United States District Court, D. Maryland
GEORGE L. RUSSELL, III, District Judge.
Pending before the Court is Defendant Bobby Shearin's Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment. (ECF No. 8). The Court, having reviewed the Motions and supporting documents, finds no hearing necessary pursuant to Local Rule 105.6 (D.Md. 2014). For the reasons outlined below, the Motion will be granted.
Self-represented Plaintiff Nathaniel Lekai Hart, an inmate at North Branch Correctional Institution ("NBCI"), alleges a violation of his constitutional right of access to the courts pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2012). Hart asserts he was unable to file a timely Application for Leave to Appeal his February 12, 2013 resentencing in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, because he was denied access to the prison library by Shearin and prison staff. (See Compl. at 3, ECF 1). Hart further asserts he was unable to type and file his appeal in a timely matter because the prison was in lock-down status between February 12, 2013 and March 19, 2013. As relief, Hart is seeking compensatory and punitive damages of $10 million.
A. Standard of Review
To survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must set forth "a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678; Twombly, 550 U.S. at 556. "In considering a motion to dismiss, the court should accept as true all well-pleaded allegations and should view the complaint in a light most favorable to the plaintiff." Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th Cir. 1993).
"When matters outside the pleading are presented to and not excluded by the court, the [12(b)(6)] motion shall be treated as one for summary judgment and disposed of as provided in Rule 56." Laughlin v. Metro. Wash. Airports Auth., 149 F.3d 253, 260-61 (4th Cir. 1998) (alteration in original) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)) (internal quotation marks omitted). Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, the Court must grant summary judgment if the moving party demonstrates there is no genuine issue as to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).
In reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the Court views the facts in a light most favorable to the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986) (citing Adickes v. S. H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158-59 (1970)). Once a motion for summary judgment is properly made and supported, the opposing party has the burden of showing that a genuine dispute exists. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986). "[T]he 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, 477 U.S. at 247-48 (alteration in original).
A "material fact" is one that might affect the outcome of a party's case. Id. at 248; see also JKC Holding Co. v. Wash. Sports Ventures, Inc., 264 F.3d 459, 465 (4th Cir. 2001) (citing Hooven-Lewis v. Caldera, 249 F.3d 259, 265 (4th Cir. 2001)). Whether a fact is considered to be "material" is determined by the substantive law, and "[o]nly disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248; accord Hooven-Lewis, 249 F.3d at 265.
Here, because the Court will consider matters outside of the pleading, Shearin's Motion will be construed as a Motion for Summary Judgment.
Shearin argues he is entitled to summary judgment on the basis of (1) Hart's failure to exhaust administrative remedies; (2) Hart's failure to establish that Shearin maintained any personal involvement in the alleged violation; (3) Hart's failure to establish that he was ...