United States District Court, D. Maryland
FRANKIE L. McCOY, Plaintiff,
PATRICK CONROY, et al., Defendants.
WILLIAM D. QUARLES, Jr., District Judge.
The plaintiff, pro se, sued Patrick Conroy and Thomas R. Corcoran (the "Defendants") for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended ("ADA"),  and the Rehabilitation Act. ECF No. 1. Pending is the Defendants' motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, for summary judgment. ECF No. 37. No hearing is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2014). For the following reasons, the Defendants' motion, construed as a motion for summary judgment, will be granted in part and denied in part without prejudice.
From November 30, 1998 to the date of the complaint, May 26, 2001, the plaintiff, who at the time was incarcerated at the Maryland House of Correction ("MHC"),  was unable to earn diminution of confinement credits because of his various medical conditions. ECF No. 1. A March 3, 1998 letter written to the Honorable Paul A. Hacker, Anne Arundel County Maryland District Court Judge, from the plaintiff's case manager indicates that the plaintiff's mandatory supervision release date is January 31, 2048, and that because of his medical concerns, "he is unable to work and earn credit toward discharge." ECF No. 50-1 at 28, 33. Similarly, case management notes dated February 25, 2000 indicate that the plaintiff has been medically unable to work. Id.
Thereafter, the plaintiff wrote to his case manager requesting access to a rehabilitation program or transfer to Patuxent Institution, which would enable him to earn diminution of confinement credits. Id. at 31. In 2006, despite his medical problems, the plaintiff was assigned a job as a dietary worker. Id. at 38.
In 2007, the MHC was closed. ECF No. 37-2 ¶ 2. Lorelei Sattler, the Litigation Coordinator at MHC from January 2005 to its closure, avers that she has no record in her possession pertaining to this case. Id. ¶ 3. She further avers that to locate records for 1998 to 2001 "would now be difficult if not impossible because MHC is no longer standing and some records were destroyed." Id.
B. Procedural History
On May 31, 2001, the plaintiff sued the Defendants under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act. ECF No. 1. On June 4, 2001, the suit was placed on the "inactive/unassigned" docket. ECF No. 2. On October 6, 2004, the suit was reassigned to this Court; however, on October 13, 2004, the Court granted the plaintiff's motion to stay the suit until he was medically able to proceed. ECF No. 8. On October 23, 2013, the Court granted the plaintiff's motion to reopen the case. ECF No. 22.
On March 21, 2014, the Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint because of delay in prosecution and for failure to state a claim. ECF No. 37. On May 13, 2014, the plaintiff opposed the motion. ECF No. 43.
A. Failure to Prosecute
The Defendants seek dismissal of the complaint because of inordinate delay; they are now retired, the MHC has been closed, and evidence will be hard to obtain. ECF No. 37 at 8-10.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b) provides that if a plaintiff fails to prosecute, a defendant may move to dismiss the action. To assess whether a case should be dismissed for failure to prosecute, courts consider: (1) the degree of personal responsibility on the part of the plaintiff; (2) the amount of prejudice to the defendant caused by the delay; (3) whether there is a lengthy history of deliberately dilatory litigation; and (4) the effectiveness of sanctions less drastic than ...