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Chisley v. Warden

United States District Court, D. Maryland

February 26, 2015

ANTHONY CHISLEY, Plaintiff,
v.
WARDEN, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

DEBORAH K. CHASANOW, District Judge.

Pending is a Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants Laura M. Booth, [1] Norma Holwager, Bruce Liller, Amanda Tart, and former Warden Bobby P. Shearin. ECF No. 18. Plaintiff has responded. ECF No. 21. Upon review of papers and exhibits filed, the court finds an oral hearing in this matter unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2014). For the reasons stated below, the dispositive motion will be granted.

Background

Plaintiff Anthony Chisley, an inmate held at the North Branch Correctional Institution ("NBCI"), filed the instant civil rights complaint, alleging that in August of 2010, he was placed on administrative segregation due to his mental health/psychological status. ECF No. 1, p. 4. Plaintiff alleges that since that time he has been denied medical treatment for his mental illness and his assignment to administrative segregation exacerbated his mental illness. Id.

In support of his claim, Plaintiff states that on August 20, 2013, he was advised that he would be transferred from security housing to Unit 2 of the general population building, where special needs inmates were housed. He states that when he arrived in the housing unit he was instead assigned to a unit where non-mentally ill inmates are housed. He states that he told custody staff that he had enemies in the institution and that housing him on the tier compromised his safety. Id., p. 5.

Plaintiff states that he complained to Psychology Associate Tart, Ms. Holwager, Bruce Liller, and Laura Booth on several occasions regarding his housing assignment and lack of mental health care. He states that Defendants failed to take any action to have him moved to the mental health tier or address his concerns that he was not receiving adequate mental health care. Id., p. 6. Additionally, Plaintiff alleges that Shearin was also made aware of his improper housing assignment and lack of access to mental health care but took no corrective action. Id.

Standard of Review

A. Motion to Dismiss

The purpose of a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6) is to test the sufficiency of the plaintiff's complaint. See Edwards v. City of Goldsboro, 178 F.3d 231, 243 (4th Cir. 1999). The dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted does not require defendant to establish "beyond doubt" that plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief. See Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 561 (2007). Once a claim has been stated adequately, it may be supported by showing any set of facts consistent with the allegations in the complaint. Id. at 563. The court need not, however, accept unsupported legal allegations, see Revene v. Charles County Comm'rs, 882 F.2d 870, 873 (4th Cir. 1989), legal conclusions couched as factual allegations, see Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986), or conclusory factual allegations devoid of any reference to actual events, see United Black Firefighters v. Hirst, 604 F.2d 844, 847 (4th Cir. 1979).

B. Motion for Summary Judgment

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 ...

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