action to the Magistrate
Judge for pretrial proceedings under 28 U.S.C. §§
636(b)(1)(A) and (B), Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, and the Local Rules of Court.
pending is the motion for summary judgment (Docket Entry No.
18) filed by Defendant Bill Holt. For the reasons set forth
below, the undersigned respectfully recommends that the
motion be granted in part and denied in part.
Allen, Jr., (“Allen”) and Justin Ezra Jones
(“Jones”) filed this pro se and in
forma pauperis lawsuit on January 9, 2018, against Bill
Holt (“Holt”), the Sheriff of Robertson County,
Tennessee. See Complaint (Docket Entry No. 1). At
the time the lawsuit was filed, both Plaintiffs were confined
at the Robertson County Detention Center (“Detention
Center”) as pretrial detainees.
seek injunctive and monetary relief under 42 U.S.C. §
1983 for violations of their civil rights alleged to have
occurred during their confinement at the Detention Center.
Although Plaintiffs brought several claims based on different
allegations of wrongdoing, the Court dismissed all but one
claim upon conducting an initial frivolity review of the
complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2). See
Memorandum and Order entered April 5, 2018 (Docket Entry Nos.
5 and 6). The sole remaining claim is a claim that
Plaintiffs' constitutional rights have been violated
because they were deprived of the opportunity for outdoor
recreation and exercise. In a pleading that is somewhat
sparse in terms of factual allegations, Plaintiffs allege
“no outside recreational time at all, no fresh
air” and that they “have not had any outside
rec[reation]” since being incarcerated at the Detention
Center on October 7, 2017. See Complaint at 5.
who is sued in only his official capacity, filed an answer
denying the allegations of constitutional wrongdoing.
See Docket Entry No. 14. Pursuant to a scheduling
order, the parties were given a period for pretrial activity,
including a period for discovery. See Docket Entry
No. 15. Subsequent to the expiration of the scheduling order
deadlines, Plaintiff Jones filed several motions,
which the undersigned has addressed in a
contemporaneously entered order.
MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND RESPONSE
moves for the entry of summary judgment in his favor under
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. He argues
that the undisputed evidence shows that Plaintiffs'
constitutional rights regarding access to outdoor recreation
at the Detention Center have not been violated. In support of
his motion, Defendant relies upon the declaration of Anthony
Crawford, who is the Jail Administrator at the Detention
Center (Docket Entry No. 20), and a statement of undisputed
material facts (Docket Entry No. 21).
asserts that the Detention Center has two outdoor recreation
areas which are used by inmates pursuant to a written policy,
Policy 12.06, on a rotating basis as weather and staffing
levels allow. See Declaration of Crawford at ¶
5. Defendant asserts that the sign-in log for outdoor
recreation shows that Plaintiff Allen had outdoor recreation
on March 16, 2018, and May 14, 2018, and that Plaintiff Jones
had outdoor recreation on October 17, 2018, but that he
refused outdoor recreation on March 2, 2018, June 28, 2018,
August 23, 2018, September 5 and 20, 2018. Id. at
¶¶ 6-7. Defendant also asserts that inmates are
permitted to leave their cells to go to the indoor day
room/recreation area for their housing units for between 1-14
hours a day, depending on the inmate's restriction
status, and that inmates may engage in basic exercise type
activities in these areas. Id. at ¶¶ 8-10.
Finally, Defendant contends that Plaintiffs have not sought
medical treatment for any physical or mental illness, injury,
or condition that was caused by being denied access to
sunlight or outdoor exercise and that Plaintiffs have not
been diagnosed with any type of medical condition related to
the lack of outdoor exercise. Id. at ¶¶
Jones opposes the motion. See Docket Entry Nos.
25-27. In support of his response in opposition, he has
submitted his own affidavit (Docket Entry No. 27 at 8-11), as
well as affidavits from six current or former inmates at the
Detention Center who state that their opportunities for
outdoor recreation and exercise have either been limited or
non-existent. See Docket Entry No. 27 at 12-17.
Plaintiff Allen has not responded to the motion for summary
STANDARD OF REVIEW
judgment is appropriate 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.” Rule 56(a)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See also Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett,477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). A
“genuine issue of material fact” is a fact which,
if proven at trial, could lead a reasonable jury to return a
verdict for the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). In considering
whether summary judgment is appropriate, the Court must
“look beyond the pleadings and assess the proof to
determine whether there is a genuine need for trial.”
Sowards v. Loudon Cnty., 203 F.3d 426, 431 (6th
Cir.), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 875 (2000). The Court
must view the evidence and all inferences drawn from
underlying facts “in the ...