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Moon v. Jordan

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Southeastern Division

November 13, 2017

DARNELL WESLEY MOON, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN JORDAN, SHERRIF, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          RONNIE L. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the court on Defendants' Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 47). This matter is fully briefed and ready for disposition.

         BACKGROUND [1]

         Plaintiff Wesley Moon is a Sunni Muslim, who was previously confined at the Cape Girardeau County Jail ("the Jail") from May 21, 2015 through June 18, 2015. Moon was brought to the Jail by the United States Marshals.

         John Jordan is the Sheriff of Cape Girardeau County, Missouri. Tina Henderson is a Lieutenant at the Cape Girardeau County Sheriffs Department. Todd Stevens is a Lieutenant with the Cape Girardeau County Sheriffs Department. James Mulcahy is a Captain with the Cape Girardeau County Sheriffs Department. Ruth Ann Dickerson is a Captain with the Cape Girardeau County Sheriffs Department. Moon is suing each Defendant in his or her individual capacity for monetary damages and in his or her official capacity for injunctive relief. Moon brings claims under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and 28 U.S.C. §§2000cc, et. seq. Defendants Kristopher Seib and Aaron Cheney have never been served by Moon. Defendants John Jordan, James Mulcahy, T.C. Stevens, Ruth Ann Dickerson and Tina Henderson are the only Defendants that have answered Moon's Amended Complaint.

         When a detainee is brought to the Jail and is going to be placed in the general population, the individual is required to be booked into the Jail and to provide certain information about medical history and personal history. The detainee receives various written instructions and policies from the jail. Once a detainee is booked into the Jail, the detainee is required to remove his clothes in a shower or changing room. The detainee then places his clothes in a container that will be washed and then put in an inmate property locker. Each detainee that is brought into the Jail is required to take a shower that contains a disinfectant to kill any lice or bedbugs or other type of conditions that a detainee might bring into the jail. After the detainee has showered, he is provided an orange jail shirt, orange pants, two towels, a laundry bag, blanket, two sheets, a roll of toilet paper, a cup, spork, and one hygiene care package. The hygiene care package includes toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, comb, and deodorant. Dental floss is not provided. The inmate is also provided with white brief underwear and a pair of shoes and socks. When Moon was booked into the Jail on May 21, 2015, he received the items set forth above.

         If mattresses are flat as a result of damage, then they are replaced. Likewise, torn or damaged blankets are replaced. Lt. Stevens is unaware of any flat mattresses during the period of time that Moon was incarcerated in the Jail.

         All of the pods at the Jail are provided with cleaning supplies only a daily basis. It is the responsibility of the detainees to clean the pod and their separate jail cells. Defendants assert there is no black mold in the Jail. The showers in the Jail are sprayed with disinfectant and scrubbed down at least weekly by jail personnel. Dirt may accumulate on the shower walls when many detainees are taking showers, but the showers are washed off on a regular basis. There is a communal toilet in each pod and it is the responsibility of the pod to clean the communal toilet, although it is rarely used. Lt. Stevens is unaware of any issue with brown water in Moon's cell. There are separate water lines to the toilet and the sink, although the sink and the toilet are one unit.

         If Moon desired a copy of the Holy Qur'an, he could have had it brought into the Jail by someone from outside the Jail. The Jail does not keep copies of the Holy Qur'an in the jail nor does it have an Arabic language Qur'an in the Jail. The Jail does not provide Islamic prayer rugs to its Muslim detainees. Muslim detainees, however, are allowed to use their blankets during prayer periods.

         The Jail does not allow any clocks in the pods or jail cells for safety and security.

         If a Muslim detainee wants to clean himself after using the restroom he has containers and a cup in his jail cell that he can use.

         The food service at the Jail is contracted through a third party vendor. Any meat products that are served to detainees in the Jail are turkey based, and no pork or beef are contained in any of the food products served to detainees. The food service with the Jail provides nutritious and balanced meals for the detainees. The food service prepares the menus and presents them to the Jail and the Jail then reviews the menu to make sure the type of food being prepared is acceptable for the various detainees.

         The Jail has a television in each pod connected to limited cable service. The cable service does not provide Jumu'ah service and there are no televised Jumu'ah services available at the Jail.

         The Jail does not regularly provide an Imam for Muslim detainees. However, if a Muslim detainees desire to have an Imam present for services, the detainee may contact the Imam at the local mosque and see if an Imam will provide services to the Muslim detainee. The Jail allows ministers and other persons to meet with inmates and detainees on a scheduled visitation.

         The Jail does not allow kufi or Islamic headgear in or outside the jail. If covering up ones' head is a requirement to be outside, a cap will be provided.

         While in the G-Pod, other inmates complained about Moon's actions, including spitting in a water jug, breaking chemical bottles, urinating on the floor, dumping Kool-Aid, writing on the walls, throwing trays on the floor, and creating a disturbance in the pod. As a result of Moon's actions, he was removed from G-Pod for his own safety due to the other inmates' complaints.

         On average, the Jail houses 207 inmates per day. The Jail is a transitional or temporary facility where the average length of stay is less than six months. The Jail houses males, females and U.S. Marshals hold detainees. The Jail has two shifts per day and the number of jailers and has four (4) corrections officers on duty per shift. The duties of jailers includes walking through the jail, handling disturbances, processing grievances, handling medical requests, transporting detainees to medical professionals, providing court supervision, transporting inmates to court, handling commissary requests, taking bonds for people being released, addressing the public, passing out meals, and handling mail for the inmates.

         Beginning January 1, 2014, the Jail instituted a "postcard only" policy for all non-privileged correspondence entering the jail facility. Prior to January 1, 2014, the Jail received 50-150 pieces of non-legal or otherwise non-privileged mail per day. After the Jail implemented the postcard only policy, the Jail received approximately 50 postcards per day. The postcards had to be standard white postcards, with no index cards or photographs, not larger than 5" x 7", containing a legible return address. The purpose of the postcard only policy was to create a higher level of safety and security within the jail facility, to make it more difficult for contraband to enter the facility, and allow for less manpower for opening and searching mail. Previously, it would take one to two correctional officers to open and scan all non-privileged mail for 30 minutes to two hours to go through the mail. After implementing the postcard only policy, sorting the mail required only 30 minutes. Prior to implementing the postcard only policy, the mail contained lewd and inappropriate photographs, information from the internet regarding other inmates, information about escape plans or other illegal activity, and contraband. The Jail affords multiple means of communication for inmates, including telephone privileges, video conferencing privileges, the postcard policy and the email policy. The email policy allows incoming emails to inmates and detainees. The emails are limited to 500 words or less with a cost of .35 cents per email and .50 cents per photograph. Video conferencing is also available for $5.00 for 15 minutes of time with the inmate.

         The Jail argues that time saved reviewing postcards, as opposed to going through letters, allows the Jail to be more efficient and secure. Since it implemented the postcard only policy, the Jail has experienced no instances of ...


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