Jones v. Smith et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION re 11 Final Judgment. Signed by Michael P. Mills on 8/2/2011. (lpm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
JAMES C. JONES
JANET SMITH, ET AL.
This matter comes before the court on the pro se prisoner complaint of James C. Jones,
who challenges the conditions of his confinement under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the purposes of
the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the court notes that the plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed
this suit. Jones alleges that, as an inmate confined in “pre-segregation,” he gets recreation only
five days per week, showers only three days per week, no recreation or showers on the weekends,
and no hot water in his cell (for a reasonable substitute for showering). Jones alleges that these
deprivations rise to the level of a violation of the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel
and unusual punishment. For the reasons set forth below, the instant case will be dismissed for
failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
“[T]he Eighth Amendment may afford protection against conditions of confinement
which constitute health threats but not against those which cause mere discomfort or
inconvenience.” Wilson v. Lynaugh, 878 F.2d 846, 849 (5th Cir.1989), cert. denied, 493 U.S. 969
(1989)(citation omitted). “Inmates cannot expect the amenities, conveniences, and services of a
good hotel.” Id. at 849 n.5 (citation omitted). Prison officials are required under the Eighth
Amendment, to provide prisoners with “humane conditions of confinement,” including “adequate
food, clothing, shelter, and medical care . . . .” Woods v. Edwards, 51 F.3d 577, 581 n.10 (5th
Cir. 1995) (quoting Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 832 (1994)). After reviewing of the
“totality of the circumstances,” McCord v. Maggio, 910 F.2d 1248 (5th Cir. 1990), the court holds
that Jones’ claims do not rise to the level of a constitutional violation. The court can see no harm
in restricting recreation to five days per week – and showers to three. Indeed, Jones has alleged
no harm at all. As to the claim that hot water is unavailable in the plaintiff’s cell, nothing
prevents him from washing himself with cold or room-temperature water. As such, the plaintiff
has not identified any “basic human need” which he was denied for an unreasonable period of
time. See Woods, 51 F.3d at 581. Therefore, the present case will be dismissed under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915(e) for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. A final judgment
consistent with this memorandum opinion will issue today.
SO ORDERED, this the 2nd day of August, 2011.
/s/ MICHAEL P. MILLS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI
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