Parrish Bey v. Weber et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Paula Xinis on 4/26/2021. (c/m 4/26/2021 nus, Deputy Clerk)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
DANT’E L. PARRISH BEY,
Civil Action No.: PX-20-302
WARDEN RONALD WEBER,
M. BUTLER, STAFF AT WCI,
Pending in this civil rights action is Defendants Warden Ronald Weber’s and Lieutenant
Curran McKenzie’s Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment in their favor. ECF No. 21.
The Court has advised Plaintiff Dant’e L. Parrish Bey (“Parrish Bey”), currently an inmate
confined at the Western Correctional Institution (“WCI”), of his right to respond to the motion.
ECF No. 22. Parrish Bey has not filed any responsive pleading. The Court now rules, finding no
hearing necessary. See Loc. R. 105.6 (D. Md. 2018). For the following reasons Defendants’
motion is granted.
Parrish Bey contends that prison staff have protected and favored inmates with gang
affiliations while leaving the remaining inmates to “fend for [them]selves.” ECF No. 1-1 at 1. He
maintains that unnamed and unidentified “high ranking” officers at WCI “work with and for the
gang members assuring movements and transfers and other discriminatory preferential
treatments.” ECF No. 1-1 at 3. According to Parrish Bey’s sworn statement, he was the victim of
an “unprovoked attack by a known gang hitman,” that was made possible because correctional
officers stationed in the area locked him into the lobby with his assailant, a fellow inmate. ECF
No. 1-1. The attacker stabbed Parrish Bey in his face, head, and neck. ECF No. 1 at 4. Other
prison staff, according to Parrish Bey, did not render assistance as retaliation for his having
complained about the staff treating gang members favorably. Id.
Contemporaneous reports corroborate that Parrish Bey had been in a fight with another
inmate and sustained wounds consistent with having been stabbed. Corrections officers recovered
a makeshift knife. ECF No. 21-3 at 10. Parrish Bey’s wounds required hospitalization for several
days. ECF No. 21-4 at 14-15. Parrish Bey believes that while he was hospitalized, officers
“intentionally lost and destroyed” his personal property including his television, fan, radio, clothes,
shoes, and legal documents. ECF No. 1-1 at 3. Although Parrish Bey points to Officer Reyes as
the responsible party, Reyes’ inventory sheet does not reflect that Parrish Bey possessed many of
the items of which he now contends went missing. ECF No. 21-5 at 2.
Parrish Bey filed an administrative remedy procedure complaint (“ARP”) regarding his
missing property. ECF No. 21-3 at 54-57. The institution dismissed the ARP with instruction to
refile with the relevant property inventory sheets. Id. at 54. Parrish Bey never refiled the ARP.
ECF No. 21-11. Parrish Bey also filed an ARP in which he complained that he had been attacked
because corrections officers had abandoned their posts and failed to protect him. ECF No. 21-11
at 4. But he later withdrew that ARP. Id. Although Parrish Bey does not specifically aver why
he withdrew this ARP, he does generally contend that he has withdrawn ARPs pursuant to some
undefined “agreement only to have the agreement breached.” ECF No 1-2 at 3.
Based on the fight, corrections officials charged Parrish Bey with two inmate rule
violations -- engaging in a disruptive act and assault battery on an inmate. ECF No. 21-3 at 65.
Parrish Bey entered into an agreement to plead guilty to the latter charge and receive a sanction of
nine days’ confinement in disciplinary segregation with no revocation of good conduct credits.
The remaining charge was dismissed. Id. at 64. Parrish Bey complains, however, that his attacker
received a comparatively light sanction of sixty days for what Parrish Bey considers “attempted
murder.” ECF No. 1-1 at 3. After his administrative segregation ended, Parrish Bey had to be
transferred to Jessup Correctional Institution (“JCI”) for his safety. ECF No. 21-8 at 2; ECF No.
21-9, ¶ 3.
Standard of Review
Defendants move to dismiss the Complaint for failing to state a claim pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) or alternatively for summary judgment in their favor. In
reviewing a Complaint for legal sufficiency, the Court accepts the well-pleaded allegations as true
and most favorably to the plaintiff. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007).
“However, conclusory statements or a ‘formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action
will not [suffice].’” EEOC v. Performance Food Grp., Inc., 16 F. Supp. 3d 584, 588 (D. Md.
2014) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). “Factual allegations must be enough to raise a right to
relief above a speculative level.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555. “‘[N]aked assertions’ of wrongdoing
necessitate some ‘factual enhancement’ within the complaint to cross ‘the line between possibility
and plausibility of entitlement to relief.’” Francis v. Giacomelli, 588 F.3d 186, 193 (4th Cir. 2009)
(quoting Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
Summary judgment is appropriate when the Court, viewing the evidence in the light most
favorable to the non-moving party, finds no genuine disputed issue of material fact, entitling the
movant to judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477
U.S. 317, 322 (1986); Emmett v. Johnson, 532 F.3d 291, 297 (4th Cir. 2008). “A party opposing
a properly supported motion for summary judgment ‘may not rest upon the mere allegations or
denials of [his] pleadings,’ but rather must ‘set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial.’” Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens Football Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514, 522 (4th Cir.
2003) (quoting former Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)). “A mere scintilla of proof . . . will not suffice to
prevent summary judgment.” Peters v. Jenney, 327 F.3d 307, 314 (4th Cir. 2003).
Parrish Bey alleges that Defendants failed to protect him in violation of his Eighth
Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. Relatedly, Parrish Bey avers that
when he complained about the officers’ dereliction of duty, they retaliated against him. Last, he
appears to challenge the taking of his personal property when he was placed in segregation.
Defendants urge the Court to dismiss the claims for failure to exhaust administrative remedies.
The Court agrees with Defendants. 1
The Prisoner Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 42 U.S.C. §1997e, requires that an inmate
exhaust available remedies as a prerequisite to filing suit in federal court. See 42 U.S.C.
§ 1997e(a). Exhaustion under the PLRA compels the inmate to complete “the administrative
review process in accordance with the applicable procedural rules, including deadlines.”
Woodford v. Ngo, 548 U.S. 81, 88, 93 (2006). This requirement is designed to ensure that the
agency is given the opportunity to address all issues on the merits prior to the inmate filing suit in
federal court. See Woodford, 548 U.S. at 93. Failure to exhaust may be excused where “defects
in [administrative] exhaustion were not procured from the action or inaction of prison officials.”
Aquilar-Avellaveda v. Terrell, 478 F.3d 1223, 1225 (10th Cir. 2007); see Kaba v. Stepp, 458 F.3d
678, 684 (7th Cir. 2006).
Parrish Bey was required to follow the Maryland Department of Public Safety and
Correctional Services (“DPSCS”) ARP procedure to exhaust his administrative remedies. See
The Court will not reach Defendants’ alternative grounds for relief.
generally Md. Code Ann. (2008 Repl. Vol.), Corr. Servs. (“C.S.”), §§ 10-201 et seq.; Md. Code
Regs. (“COMAR”) 12.07.01B(1) (defining ARP). Under the ARP process, the inmate must first
file an ARP with his facility’s “managing official,” defined as “the warden or other individual
responsible for management of the correctional facility.” COMAR 12.02.28.02(D)(1);
12.02.28.02(B)(14). The inmate must file the ARP within 30 days from the date of the incident or
from the date he learns of the claimed wrongdoing, whichever is later. COMAR 12.02.28.09(B).
If the managing official denies the ARP or fails to respond, the inmate must note his appeal
to the Commissioner of Corrections within 30 days.
Commissioner of Correction denies an appeal, the inmate may file a grievance with the Inmate
Grievance Office (IGO). COMAR 12.02.28.18; C.S. § 10-206(a); COMAR 12.07.01.05(B). The
grievance must include the initial ARP, the managing official’s response, the appeal to
Commissioner of Corrections, and the Commissioner’s response. COMAR 12.07.01.04(B)(9)(a).
If the grievance is determined to be “wholly lacking in merit on its face,” the IGO may dismiss it
without a hearing.” C.S. § 10-207(b)(1); see also COMAR 12.07.01.06(B). An order of dismissal
constitutes the final decision of the Secretary of DPSCS for purposes of judicial review. C.S. §
10-207(b)(2)(ii). If the IGO determines a hearing is warranted, it is conducted by an administrative
law judge with the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings. See C.S. § 10-208; COMAR
12.07.01.07-.08. See also Md. Code Ann., State Gov’t § 10-206(a)(1).
Against this administrative backdrop, Parrish Bey clearly failed to exhaust administrative
remedies. Indeed, he failed to refile the ARP related to his property and withdrew the other ARP
that covers many, if not all, of the remaining claims before this Court. ECF No. 21-11 at 4 (ARP
Index Report). Parrish Bey, for his part, does not dispute that he failed to pursue administrative
remedies. Further, Parrish Bey provides no facts from which the Court can infer that officials have
thwarted his ability to engage in such process. Generalized claims of broken promises between
Parrish Bey and unidentified individuals does not excuse his requirement to exhaust administrative
remedies. ECF No. 1-2 at 3. Accordingly, the claims must be dismissed for failure to exhaust,
albeit without prejudice. 2
The Court grants Defendants’ motion to dismiss the Complaint without prejudice for
failure to exhaust administrative remedies pursuant to the PLRA. A separate Order follows.
United States District Judge
The Court also notes that only two Defendants, Weber and McKenzie, have been served. Nothing in the
Complaint suggests that either participated in the incidents forming the basis of Parrish Bey’s claims. Rather, the
liability theory, at best, appears one of respondeat superior, which is not applicable to constitutional claims brought
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. See Love-Lane v. Martin, 355 F.3d 766, 782 (4th Cir. 2004) (no respondeat superior
liability under § 1983). If Parrish Bey exhausts remedies and refiles his federal suit, he must cure this defect to proceed
against Weber and McKenzie or risk dismissal with prejudice as to these Defendants.
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