George v. McDonough et al

Filing 16

MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge George Jarrod Hazel on 8/17/2017. (c/m 8/17/2017 aos, Deputy Clerk)

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C" IN TIlE UNITEI> STATES D1STI{ICT COUR!L';,' FOR TilE I>ISTRICT OF MARYLANI> l,.J I , ••v, SO/llltel'll TEHIWN GEOIHa:, znn DiI';s;o/l * Plaintiff, FILED. C:.,,~ ,T ,. I . : ;:":" L,:,::J r"'r:,.... " , •••• AUG11 A 10: 22 , C' ... ,. ..- ,..' .', ~':... * v. * MARY LOU MCI>ONOUGH, el Civil Actinn I'In. G,JII-16-1J53 al., * I>cfcndants. * * * * * * * * MEMORANI>UM PlaintiffTehron this pro se 42 at Princc Gcorgc's * * claim against Dcfcndants and Law Librarian B. McTcrnan * * * OPINION Gcorgc. an inmatc at thc Ccntral tvlaryland Corrcctional U.s.c. ~ 1983 Mcrccdcs Ilcrnandcz • * Facility. brings Wan.lcn \1ary LOll i\!cDonollgh. Dr. IlH'dcnying him acccss tothc law library County Detention Ccntcr ("PGCDC"). dcnying him acccss to thc gric\',lIKc proccss. and placing him in an unclean cell alicr Gcorgc wcnt on a hungcr strikc. ECF No. I. DcICndants McDonough and McTcrnan havc Iiled a Motion to Dismiss or altcrnatively Summary .Judgmcnt. lOCI' No. 12. Tbc Court lil1lls a hcaring in this mattcr unncccssary. I.ocal Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For thc rcasons that Il)llow. Dcfcndants' arc dismisscd. DcICndant llernandcz. PlaintifTshal1 be givcn thc opportunity SCI' Motion. construcd as a Motion IlH' Summary .Judgmcnt. shall bc grantcd. and thc claims against i\!cDonough McTiernan Illr and to amcnd his complaint against I. BACKGROUND I'laintiffGeorge SykesYi lie. Maryland. is currently an inmate at the Central Maryland Correctional Facility in \\here he has resided since at least October 2016.1 While preyiously housed at "GCDC as a pre-trial detainee from July 2015 to August 2015 and from January 2016 to June 2016. George filed a sell~represenled seeking money damages against I'GCnC ci\'il rights complaint Warden Mary Lou McDonough. Ilernandez. and L<I\\' Librarian B. McTernan. at PGCDe. on July 1.2015. he was banned li'omusing returned to I'GCnC ~ 19X~. Dr. Mercedes ECF No. I. George states that during his lirst stay the library. Id at 4. When George in January of 20 16. the ban allegedly remained in effect. Id George states that alier his return. McTernan "what she wants. sometimes grieyanee under 42 USe. failed to proyide copies of case law at his request. sending him nothing at aiL" Id George further alleges that he was denied a form until he began a hunger strike: and alier initiating the hunger strike. George \\'as stripped of his clothing and possessions. including his water cup. and placed in a dirty cell. Id As a result. George was allegedly unable to drink water and could not participate in programs or work release. Id A. Access In Lihrary In support of his claim. George provides copies of his case law requests and responscs li'omlibrary personnel relating to his most reecnt contacts with library personnel.l'CF On February &. 2016. library staff inl,mned in the ciYillaw area. and I \\'C George that the "definitions do not proyide this inl,mnation." No. 14-1. you haye asked i,"' arc Ill. at 1O. The note also inl')l'Ined George pleaded guilty to the olTcnsc for which he is currentlv incarcerated on June 27. 2016 .. \'('1.' Case No. CT- 160125 X (Cir. Coun Prince George' s ely.) http://('ascscarch.~oLlrts.statc.llld.lIs!('ascscan.:hlproccssl)isc ') lailller.j is. George that stall does not provide copies Crom books. allll suggested that George obtain the inllJrlnation requested Irom his anorney.2 /d George sent another request Itll' case law on February 19.2016. ECF No. 1-1-1at I. On February 23. 2016. "Law Library StaIr indicated that entire citations to eases were needed beltlre they could pro\'ide the requested eopy work. Ill: at 9. A second request on February 26. 2016. recei\'ed on Mareh 2. 2016. elicited a response Irom Law Library stall indicating that George had provided insuflicient inCormation Itlr them to lind the requested eases. that his second request that week exceeded the ten case limit. and that one ease was unrelated to George's eriminal ease. and thus presumably would not be provided. /d at X. On March 7. 2016. George again complained requested. ECF No. 1-1-1at 2. On ivlareh J that he did not reeeive all the cases he 0.20 I(,. Law Library StaCCnotilied George that they had provided li\'e oCthe ten items requested. but did not inelude the remaining eopies beeause the subjeet matter was not relevant. or could not be Itllllld with the eitation pro\'ided. !d at 6. On April 25. 2016. George again requested copies oC ease law. /d at 3. T\\(l days later. on April 27. 2016. George complained that he had recei\'ed nothing. despite three requests spanning three weeks. ECF No. 1-1-1at -I. That same day. April 27. 2016. Law Library StaCCinltJrllled George that the eases requested related to use oC excessive I()ree during arrest. a eivilmaner. and thus \\We not related to his ClllTent criminal ease. Ill. at 7. Stall noted that the library "only providelsl Maryland criminal legal inlol1nation related to your current ease:' and that iCGeorge eould explain how the material related to his current criminal case. it would be provided./d ~ A notation a 011 the bottom On June 9. 2016. George requested copies oCthe Ci\'il Rights /\et. orth\? Ilole, * 1983 ci\'il rights form.!d apparently made by George. at 10. , .J states that tlK' information requested pl'rtaincd to 42 U.S.c. ~ 1983. se\'eral cases. and a copy oj" his court print-out. Id at 5. The outcome oj" this rcqucst is not noted in the record. B. Acccss to Gricvancc Forms On February 29. 2016. George requested a grievance t(lrI11. ECF No. 14-1 at 13. On March 9. 2016. il-Iajor Gamble responded that the tirst step in the grievance process is in!llrI11al resolution. speaking with the housing unit orticer or zone commander betlJre requesting tiled additional an Inmate Grievance to discuss the problem. Form. Id The record does not indicate \Vhether George t(lrI11al requests J"orgrievance f(m11s prior to the time he began his hunger strike in April of 20 16. C. Placcment In his Complaint. in Unclean Cell, Deprivation of Rcsourecs George states he was stripped oj" clothing and possessions. including his drinking cup. and placcd in a dirty ccll alier he initiated a hunger strike. ECF No. I at 4. Ilis exhibits show that on April II. 2016. Dr. llernandez isolation in the special management ordered Gcorgc's placcment on medical housing area beeause he was on a hunger strike. ECF No. 14- I at I I. That same day. George filed a grievance. exprcssing suicide watch alier initiating a hungcr strike and complaining displeasure at bcing placed on that he was bcing Icd peanut buttcr thrce times a day with no J"ruit. ECF No. 12.1 at I. lie also stated that hc \Vas un!~lirly banned Irom the law library and denied the ease copies he rcquested and access to books. ECF No. 12-1 at I: ECF No. 14-1 at 12. Zone Commander Sgt. Godson investigated April I I. 2016. Sgt. Godson indicated that I) the f(lOd was nutritionally the grie\'anee. and on adequate. 2) policy dictated a detainee on a hunger strikc be placed on medical isolation. and 3) thc library \V'(luld t(1Iward rcquested materials to him. ECF No. 14-1 at 12. The shili commander 4 concurred with the Iindings on April 12.2016, and on April 14,2016. a Lieutenant determined that the grievance lacked merit. Id (). Proccdural History George Iiled the instant Complaint and McTernan on May 5. 2016. lOCI' No. I. Defendants tiled a tvlotion to Dismiss. or Alternatively. ECF No. 12. Pursuant to RO,lehom \'. (iarrisoll. notilied of DeICndants' responded a Motion for Summary JudgmCl1t. 528 F.2d 309. 310 (4th Cir. 1(75). George I\as Motion, and of his right to lile an opposition. by Iiling a Motion to Amend Complaint. was aware of the condition Itll' the ol'the cell and lack ofa drinking cup. lOCI' No. 14. In that Motion. George also states that he "reached out to the Major and Ms. McDonough on more than one occasion'" it!. at I. and pro\'ides pages of e:\hibits showing his requests It)r case copies, his grievance and a civil case George initialed in the District Court of Maryland against Wardcn MeDonough.,1 construed II. lOCI' No. 13. George stating that he received a grievance day he began his hunger strike. and that Dr. Ilernandez Georgc's McDonough 14 !tll"lll dated April II. 2016. for Prince George's County lOCI' No. 14: lOCI' No. 14-1. The Motion to Amend shall be as George' s Opposition to Dclcndant" s Motion. STAN()AR() OF REVIEW Defendants 12. Ordinarily, have mO\'ed to dismiss. or in the alternative. It)r summary judgment. a court cannot consider matters outside the pleadings 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. See Bosit:('I" , I'. U.S. ECF No. \\hen ruling on a Rule Ainrm's. 510 F.3d 442. 450 (4th Cir. 2(07). If the . court docs consider matters outside the pleadings ... the motion must he treated as one It)r summary judgment undcr Rulc 56'" and "laJII parties must be given a reasonable opportunity to On May 2. 2016. George liIed a civil contract action ill Stall' court scddng S30.000.00 against J\1cIJOIlOllgh, McTernan and Ilernandez. The case remains pending. Set! Gl!orge \'. i\/cIJo11tll/gh. Civil Case No. 0502000117562016 Co. Ct. Prince George's ely. The parties do nol c.\plain what connection. irany. the contract action have with this federal civil rights maltcr. .t 5 present all the material that is pertinent to the motion."' Fed. R. Civ. 1'. 12(d): see a/so Fin/ey Lines .foinl I'mleCli\"e Hd Unil 2()() \'. No'."/i,/k S. ('o'."p.. 109 F.3d 993. 997 (4th Cir. 19'17) Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss supported by extraneous sunllllary judgment materials cannot be regarded as one \(lr until the district court acts to eOl1\'ert the motion by indicating thaI it will not exelude fi'OI11 consideration its appropriate of the motion the supporting here to consider the extraneous See /Vamer \'. Qui/o. No, ELI I-I 2-248. extraneous and I'lainlifThad 2012 WI. 3065358. at *2 (D, Md. July 2(1. 2(12) as one li,r summary and submits matters outside the pleadings ji,l' the eoun's consideration. deemed to be on notice that col1\'CJ'sion under Rule 12(d) may occur, ,\Ielm, II'm!l. It is as a motion lill' summary judgment. (-When the movant expressly captions its motion 'in the alternative' the parties arc , .-) (quoting I.augh/in \', Ai'."/IIII'I.\'/111/11.. 149 FJd 253. 261 (4th Cir. 1(98)), Moreo\'er.l'laintiIThas attached extraneous considered, materials"). materials submitted by Ddendants. notice by vinue of the motion being liled in the alternati\'e judgment. also materials to his Motion to Amend. ECF No, 14. which the Court has Accordingly. Defendants' Summary judgment motion will be construed as one lill' summary judgment. is appropriate under Fcc!. R. Ci\'. 1'. 56(a) when there is no genuine dispute as to any material 111et.and the moving pany is plainly entitled to judgment a matter of law, In ,lnder,wlII Court explained (-I A I I'. in its Ill\'(lI' as I.iherly LoMy, Inc,. 477 U ,S, 242. 249 ( 1986). the Supreme that. in considering a motion lor summary judgment. himself to weigh the evidence and determine the -judge's the truth of the matter but to determine there is a genuine issue for trial." A dispute about a materialllict party."' Ie/. at 248, Thus. -the judge must ask himself not whether he thinks the evidence unmistakably Ill\'()J"Sone side or the could relurn a verdict lil)' the [nonmoving 6 I\'hether is genuine "ifthe evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a \'erdiet lill' the nonmoving other but whether a Illir-mindedjury function is not panyl on the evidenee presented'" draw reasonable Alals/lshila E/;,()(' inrerences this inquiry. the Court must vie,,' the tllcts and "in the light most ravorable to the party opposing the motion'" Elee, Illd/ls, Co, Ltd \'. l('l7;lh lIadio Corp.. 475 U.S, 574. 587-88 \', Nl/\:l' existence Id at 252. In undertaking Fed ('redil ora "scintilla" Ullioll. 424 F3d 397. 405 (4th Cif'. 2(05). orevidence in support or the nonmoving preelude an order granting summary judgment. See Alldersoll. Finally. a federal eourt must liberally construe litigallls to allow them rully to develop potentially party's case is not surticielllto 477 U,S, at 252. pleadings meritorious party. particularly 0/.1'0 1100\'e\w. the mere tiled by sell~represented eases, See I:'ricksoll \', /'an/IIS. 551 U.S. 89. 94 (2007), This Court reviews the Illcts and draws all reasonable light most Ill\'orable to the nonmoving (1986): see "hen inferenees in the that party is sell~represented. as here. See SCOII \', Harris. 550 U.S. 372. 378 (2007): see a/so Gordoll \', Leeke. 574 F,2d 1147. 1151 (4th Cif'. 1978). While the Court generally standards than Il1l'l11alpleadings lack a cognizable should hold pro dralied by lawyers'" ,Ie pleadings it may nevertheless legal theory or Illil to allege surtieient less stringent dismiss complaints IllCtSunder a cognizable Haines \', Kel'1ler. 404 U.S, 519. 520 (1972): see a/so f/lmer that legal theory. \', Kig/ll. 192 F. Supp. 2d 391. 398 (D, Md. 2(02). III. ANALYSIS A. Aeecss to Library George's and Gricvanec rm'llls primary e1aim is that he was not provided lOCI' No, I at 4. Despite his eonlinement. rull access to the I'CiCDC 1'1'" library. George retains a eonstitutionally protected access to the courts. See BO/llld\' \'. SlIIilh. 430 U,S, 817. 821 (1977). Howcver: BO/llld,' does not guarantee inmates the "herewithal to transtlll'll1 themselves into litigating engines capable or tiling everything li'Om shareholder derivative actions to slip-and-tllil e1aims. The tools it requires to be provided are those that the inmates need in order to 7 right or atlack their scntcnces. directly or collatcrally. and in order to challenge the conditions of their conlincment. Impairment of any other litigating capacity is simply one of the incidental (and perfectly constitutional) consequences of eOI1\'ietion and incan.:crat iOIl. Lell'is \'. ('asey. 518 U.S. 343.355 (1996). "IAI prisoner wishing to establish an unconstitutional burden on his right of access to the courts must show 'actual injury' to .the capability contemplatcd .\'elherloi/(I. challenges to scntences because of the denial ofaecess ("'ITlhe predicate that a "nonfi'ivolous" to the courts./d. in part. concurringjudgmcnt): satisfies this obligation was entitled to meaningful wherc a pretrial dctaince 2(11) (citing (Jllilei/ SIOles Ilere. George's 1'. 536 U.S. 403. 415-16 (2002) test and 10 \\hile access to the courts ... the State is pnn-idcd professional 20 II WI. 5842628. cxhibits demonstrate that although criminalla\\' citation to assist library stafr in locating the requested that ci\'il case law conccrning criminal case was not providcd. at legal assistance." * I (D. 1\,ld. Nm'. 18. he was not pcrmitled to enter the ifhe was able to provide sul'licicnt cases. ECF No. 14-1 at 7. Although matlcrs not directly rclated to his pending this broadcr range of library services was not constitutionally required and provides no basis fiJr damages. 2010 WI. 3938343. in part. dissenting ('hOIIllOIl. 584 F.2d 1358. 1360 (4th Cir. 1978)). library. he was provided copics ofrelevanl George complains concurring claim is more than hope."). Additionally. No. CIV.A. DKC-II-1752. 1'.('/'Imi/('/'. \'. I/orh/l/:\'. claim \vas lost \\ell enough to apply the 'nonli'iH)lous' nature of the underlying as a pre-trial detainee. at 355. Actual injury and "arguable" at 399 (Souter..I.. see olso Chrislofiher claim [must] be described show the 'arguable' Toolller bellll'c the courts .... () D"II \'. of conlinement 112 F.3d 773. 776 (4th Cir. 1997). quoting Lell'is. 518U.S. oecurs \\hen a prisoner demonstrates Plaintiff or conditions of bringing See. e.g .. Kelly \'. Slol/lli'r. at *4 (D. Md, Oct. 6. 2(10) (no constitutional 8 No. CIV.A A W-10-770. violation \\herc there \\as no law lihrary at plaintiIrs and individuallihrary current prison l~lCility. hut inmates were afl(mled passes), Further. George. wbo was represented his access-to-courts "'actual weekly library \'isits hy counscl in his criminal case. cannot prevail on claim against McDonough. injury' to 'thc capability ofhringing McTernan. contemplated or bel' stall bccause he cannot show challenges to sentences or conditions ODell \', Ne/herlund. 112 F.3d 773. 776 (4th Cir. 1997) ofcontinement beli)!'e the courts:"' (quoting 518 U.S. at 355). Indeed. actual injury is not alleged. much less shown. in this Lell';s. casc,4 See, e.g .. Roherl,\ \', Sheur;n. No. CV RDB-13-1528. May n. 2(16) to nonli'in)lous (linding no right-to-access legal claims): 2016 WI. 3044848. at *4 (D. l.1d. claim wherc prisoner did not demonstrate rOling-Bey \', Kennel!\'. No, CIV,A . .IFM-12-0162. 1976004. at *4 (D. Md. May 10.2(13) (Iinding no right-to-access any injury 2013 WI, claim wherc prisoner's claim ..... of actual injurv was "'val!uc and conclusorv"'), . Georgc also complains that he could not ohtain gricvancc limns. a limn of an access-to- courts claim, ECF NO.1 at4. See, e.g .. Tur"ley \', S/oll!kr. No, CIV.A. GI,R-13-522. 768838. at *6 (D, Md. Feb. 21. 2(14). George's grievances inlimnally. 2014 WI, exhibits show that he was told to present his and that he was provided a grievance limn at tbe time of his placement on the special housing tier. EC F No, 14-1. George does not spcci fy that any of the named Delendants were rcsponsible specify actual harm resulting 768838. at *6 (dcnying lill' denying or delaying from such actions. acccss-to-courts thcrc was "'no C\'idence submitted access to grievance lill'ms. and hc I~lils to ECF NO.1 at2. 4. See 1ill'"ley. 2014 WI, claim where plaintiff did not sh()\\' actual injury and by I'laintilTto support the bald assertion that a timcly liled ~ George does not indicate thm Defendant Ilcrnandez was in any way involved in his railed quest 10 obtain copies of legal materials. or that she played any role in the alleged denial of grievance forms. Thus. cven had Ikrn<1ndcl heen served with the Complaint. she "oull! be entitled to dismissal from the acccss.lO.courts and denial of ~ricvancc forms allegations under 28 U.S.C. ~ 1915A. authorizing this Court to screen prisoner complaints. 9 ~ grievance \vas intentionally misdirected processed by a chain of command or ignored"). and ultimately Indeed. once tiled. George's of Rcsourecs Finally. George does not allege action on the part of Defcndants his placement \vas found to be without merit. lOCI' No. 14-1 at 12. B. Placcmcnt in Unclcan Ccll, J)cprh'ation McTernan concerning gricvance in a dirty. special-housing McDonough or medical cell. and the resultant taking of his clothing. pcrsonal property. and drinking cup. lOCI' No. I at 4: ECF No. 14-1 at II. Exhibits submitted by the Plaintiff seem to indicate that Dr. llernandez. \lho has not been sen'ed with process in this case. placed him in the cell. see lOCI' No. 14-1 at 11. But thc allegations the Complaint llernandez condition. do not specify that it was Dr. Hernandez knc\l' of the complaints his loss of possessions. who made this decision. or that Dr. that allegedly motivated the transfer. or of thc cell" s and his inability to obtain drinking water in the cell. ECF No. I at 1.4. Thus. George shall be pnn'ided 21 days to amend his Complaint against llernandez provide a specific factual basis for his e1aim. or ri,sk dismissal of his claim against llernandez without prejudice and without further warning. IV. CONCLUSION George has lililed to establish a violation of constitutional McDonough and McTernan. McTcrnan's summary judgment Complaint in rights by Defcndants A separate Order shall be entered granting McDonough motion and providing George an opportunity with regard to Defendant and to amcnd his Ilernandez. If //7/ZO/7 ~-. Datc I-(!-~-J-:L---- United States District Judge 10 to

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