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Wilkerson v. Warden, Central Booking and Intake Center

United States District Court, D. Maryland

June 16, 2015

STEVEN R. WILKERSON Plaintiff
v.
WARDEN, CENTRAL BOOKING AND INTAKE CENTER, et al., Defendants.

MEMORANDUM

J. FREDERICK MOTZ, District Judge.

Pending is defendants' motion to dismiss or for summary judgment (ECF 16) which is unopposed by plaintiff.[1] The court finds a hearing in this matter unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2014). For the reasons that follow, defendants' motion, construed as a motion to dismiss, shall be granted.

Background

Plaintiff who, was at all times relevant to this case, incarcerated at Central Booking and Intake Center (CBIC) in Baltimore, Maryland, alleges he is Jewish and was denied Kosher meals. ECF 1. He asserts "they are trying to give me a vegetarian diet" instead of a Kosher diet and, as a result he did not eat for 22 days causing a weight loss of approximately 40 pounds. Id.

In his court-directed amended complaint, plaintiff asserts he was interviewed by Officer Mcffe on July 1, 2014, at CBIC. When asked about his religion plaintiff responded "Judaism" and explained he could only eat Kosher foods. Plaintiff claims this information was put into the computer system for the jail. ECF 3 at p. 2. Additionally, plaintiff claims that he gave the same information to a medical provider soon after talking to Mcffe. He states the "medical provider" asked him what a Kosher diet was; plaintiff answered it was a religious diet; and the medical provider stated a record would be made of it and sent to the warden. Id. at p. 3.

On July 8, 2014, plaintiff states he spoke with Sergeant Adeyemi, who called Major Stewart about the fact that plaintiff had not eaten any food for eight days. Plaintiff claims Adeyemi told him that Major Stewart was "working on getting some kosher food" for him. Id.

On July 11, 2014, plaintiff states he sent in a request slip to the Chaplain's office requesting a religious, Kosher diet. When plaintiff spoke with the Chaplain, whom he does not name, he claims the Chaplain said he would "talk to his boss" about starting plaintiff on a Kosher diet. Id. Plaintiff claims in that same time period, he spoke with Chaplain Spuler who instructed plaintiff to file a request form for a Kosher diet. Id. at pp. 3-4.

Plaintiff states that he was also seen by a Rabbi from the Maryland Division of Correction who told plaintiff he would send him a prayer book, a Torah, and a Tallit for praying. In addition, the Rabbi told plaintiff that Stephanie Coast from the Division of Correction had sent him an e-mail about plaintiff being placed on a religious diet. Id. at p. 4.

Plaintiff claims that his health was beginning to decline because he was not eating. He states he was seen by Dr. Kelly, who sent e-mails to the Warden, the Chaplain, and the Dietary Department about plaintiff not receiving a religious diet. Dr. Kelly also explained that plaintiff was not eating due to the lack of a Kosher diet being provided. Id. at p. 4.

On July 24, 2014, plaintiff states he talked to Lt. Gilmore about not receiving a Kosher tray. Plaintiff claims Gilmore said the Rabbi was supposed to get the food for plaintiff. At 1:30 p.m. that day, plaintiff states he passed out from not eating and he was sent to the medical department where he was given I.V. fluids by a medical provider. Plaintiff claims he was weighed and it was determined that he had gone from 225 pounds to 165 pounds in a 23 day period. Following the medical care provided, plaintiff claims he was sent back to his cell and no further steps were taken to provide him with adequate nutrition. Id. at pp. 4-5.

On July 26 or 27, 2014, plaintiff states he spoke with a Captain or a Lieutenant at CBIC and was escorted to the medical department where he was again given IV fluids. In addition, plaintiff states that he was provided with three boiled eggs and four bananas, but plaintiff only ate the bananas as the eggs were not Kosher. Id. at p. 5.

On July 28, 2014, plaintiff was transferred to the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC). He states his property was searched and plaintiff later discovered that paperwork with the names, dates, and times of the events surrounding his attempts to resolve the issues about receiving a Kosher diet were missing. Plaintiff states he brought the missing paperwork to the attention of BCDC staff and they claimed there was nothing they could do. Id. at pp. 5-6.

On August 7, 2014, plaintiff spoke with Director Oliver of BCDC about his need for a Kosher diet. Oliver informed plaintiff that she sent an e-mail to the Chaplain. Plaintiff claims one or two days afterward he received a visit from the Chaplain who told him his Kosher diet was not approved. Id. at p. 6.

On August 11 and 13, 2014, plaintiff states he spoke with Warden Foxwell and Assistant Warden Campbell regarding Kosher meals. He claims both Foxwell and Campbell met his concern with the question, "What would you like us to do? Cook you a Kosher meal?" Id. ...


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