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Levy v. Davenport

United States District Court, D. Maryland

August 1, 2016

SHAWNTE ANNE LEVY, Prisoner Identification No. 416-369
v.
SHEILAH DAVENPORT, STEVE MASON and MUHAMMED AJANAH, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          THEODORES CHUANG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Self-represented Plaintiff Shawnte Anne Levy, currently confined in the Special Needs Psychiatric Care Unit of North Branch Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Maryland, has filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 9 1983 against Defendants Sheilah Davenpor, Steve Mason, and Muhammed Ajanah, alleging violations of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 24 U.S.C. 99 12101-12213 (2012). Pending before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment. No hearing is necessary to resolve the issues. See D. Md. Local R. 105.6. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND

         The following facts are presented in the light most favorable to Levy, the nonmoving party:

         I. Levy's Psychiatric Treatment

         According to Defendants, Levy was committed to Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center ("CTPHC",, a psychiatric hospital administered by Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in 1984 after being found "what was then termed 'Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity"" for various crimes. Defs.' Correspondence ¶ 4. She was later conditionally released from CTPHC. In 1997, a court adjudicated Levy not criminally responsible for a murder she committed while on release and returned Levy to CTPHC.

         Levy, who was born biologically male, alleges that doctors at CTPHC diagnosed her with paraphilia not otherwise specified, transvestic fetishism, gender identity disorder, polysubstance dependence, and anti-social personalty disorder. She claims that between January and November of 2010, Defendants ignored her repeated requests for treatment for gender identity disorder and auditory hallucination.. In March 2010, at a "clinical individual case conference" that Levy was not permitted to attend, Davenpor, CTPHCss Chief Executive Officer, and Ajanah, its Clinical Director, "oversaw" the decision to discontinue Levy's prescription for Risperda,, a psychiatric medication. Compl. ¶ 10. In June 2010, Levy complained of "psychological problems" to a CTPHC clinical social worker. Compl, 13. He responded that her body was just adjusting to the absence of medication. Also in June, Levy began consuming the excrement and urine of her friend and fellow CTPHC patient, Susan Sachs. Levy hoped that ingesting Sachs's excrement and urine would help Levy become biologically female. Levy consumed the excrement and urine within view of the security cameras on the maximum security ward, where both she and Sachs were housed.

         In August 2010, doctors placed Levy on lithium, a different psychiatric medication. She claims that she had not been "evaluated" for this drug and that CTPHC staff continued to ignore her requests for treatment for auditory hallucinations and gender identity disorder. Compl, ¶ 17. Also in August, Davenport and Ajanah transferred Levy and Sachs to the medium security ward. There, Levy continued consuming Sachs's urine and excrement within view of security cameras. Mason, who was CTPHC's Chief Operations Officer and was responsible for security at the facility, "failed to review [the] security cameras operation procedure, " which allowed Levy and Sachs "to be a danger to themselves and others." Compl. ¶ 15.

         In September 2010, Levy was charged with murdering Sachs. Levy alleges that at some point Davenpor, Ajanah, and Mason fabricated portions of her medical records to conceal the inadequate treatment she received at CTPHC. On February 1, 2012, a Maryland circuit court deemed her competent to stand trial.[1] She was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

         II. Procedural

         History On September 24, 2015, Levy filed the Complaint initiating this case. The Complaint asserts that Defendants' failure to accommodate her mental disability violated Title II of the ADA and that their deliberate indifference to her medical needs violated her Eighth Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishmen.. The Complaint seeks a declaratory judgment and $50, 000 in damages. The Complaint also named Sachs as a co-plaintiff. In a previous Order, the Court ruled that Levy could not assert claims on Sachs's behalf.

         On January 19, 2016, Defendants filed their Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment. On February 24, 2016, Levy submitted a Response to the Motion?[2] On March 14, 2016, Defendants filed a Reply memorandum.

         DISCUSSION

         In their Motion, Defendants seek dismissal or summary judgment on the grounds that Levy's claims are time-barred, that she cannot sue Defendants under Title II of the ADA, and that she has failed to state a claim for violations of the ADA or Eighth Amendmen.. Because the Court finds that Levy's claims are ...


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