United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
is a Motion to Dismiss, or in the alternative, Motion for
Summary Judgment filed by Defendant Bobby P. Shearin. ECF
37.Plaintiff has responded. ECF 44 & 45.
Upon review of the papers filed, the Court finds a hearing in
this matter unnecessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D.
Md. 2014). For the reasons stated below, the dispositive
motion will be construed as a Motion for Summary Judgment and
will be GRANTED.
case was instituted upon receipt of a civil rights Complaint
filed by Plaintiff Brandon Roberts,  an inmate currently confined
at the North Branch Correctional Institution
("NBCI"). ECF 1. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant
violated his constitutional rights by denying him access to
legal materials. Plaintiff was directed to supplement the
complaint. ECF 4, By way of Amended Complaint, Plaintiff
alleges he and the former Warden and administration at NBCI,
entered into an agreement to establish a satellite law
library within NBCI's segregation unit. ECF 8, p. 2.
Thereafter, Plaintiff alleges, the administration ceased its
work on the satellite law library and Plaintiff was released
to general population. Id., p. 3.
Plaintiff returned to the segregation unit on or about
January 28, 2012, he discovered that no legal library had
been established. Rather, a book-mobile style cart was in
operation in lieu of a library. Id., p. 3. Plaintiff
indicates that the book carts are devoid of any legal
research materials, and alleges that Defendant has failed to
provide segregation inmates basic research materials such as
federal or state digests, legal dictionaries, Sheppard's
citations, United States Codes and Statues. Id., p.
indicates that the existing system used to access legal
materials is inadequate in that he is forced to request legal
research materials by exact citation, it takes weeks to
months to obtain the requested materials, and he is only able
to obtain five cases at a time, making it difficult to carry
out meaningful legal research. Id. Plaintiff further
indicates that frequently the wrong research is sent, or no
response to the request is received, causing him to miss
deadlines in with the court. He states that this puts him in
a position where he needs to explain to the court the
difficulties in preparing his pleadings. Id., p. 5.
Correctional Librarian Rebecca Hammons avers that NBCI
provides computers in the main library and in housing units
2, 3 and 4 which contain legal dictionaries. ECF 18-2, ¶
4. Hammons further avers that on October 23, 2012,
Black's Law Dictionaries were placed in each housing unit
at NBCI and in the Main Library for use by
inmates. Id., ¶ 4. Inmates housed on
housing unit 1, the segregation unit, are permitted to
request legal materials from the main library. Those
materials are delivered to the segregation inmates. Id.,
¶ 5. Where the NBCI Main Library does not have the
materials requested, the inmates may request materials
through the Library Assistance to State Institutions
("LASI") program. Id., ¶ 9.
September 22, 2008 through October 12, 2012, Plaintiff
checked out and received 17 legal materials, including the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, treatises, and portions of
the Maryland Code. ECF 18-2, ¶ 7; ECF 18-3. From October
12, 2012, to the signing of Hammons' affidavit on
February 4, 2014, Plaintiff did not request any legal related
cases, books, citations or department directives form the
NBCI main library. ECF 18-2, ¶ 8. From December 28, 2011
to October 14, 2013, Plaintiff requested and received
approximately 140 legal resources through LASI. ECF 18-4.
Motion to Dismiss
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).
Motion for Summary Judgment
Judgment is governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a) which provides
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 ...