Young v. Dowe
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Theodore D. Chuang on 2/28/2017. (c/m 2/28/2017 aos, Deputy Clerk)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
JAMES FREDERICK YOUNG, III,
Prisoner Identification No. 3758409,
Civil Action No. TDC-16-0242
WARDEN FRANK BISHOP,
James Frederick Young, III, currently confined at North Branch Correctional Institution
("NBCI") in Cumberland, Maryland, has filed this Complaint pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
Young alleges that his rights under the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and
Articles 4, 5, 7, and 11 of "Human Rights" were violated while he was housed as a pretrial
detainee at NBC!. Compl. ~~ 13-21, ECF No.1.
Presently pending before the Court is a Motion
to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant Warden
Frank Bishop ("the Warden"). For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is granted.
On October 7,2015, Young was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault
of a law enforcement officer, two counts of second-degree assault, resisting arrest, disorderly .
conduct, and failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order.
As a pretrial detainee, he was
initially held at Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center ("BCBIC").
While Young was
detained there, on October 7, 2015, he refused to comply with direct orders to stay locked in his
cell. When a lieutenant, sergeant, and three correctional officers physically escorted him into his
cell, he became combative by swinging his fist. The sergeant and correctional officers placed
Young on the ground to handcuff him with his arms behind his back.
On October 8, 2015,
Young was served with a notice of inmate infraction, charging him with violating prison Rules
100 (engaging in a disruptive act), 101 (committing assault or battery on staff), 104 (using
with or resisting
performance of staff duties), and 400 (disobeying an order). As a result of this incident, Young
was ordered into administrative segregation pending a hearing.
On the morning of October 12,
2015, Young assaulted a sergeant and officer at BCBIC after failing to comply with orders to
return to his cell.
On October 12, 2015, Young was transferred to NBCI and placed in administrative
segregation and on staff alert based on concerns that he posed a danger to the "security of the
institution and/or inmates and/or staff." Mot. Dismiss Ex. 1 at 4, 5-6, 52, ECF No. 12-2. On
19, 2015, a formal hearing was held regarding the charges stemming from the
October 7, 2015 incident.
Young pleaded guilty to violating prison Rules 101, 312, and 400.
The hearing officer imposed a sanction of 90 days of segregation and an indefinite suspension of
visitation privileges. Young did not formally appeal the decision or the sentence. On December
15, 2015, William Bohrer, on behalf of Warden Bishop, reviewed and affirmed the hearing
officer's decision but reduced the visitation suspension from an indefinite period to six months
and imposed 60 days of cell restriction. At NBCI, inmates placed in segregation for disciplinary
reasons receive out-of-cell recreation five days a week, as well as two showers per week. An
inmate on segregation with cell restrictions receives recreation only once per week.
times declined the out-of-cell recreation time and showers available to him.
On March 25, 2016, Young was convicted by a jury in the Circuit Court for Baltimore
City, Maryland of second-degree assault and second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer.
He was sentenced on the same date to four years of imprisonment.
In his Complaint, received by the Court on January 7, 2016, Young claims that his
pretrial detention at NBCI constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth
Amendment because he received only one hour of out-of-cell recreation time each week due to
his placement on cell restriction.
Young also alleges violations of the Eighth Amendment and
his human rights because he was housed as a pretrial detainee in a maximum security facility
with convicted inmates, and because, in his view, confinement at NBCI is akin to slavery in that
he was subjected to inhumane torture in the form of prison officials allowing an inmate in an
adjacent cell to "constantly throw feces" on his cell door and food slot. CompI. ~~ 14-19. He
further contends that he is subjected to discrimination on a daily basis, in violation of his human
rights, because most of the correctional officers are racist and "are out to hurt [him] mentally or
physically because [he is] currently incarcerated
for assaulting two Baltimore City Police
Id. ~~ 20-22. Young seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, '''make-up'
compensatory and punitive damages, and costs. Id. ~~ 33-38.
The Warden has filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary
Pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309, 310 (4th Cir. 1975), Young was
sent correspondence notifying him that the Warden had filed a dispositive motion, the granting
of which could result in the dismissal of his action.
Young was also informed that he was
entitled to file materials in opposition to the Motion within 17 days from the date of that letter,
and that his failure to file a timely responsive brief to illustrate, through accompanying affidavits
or other evidence, a genuine dispute of material fact could result in the dismissal of his case or in
the entry of summary judgment without further notice of the Court.
Young did not file a
The Warden seeks dismissal of the Complaint or summary judgment in his favor on
several grounds, including that:
(1) the Complaint must be dismissed because he is immune
from liability under the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution; (2) Young's
Human Rights claims do not state a cognizable claim for relief; (3) the Complaint does not allege
that the Warden personally participated in the alleged violations; (4) Young failed to exhaust his
administrative remedies; and (5) Young has failed to state a plausible constitutional claim arising
from his transfer to NBCI and the imposition of a cell restriction limiting his recreation time.
Motion to Dismiss
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has "been unclear on whether a
dismissal on Eleventh Amendment immunity grounds is a dismissal for failure to state a claim
under Rule 12(b)(6) or a dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1)."
Andrews v. Daw, 201 F.3d 521, 524 n.2 (4th Cir. 2000).
The Fourth Circuit has noted that
"[a]though not a true limit on the subject-matter jurisdiction of the federal courts, the Eleventh
Amendment is 'a block on the exercise of that jurisdiction.'''
Roach v. W Va. Reg'l Jail & Carr.
Facility Auth., 74 F.3d 46,48 (4th Cir. 1996) (quoting Biggs v. Meadow, 66 F.3d 56, 60 (4th Cir.
1995)). Thus, to the extent that the Warden's Eleventh Amendment immunity argument is most
construed as the subject of a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction, it would be governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1). Where, as here,
Eleventh Amendment argument relies on the pleadings alone, the standard is
effectively the same. Under Rule 12(b)(1), when a defendant asserts that the plaintiff has failed
to allege facts sufficient to establish subject matter jurisdiction, the allegations in the complaint
are assumed to be true under the same standard as in a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, and "the motion
must be denied if the complaint alleges sufficient facts to invoke subject matter jurisdiction."
Kerns v. United States, 585 F.3d 187, 192 (4th Cir. 2009).
The Warden's arguments based on the lack of a cognizable claim for Human Rights
violations and the failure to allege unconstitutional
conduct by the Warden personally are
properly construed as the subject of a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6). To defeat a motion
to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), the complaint must allege enough facts to state a plausible claim
for relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
A claim is plausible when the facts
pleaded allow "the Court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged." Id. Although courts should construe pleadings of self-represented litigants
liberally, Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007), legal conclusions or conclusory statements
do not suffice, Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678.
The Court must examine the complaint as a whole,
consider the factual allegations in the complaint as true, and construe the factual allegations in
the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Albright v. Oliver, 510 U.S. 266, 268 (1994); Lambeth v.
Bd. of Comm 'rs of Davidson Cty., 407 F.3d 266, 268 (4th Cir. 2005).
Motion for Summary Judgment
Because the Warden has submitted evidence for the Court's review, and because Young
has not requested an opportunity for discovery, the remaining arguments are construed as
asserted pursuant to a motion for summary judgment.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(d). Under Rule 56,
the Court grants summary judgment if the moving party demonstrates there is no genuine issue
as to any material fact, and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.
R. Civ. P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 US. 317, 322 (1986).
In assessing a summary
judgment motion, the Court views the facts in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party,
with all justifiable inferences drawn in its favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
255 (1986). The Court may rely only on facts supported in the record, not simply assertions in
Bouchat v. Bait. Ravens Football Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514, 522 (4th Cir. 2003).
The nonmoving party has the burden to show a genuine dispute on a material fact. Matsushita
£lee. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 US. 574, 586-87 (1986). A fact is "material" if it
"might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. A
dispute of material fact is only "genuine" if sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party
exists for the trier of fact to return a verdict for that party. Id. at 248-49.
Eleventh Amendment Immunity
The Warden asserts Eleventh Amendment immunity from suits against him in his official
capacity. Absent waiver by the state, the Eleventh Amendment bars suits in federal court against
states and state officials in their official capacities, except suits seeking prospective injunctive
relief from ongoing violations of federal law. Will v. Mich. Dep't of State Police, 491 US. 58,
66,70-71 & n.10 (1989); Blandv. Roberts, 730 F.3d 368,389-91 (4th Cir. 2013). The Warden's
employer, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, is part of a state
agency, and the State of Maryland has not waived its immunity from suits in federal court
against state prison officials, including those working at NBC!.
Clark v. Md. Dept. of Pub.
Safety & Corr. Servs., 247 F. Supp. 2d 773, 775-76 (D. Md. 2003). Therefore, all claims against
the Warden in his official capacity are dismissed, with the exception of Young's request for an
Human Rights Claims
Young alleges violations of Articles 4, 5, 7, and 11 of "Human Rights." In particular, he
asserts that the "slavery type of atmosphere" at NBCI violates Article 4's prohibition on slavery
and servitude; the Warden singling him out for "unhuman torture" and having an inmate throw
feces on Young's cell door and food slot violates Article 5' s prohibition on torture and "cruel,
inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment"; his confinement in a facility with convicted
offenders violates his right under Article 11 to be "presumed innocent until prove(n] guilty"; and
his right to be free from discrimination under Article 7 is being violated by racism on the part of
correctional officers. CompI. ~~ 14-22.
A claim under 42 U.S. C.
1983 requires that: (l) the plaintiff suffered a deprivation of
"a right secured by the Constitution and laws" of the United States, and (2) the act or omission
causing the deprivation was committed by a person acting under color of law. West v. Atkins,
487 U.S. 42, 48 (1988). Young does not identify the source of the "Human Rights" articles cited
in his Complaint.
Defense counsel postulates that Young's reference may be to the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights ("UDHR"), G.A. Res. 217 (III) A (Dec. 10, 1948). The UDHR,
however, is a statement of principles that "does not of its own force impose obligations as a
matter of international law." Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain,
542 U.S. 692, 734-35 (2004). Moreover,
the UDHR does not provide a private right of action in an American court. Konar v. Illinois, 327
F. App'x 638, 640 (7th Cir. 2009); Nix v. NASA Fed. Credit Union, --- F. Supp. 3d ---, 2016 WL
4077720, at *8 (D. Md. Aug. 1,2016).
Because Young's UDHR claims fail to invoke a federal
law or constitutional provision, and there is no private right of action under the declaration, they
are dismissed for failure to state a cognizable cause of action. See Moore v. McLaughlin, 569 F.
App 'x 656, 660 (1Ith Cir. 2014 ) (affirming the dismissal of the plaintiff s UDHR "claim because
the "rights secured by the [UDHR] are not federal rights" upon which he could base a
The Warden seeks dismissal of the claims against him in his individual capacity because
the Complaint does not allege that he had any personal role in the activities underlying Young's
claims. Rather, Young frames the Warden's liability as based on the allegation that he "is legally
responsible for the operation of the North Branch Correctional Institution and for the welfare of
all the inmates in that prison." CompI.,-r 4.
A state official may not be held liable under 42 U.S.C.
1983 unless it is "affirmatively
shown that the official charged acted personally in the deprivation of the plaintiffs
Vinnedge v. Gibbs, 550 F.2d 926,928 (4th. Cir. 1977); see also Monell v. Dep't of Social Servs
of New York, 436 U.S. 658, 690-92 (1978). There is no vicarious liability (respondeat superior)
1983 cases against government officials for the acts of their subordinates.
Wright v. Collins,
766 F.2d 841, 850 (4th Cir. 1985); Vinnedge, 550 F.2d at 928. In order for a supervising official
to be held liable under
1983, a plaintiff must establish that: (1) the supervisor knew that the
in conduct that posed a pervasive
constitutional injury"; (2) the supervisor's "response showed deliberate indifference to or tacit
authorization of the alleged offensive practices"; and (3) there was "an affirmative causal link"
between the supervisor's "inaction and the constitutional injury." King v. Rubenstein, 825 F.3d
206, 224 (4th Cir. 2016) (quoting Shaw v. Stroud,
"Establishing a 'pervasive' and 'unreasonable'
13 F.3d 791, 799 (4th Cir. 1994)).
risk of harm requires evidence that the conduct is
or at least has been used on several different occasions, and that the conduct
engaged in by the subordinate poses an unreasonable risk of harm of constitutional injury."
Shaw v. Stroud, 13 F.3d 791, 799 (4th Cir. 1994) (quoting Slakan v. Porter, 737 F.2d 368,373
(4th Cir. 1984)).
Here, Young does not allege that the Warden
determination to transfer him to NBCI as a pretrial detainee, or that the Warden had any personal
knowledge of the alleged discrimination against him. Accordingly, those claims are dismissed.
Because Young alleges that the Warden's review resulted in the 60-day cell restriction that
resulted in his limited recreation, and that the Warden "went so far as to having a prisoner next
door to me constantly throw feces on my door and 'food slot," CompI. ~17, those claims are not
dismissed on this basis.
Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies
claims relating to prison conditions, including his claims that the Warden
arranged to have an inmate throw feces into his cell and imposed sanctions resulting in
inadequate recreation time, fail because Young has not exhausted his available administrative
The Prison Litigation Reform Act ("PLRA"), 42 U.S.C.
1997e (2012), provides
that "(n]o action shall be brought with respect to prison conditions under section 1983 ...
prisoner confined in any j ail, prison, or other correctional facility until such administrative
remedies as are available are exhausted."
1997e(a). The PLRA applies to all complaints
regarding prison conditions, including any claims about "prison life, whether they involve
general circumstances or particular episodes, and whether they allege excessive force or some
Porter v. Nussle, 534 U.S. 516, 532 (2002).
The PLRA mandates "proper
by which inmates must complete the administrative
review process, including
meeting procedural requirements and applicable deadlines, before filing a claim in federal court.
See Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 93 (2006).
Courts have no discretion to dispense with the
exhaustion requirement in lawsuits where the PLRA applies. See id. at 85.
To exhaust administrative
remedies, inmates in Maryland correctional
generally required to follow the Administrative Remedy Procedure, as detailed in Division of
See Blake v. Ross, 787 F.3d 693,
697 (4th Cir. 2015). The first step in this process is to file a request for administrative remedy,
commonly referred to as an ARP. DCD OPS.185.0002(.05)(J)(7).
If this request is denied, the
prisoner must file, within 30 days, an appeal to the Commissioner
If this appeal is denied, the prisoner has 30 days to file an appeal to
the Executive Director of the Inmate Grievance Office ("IGO").
10-206, 10-210 (2002); Md. Code Regs.
See Md. Code Ann., Corr.
(2017); see also DCD
Young asserts in his Complaint that he used the "prisoner grievance procedure" by
"present(ing] the facts relating to this complaint" to NBCI on December 24, 2015, but that he
never received a response.
CompI. ~ 29. The Warden, however, has presented documentary
evidence that Young did not file an ARP relating to his claims that another inmate threw feces at
his cell door and food slot. Even if he had, the Warden has presented unrefuted evidence, in the
form of the Declaration of the Executive Director of the IGO, that Young never appealed any
such ARP to the IGO.
Because Young did not exhaust available administrative
regarding that claim, the Warden is entitled to summary judgment on it.
Young's allegation that the Warden violated his Eighth Amendment right to be free from
cruel and unusual punishment
by curtailing his recreation time, which resulted from the
imposition of 60 days of cell restriction, is also subject the PLRA's exhaustion requirement. See,
e.g., Johnson v. Fields, 616 F. App'x 599, 600 (4th Cir. 2015) (considering under the PLRA
whether an inmate exhausted claims arising from disciplinary sanctions).
inmate disciplinary proceeding decisions are not subject to the ARP process, but they are to be
pursued in accordance with provisions of the Code of Maryland Regulations
eventually appealed to the IGO. DCD OPS.185.0002(.05)(F).
An inmate "may only appeal a
hearing officer's guilty decision or imposed sanction" and must do so in writing to the warden
15 calendar days of receipt of the hearing officer's
Md. Code Regs.
12.02.27.33 (2017). An inmate waives the right to an appeal if he does not file a written appeal
within the IS-day period. Id. If the appeal is denied or no response is received, the inmate may
file an appeal with the IGO within 30 days of the date that either the inmate received the
response to the appeal or when the response to the appeal was due to him. Id. An inmate must
exhaust all appeal procedures for grievances arising from a disciplinary proceeding before filing
a grievance with the IGO. Md. Code Regs. l2.07.01.02(C) (2017).
The Warden has provided prison records establishing that Young did not timely file an
appeal following the entry of his guilty plea and the hearing officer's November
Mot. Dismiss Ex. 2 at 11 ("Appeal Received: No"). Moreover, the Warden has
presented the undisputed Declaration of the Executive Director of the IGO to establish that after
the Warden's office reviewed Young's disciplinary sanctions and adjusted them to include the
Young did not file an appeal to the IGO.
Amendment claim that he did not receive adequate recreation time as a result of his placement on
cell restriction fails because Young did not exhaust the available administrative remedies.
Conditions of Confinement
Even if Young's claim that the sanction of cell restriction unconstitutionally deprived him
of adequate recreation time had been properly exhausted, see supra part V, and even if Young
had properly stated a claim against the Warden that Young's pretrial detention in a facility for
convicted inmates violated the Constitution, see supra part IV, consideration of the undisputed
record reveals that the Warden is entitled to summary judgment on those claims.
Because the 60 days of cell restriction-and
the resulting reduction in recreation time-
was imposed while Young was a pretrial detainee, this claim is governed by the Fourteenth
Amendment's Due Process Clause rather than the Eighth Amendment.
U.S. 520, 536-37 (1979).
Since Young is a self-represented plaintiff, the Court will liberally
this claim to be asserted
See Bell v. Wolfish, 441
under the Fourteenth
punishment, or otherwise violate the Constitution."
there is an "an 'expressed
ld. Conditions constitute punishment when
intent' to punish" or "a lack of a reasonable relationship
legitimate nonpunitive governmental objective, from which a punitive intent may be inferred.'''
Hill v. Nicodemus, 979 F.2d 987, 991 (4th Cir. 1992) (quoting Martin v. Gentile, 849 F.2d 863,
870 (4th Cir. 1988)).
Conditions that "are reasonably related to the institution's
maintaining jail security do not, without more, constitute unconstitutional punishment, even if
they are discomforting and are restrictions that the detainee would not have experienced had he
been released while awaiting trial." Bell, 441 U.S. at 540; see also Feeley v. Sampson, 570 F.2d
364, 369 (1st Cir. 1978) ("[A]s the maintenance of institutional security directly serves the
state's interest in ensuring the detainee's presence [at trial], jail order and security has been
accepted as a consideration entitled to great weight when balancing the state's interest against the
liberty interest of detainees.").
Here, the Warden has provided uncontroverted evidence that Young was transferred to
NBCI and placed in administrative segregation for security reasons arising from his assault on
correctional officers at BCBIC. After Young pleaded guilty at the disciplinary hearing relating
to that incident to violations of prison rules against committing assault or battery on correctional
staff, interfering or resisting the performance of staff duties, and disobeying an order, he was
subjected to a 60-day period of cell restriction.
In turn, the result of the cell restriction was a
limitation on recreation to one session per week.
Where Young has provided no evidence to
dispute this account, the Court finds that his transfer, administrative segregation, and the 60-day
cell restriction were "reasonably related to the institution's interest in maintaining jail security"
and thus did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment.
Bell, 441 U.S. at 540.
limitation on recreation time likewise did not violate the Constitution. See Beverati v. Smith, 120
F.3d 500, 504 (4th Cir. 1997) (rejecting claims that the imposition of a six-month period of
segregation for violation of prison rules, which included fewer opportunities for inmates to leave
their cells and no outside recreation at all, violated the Fourteenth and Eighth Amendments);
Reynolds v. Shearin, No. DKC-13-2495,
2015 WL 570308, at *5 (D. Md. Feb. 10, 2015)
(rejecting the claim, that a cell restriction limiting recreation to one hour per week violated the
Eighth Amendment bar on cruel and unusual punishment and granting summary judgment in
favor of defendants).
Likewise, Young's claim that it is unconstitutional
to house a pretrial detainee with
Housing pretrial detainees in such facilities does not
necessarily violate their Fourteenth Amendment rights. See Bell, 441 U.S. at 524, 537, 546 n.28
(noting that pretrial detainee plaintiffs were housed in a facility with convicted criminals, that
regardless of whether it is called "a jail, a prison, or a custodial center, the purpose of the facility
is to detain," and that "[t]here is no basis for concluding that pretrial detainees pose any lesser
security risk than convicted inmates"); Alderson v. Concordia Parish Corr. Facility, --- F.3d. ---,
WL 541006, at *3 & n. 5 (5th Cir. Feb. 9,2017) (stating that indiscriminate
confinement of pretrial detainees together with convicted offenders would be unconstitutional
unless itis "reasonably related to the institution's interest in maintaining jail security or physical
facilities do not permit their separation" (quoting Jones v. Diamond, 636 F.2d 1364, 1374 (5th
Cir. 1981)). Here, the decision to house Young at NBCI as a pretrial detainee was undisputedly
based on his assault of correctional officers and was therefore consistent with an interest in
maintaining jail security. Accordingly, the Court concludes that on this record, Young's claim of
violation arising from his confinement
at NBCI, even if deemed to be a
cognizable claim against the Warden, would fail.
For the foregoing reasons, the Warden's Motion is GRANTED.
A separate Order shall
Date: February 28, 2017
HEdDOR.E D. CHU
United States District J
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