United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division
SETH GANAHL, Reg. #28942-009 PLAINTIFF
JOHN STALEY, Sheriff of Lonoke County, et. al. DEFENDANTS
following Recommended (“Recommendation”) has been
sent to United States District Judge Billy Roy Wilson. Any
party may file written objections to this Recommendation.
Objections must be specific and include the factual or legal
basis for disagreeing with the Recommendation. An objection
to a factual finding must specifically identify the finding
of fact believed to be wrong and describe the evidence that
supports that belief.
original and one copy of the objections must be received by
the Clerk of this Court within fourteen (14) days of this
Recommendation. If no objections are filed, Judge Wilson can
adopt this Recommendation without independently reviewing all
of the evidence in the record. By not objecting, you may also
waive any right to appeal questions of fact.
Seth Ganahl ("Ganahl") is a federal prisoner in
Illinois. He has filed this pro se ' 1983 action
alleging that, while he was a pretrial detainee at the Lonoke
County Detention Center ("LCDC"), Defendants
Sheriff John Staley ("Staley"), Captain Buford
("Buford"), and Officer Lopez ("Lopez")
subjected him to unconstitutional conditions of confinement
by failing to provide him with adequate opportunities for
exercise. Docs. 2 & 6. Ganahl has sued
Defendants in both their individual and official capacities.
Id. By way of relief, he seeks a declaratory
judgment, a permanent injunction, and punitive damages.
have filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, a Brief in Support,
a Statement of Undisputed Facts, and a Reply. Docs. 42,
43, & 44. Ganahl has filed a Response, a Brief, and
a Statement of Disputed Facts. Docs. 51, 52, &
addressing the merits of Defendants' Motion, the Court
will summarize the relevant facts giving rise to Ganahl's
Ganahl was a pretrial detainee at the LCDC from March 16,
2015, until April 5, 2016. Docs. 44 & 53. During
those thirteen months, Ganahl was housed in three different
pods. Id., Doc. 6.
the first month, from approximately March to April of 2015,
Ganahl was housed in D pod, which is a two tiered pod that
contains two-man cells and a single dayroom on the lower
floor. Docs. 44 & 55. Detainees in D
pod are locked in their two-man cells, which are
approximately sixty square feet, eleven hours a day, from
9:30 p.m until 8:30 a.m. Id. While in their two-man
cells, detainees are allowed to perform calisthenics and jog
in place. However, Ganahl alleges that there was insufficient
free space for him to do so. Docs. 2 & 6.
8:30 am until 9:30 p.m., the detainees in D pod are allowed
into the day room, which Ganahl claims has approximately 180
square feet of usable space that is shared by sixteen
pretrial detainees. Doc. 6 at 5. In his Affidavit,
Lopez explains that detainees in D pod are not
allowed to perform calisthenics or jog in place in the
it would create a safety hazard for detainees (tripping
events) and because when detainees are on the floor doing
exercises, it can mimic emergent situations and cause
unnecessary effort and distraction to investigate whether or
not a detainee needs medical treatment.
Doc. 44, Ex. 1 at 3 (parenthetical notation in the
original). According to Lopez, the detainees in D
pod are allowed to "exercise" in the day room by
"walking around" and walking up and down the stairs
between the two tiers. Id. Ganahl claims that, due
to the limited usable space shared by sixteen men, neither of
these two options provided him with a meaningful opportunity
for exercise. Doc. 53 at 1.
During the next nine months, from April of 2015 until January
of 2016, Ganahl was housed in A pod, which is a two tier open
barrack. Docs. 6, 44, & 54. The top tier of A
pod has thirteen bunks. The bottom tier has seventeen
bunks.Id. Each tier has a separate day
room, which Ganahl claims has "essentially no
usable" space to walk around. Doc. 53 at 2. The
parties agree that, for the reasons explained in
Lopez's Affidavit, detainees in A pod are not
allowed to perform calisthenics or jog in place in the day
rooms. Docs. 44 & 53. Because there are no
individual cells, it appears that Ganahl was not allowed to
jog in place or perform calisthenics, at all, for the nine
months that he was held in A pod.
During his final three months at the LCDC, from January to
April of 2016, Ganahl was confined in G pod which has the
same configuration as D pod. Doc. 6 at 9-10. The
only difference is that, while he was in D pod, Ganahl was
allegedly confined to his two man cell for seventeen hours a
day, from 3:30 p.m. until 8:30 a.m. Id.
parties agree that the LCDC has a "Recreation Room"
that contains a basketball hoop and a handball court.
Docs. 44 & 53. Accordingly to Ganahl, the
"Recreation Room": (a) has approximately 2400
square feet of usable space; (b) is located next to one of
the pods; (c) has a barred window that could be opened to
allow fresh air inside; and (d) opens into a fenced area that
could be used for yard call. Doc. 6 at 10; Doc. 53.
In his Affidavit, Lopez explains that the LCDC detainees were
not allowed to use the "Recreation Room"
is not heated nor cooled with air conditioning, fights break
out, injuries occur, and it creates an administrative,
safety, and security hardship to give inmates access to this
room for exercise.
Doc. 44, Ex. 1 at 3.
is undisputed that Ganahl was never allowed to go
outdoors for yard call during the thirteen months
that he was a pretrial detainee at the LCDC. Docs. 44
& 53. Lopez explains, in his Affidavit, this was
because no prisoners were allowed to go outdoors due
to LCDC not having any outdoor space suitable for yard ...