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Mosby v. Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services

United States District Court, D. Maryland

March 19, 2014

KEVIN RAMON MOSBY #327-278
v.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES NORTH BRANCH CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION OFFICER HENDERSON OFFICER DURST OFFICER HOOVER OFFICER MALLON

MEMORANDUM

CATHERINE C. BLAKE, District Judge.

While incarcerated at North Branch Correctional Institution ("NBCI"), self-represented plaintiff Kevin Mosby, a Maryland Division of Corrections ("DOC") prisoner, filed this civil rights action seeking injunctive relief mandating his transfer from NBCI to a lower-security prison where he could receive mental health treatment designed to make him "whole." (Compl., ECF No. 1, at 2-3.) Alternatively, he requests transfer to any federal facility that would guarantee him a lower security classification. ( Id. )

Plaintiff alleges that, although classified a medium-security prisoner, he is housed with violent maximum-security prisoners, including his cellmate, a convicted murderer, in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. ( Id. at 2.) He also claims he was ordered to serve his sentence in a mental health facility rather than a prison, and that the treatment process has yet to be initiated. ( Id. ) He alleges that defendants Henderson, Durst, Hoover, and Mallow have harassed and taunted him, asking him "why don't you kill yourself?" ( Id. ) Because several fellow prisoners have expressed animosity towards him, he is fearful. ( Id. ) Plaintiff states he was on "keeplock" (presumably segregation status) and thus placed in danger. ( Id. ) He concludes that defendants' indifference to his situation is motivated by a retaliatory animus because he filed several lawsuits against corrections personnel relating to an incident that occurred while he was housed at Eastern Correctional Institution ("ECI"). ( Id. at 1.)

The case is before the court for resolution of a dispositive motion filed by defendants, (ECF No. 17), which is unopposed.[1] Pursuant to Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2011), no hearing is needed to resolve plaintiff's claims.

PRELIMINARY MATTERS

Plaintiff, who seeks only injunctive relief, has been transferred from NBCI, a maximum security prison, to Western Correctional Institution, also a maximum security prison. Given that he remains incarcerated in a maximum security prison, his transfer from one prison to another has not rendered his lawsuit moot.

Plaintiff's claim that he is required to serve his sentences at Patuxent Institution ("Patuxent") finds no support in the record. Patuxent, a specialized institution, is the only dedicated treatment facility within the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services ("DPSCS"). As noted on Patuxent's website:[2] "[The] facility provides treatment to men, women and youth in its Eligible Person (EP) program through the use of remediation management that combines psychiatry, psychology, social work and custody on each team."

Plaintiff is serving 29 years and six days as of June 13, 2013, for four counts of first-degree burglary, a violation of probation for housebreaking, use of a handgun in commission of a crime of violence, and second-degree assault. (OBCSIS printout, ECF No. 17-4.) Examination of Maryland's electronic docket indicates that while the sentencing courts in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties recommended he be considered for placement at Patuxent, such placement was not mandated.[3] As noted below, plaintiff was evaluated by Patuxent staff in 2013 pursuant to judicial recommendation, and was denied admission to the program.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

Defendants have moved to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. "The purpose of a Rule 12(b)(6) motion [to dismiss] is to test the sufficiency of a complaint." McBurney v. Cuccinelli, 616 F.3d 393, 408 (4th Cir. 2010) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). A Rule 12(b)(6) motion constitutes an assertion by the defendant that, even if the facts that plaintiff alleges are true, the complaint fails, as a matter of law, "to state a claim upon which relief can be granted." Fed R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Therefore, in considering a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a court must "accept[] as true the well-pled facts in the complaint and view[] them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff." Brockington v. Boykins, 637 F.3d 503, 505 (4th Cir. 2011) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted).

Ordinarily, a court may not consider matters outside the pleadings or resolve factual disputes when ruling on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion. Bosiger v. U.S. Airways, 510 F.3d 442, 450 (4th Cir. 2007). If the court does consider matters outside the pleadings, "the motion must be treated as one for summary judgment under Rule 56, " and "[a]ll parties must be given a reasonable opportunity to present all the material that is pertinent to the motion." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d); see also Finley Lines Joint Prot. Bd. Unit 200 v. Norfolk S. Corp., 109 F.3d 993, 997 (4th Cir. 1997) ("[A] Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss supported by extraneous materials cannot be regarded as one for summary judgment until the district court acts to convert the motion by indicating that it will not exclude from its consideration of the motion the supporting extraneous materials.").

This court deems it appropriate to consider the extraneous materials, as they are likely to facilitate disposition of this case.[4] Accordingly, defendants' motion shall be treated as a motion for summary judgment.[5]

Rule 56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that the "court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The Supreme Court has clarified that this does not mean that any factual dispute will defeat the motion. "By its very terms, this standard provides that the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986) (emphasis in original).

"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. Balt. Ravens Football Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514, 522 (4th Cir. 2003) (alteration in original) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). The court must "view the evidence in the light most favorable to... the nonmovant, and draw all reasonable inferences in her favor without weighing the evidence or assessing the witnesses' credibility." Dennis v. Columbia Colleton Med. Ctr., Inc., 290 F.3d 639, 645 (4th Cir. 2002). At the same time, the court also must abide by the "affirmative obligation of the trial judge to prevent factually unsupported claims and defenses from proceeding to trial." Bouchat, 346 F.3d at 526 (quoting ...


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