United States District Court, District of Maryland
PETER J. MESSITTE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Pending is a Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendants, William O. Filbert Jr., Ronda Stepler, Secretary Gregg Hershberger, Carol Jackson, Sergeant Morris, and John S. Wolfe. ECF No. 10. Plaintiff has responded. ECF No. 13. 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.
Plaintiff Raymond White, an inmate currently held at the Jessup Correctional Institution (“JCI”), filed the instant civil rights complaint alleging that JCI personnel have failed to comply with Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) Latonya B. Dargan’s order regarding the return of his radio. ECF No. 1. At that time Plaintiff’s radio was lost, he was housed at the Maryland Correctional Institution Hagerstown (“MCI-H”). Plaintiff alleges that after receiving the order of the ALJ which directed that either his radio be returned to him or that he “be permitted to order a radio that falls within DOC guidelines from a DOC approved vendor” he approached Sgt. Morris who contacted Carol Jackson. Jackson allegedly instructed Morris not to follow the order because the incident did not happen at JCI. ECF 1. Plaintiff states that since there was confusion as to who should pay for the replacement, he offered to pick a radio from the confiscated property, but his offer was not accepted. Id. Plaintiff states that part of the ALJ’s order was that he be reimbursed $125.00 for other lost property. Wolfe reimbursed Plaintiff the $125.00 but directed he use that money to purchase a new radio. Id. Plaintiff states that he has been directed to purchase a replacement radio which complies with current DOC policies. Id. As relief he seeks full compliance with the ALJ’s order; direction as to who has to pay for the radio or allow him to pick a boom box radio from the prison’s confiscated storage; protection from future harassment; and monetary damages for the stress resulting from this incident. Id.
The facts are undisputed. On December 20, 2013, ALJ Dargan issued an order concerning Plaintiff’s complaint that his property, including an alarm clock, calculator, radio, wristwatch, five CDS, toiletry items, and his prayer rug, were lost while he was housed at the MCI-H. ECF 1-1. The order directed that Plaintiff’s radio be returned to him, or alternatively, he be permitted to order a new radio in compliance with DOC guidelines from a DOC approved vendor. The order also directed he be reimbursed $125.00 as compensation for the other items lost. Id. The ALJ’s Order was approved by the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services on January 9, 2014. ECF 1-4.
On January 27, 2014, Plaintiff was advised that his original radio could not be located and he would be permitted to purchase a new radio in compliance with DOC policy. ECF 1-3. On February 6, 2014, Plaintiff was refunded $125.00 in compliance with the ALJ order. ECF 10, Ex. 3.
Under current DOC policy, inmates are permitted to purchase a radio within the following restrictions: “radio, AM or AM/FM, Walkman type (clear case type only) with or w/o cassette or compact disc, or headset (no recording capability or detachable speakers)-$75.” ECF 10, Ex. 2, p. 3. Plaintiff was given an opportunity to select a replacement radio, which JCI would pay for. Id., Ex. 4. Plaintiff selected a “boom box” which does not comply with DOC guidelines regarding purchase of a radio. Id., Exs. 4 & 5. Plaintiff was instructed to select another radio; however he refused to select anything other than a boom box. Id., Exs. 4 & 6.
Plaintiff has not filed an administrative remedy procedure complaint (“ARP”) regarding the enforcement of the ALJ’s Order. Id., Ex. 4.
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 ...