United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW, District Judge.
Pending is Defendants' Response to Show Cause, construed as a Motion for Summary Judgment. ECF No. 5. Plaintiff was advised that the Response would be construed as a Motion for Summary Judgment, of his right to file an Opposition Response, and of the consequences of failing to do so. ECF Nos. 6-7. He has replied. ECF Nos. 8 & 10. For the reasons that follow, Plaintiff's request for injunctive relief shall be denied and judgment shall be entered in favor of Defendants.
Plaintiff, an inmate confined at North Branch Correctional Institution (NBCI), alleges two prison gangs have placed "contracts" on his life and, despite making NBCI administration aware of those threats, nothing has been done to protect him. He asserts that he was previously assigned to Administrative Segregation where he was "safe behind the door, " but after filing lawsuits against staff he was removed from his single cell and designated to be placed in a double cell in general population. ECF No. 1.
He claims that he was single celled for 13 years. Id. He states that when he was designated for general population he received a rule infraction for disobeying an order after he refused housing due to his fear for his safety. Id. He seeks an order that he be single celled, placed on protective custody and transferred out of the Western Region to Patuxent Institution. He also seeks unspecified monetary damages. Id.
Plaintiff submits several documents to support his claim that he sought and has been denied protective custody housing. ECF No. 8, Attachments. He indicates that he provided the names of 47 "enemies" but correctional staff refused to investigate his complaints. Id. He claims that because his fears have been ignored, he became stressed out, paranoid and so overwhelmed he attempted suicide. ECF No. 1. He further alleges that he continued to receive infractions for refusing housing and when his segregation time has expired he will be forced to go into general population. Id.
A response to an Administrative Remedy Request filed by Plaintiff indicates that his claims were investigated but were not verified; his request for protective custody was denied and he will be returned to general population when his segregation sentence expires. ECF No. 8, p. 10.
Standard of Review
Summary Judgment is governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a) which 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.
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).
"The 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, 525 (4th Cir. 2003) (alteration in original) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). The court should "view the evidence in the light most favorable to... the nonmovant, and draw all inferences in her favor without weighing the evidence or assessing the witness' credibility." Dennis v. Columbia Colleton Med. Ctr., Inc., 290 F.3d 639, 644-45 (4th Cir. 2002). The court must, however, also abide by the "affirmative obligation of the trial judge to prevent factually unsupported claims and defenses from proceeding to ...