United States District Court, D. Maryland
J. MESSITTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
is a Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative, Motion for
Summary Judgment filed by CCMS II Michael Yates, CO II David
C. Robey, Richard Graham, Jr., Warden, and Wayne Webb,
Executive Director. ECF 25. Plaintiff has not
responded. Upon review of papers and exhibits filed,
the court finds an oral hearing in this matter unnecessary.
See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons
stated below, the dispositive motion will be granted.
case was instituted upon receipt of a civil rights Complaint
filed by Plaintiff Wayne Resper, a state inmate confined at
the Western Correctional Institution (“WCI”). ECF
1. Plaintiff’s Complaint, dated April 15, 2015, and
received for filing on April 22, 2015, alleged that
Defendants violated his constitutional rights by interfering
with his legal papers, reading his legal papers outside of
his presence, and destroying his papers. Id.
claims that Robey confiscated his legal and personal papers
“under the guise of ‘bringing Plaintiff into
compliance’ with the 1.5 cubic feet of paperwork
allowed to be maintained in Plaintiff’s
possession.” ECF 1, p. 3. Plaintiff states he was told
that property personnel would call him to the property room
to conduct an inventory, determine the status of his active
cases, and provide him with the allowable 1.5. cubic feet of
paper work. Id. Plaintiff states that when he met
with property personnel, he was advised that his paperwork
was being held pending case management review of his active
cases and he was denied access to his papers. Plaintiff
states that as a result of this conduct he was denied access
to the courts and due process of law. Id.
filed an amended complaint on June 1, 2015, adding Defendant
Yates. ECF 9. Plaintiff alleges Yates improperly read and
destroyed Plaintiff’s paperwork. Id., pp. 1-2.
sought declaratory relief and an injunction ordering
Defendants to cease denying him access to his paperwork. ECF
1, p. 5. The undersigned previously denied Plaintiff’s
request for a preliminary and permanent injunction. ECF 10.
offer that the Department of Public Safety and Correctional
Services (DPSCS) has promulgated Division of Correction
Directive (DCD) 220-004 governing inmate personal property.
ECF 25-2. The “rules contribute to the management of
inmate personal property in the institution, and to [the
creation of] a safe environment for staff and inmates by
reducing fire hazards, security risks, and sanitation
problems that relate to inmate personal property.”
Id., p. 1, § III. Inmates are allowed to
maintain books and papers not to exceed 1.5 cubic feet.
Id. p. 20, Appendix 1.
March 25, 2015, Robey conducted a search of Plaintiff’s
property because Plaintiff maintained property in his cell in
excess of the allowed limit as permitted under DCD 220-004.
ECF 25-3, ¶ 2. Robey confiscated six boxes of paperwork.
ECF 25-3, ¶ 2, ECF 25-4, pp. 8, 21. Plaintiff was
permitted to go through the paperwork before it was removed
so that he could keep any documents pertaining to pending
court cases, up to the allowable limit of 1.5 cubic feet. ECF
25-3, ¶ 2. After Plaintiff selected the materials he
wished to keep, the remaining paperwork was sent to the
property room to be stored. Id., ¶ 3.
1, 2015, Plaintiff requested to review the twelve boxes of
his stored papers. ECF 25-4, p. 1, ¶¶ 2-3. Given
the volume of material, Yates requested Plaintiff cull
through his papers so that any unneeded papers could be
discarded. A small number of duplicate papers and newspapers
were confiscated. ECF 25-4, p. 1, ¶¶ 2-3; p. 22.
Yates avers he never viewed Plaintiff’s property out of
Plaintiff’s presence and that beyond the newspapers and
duplicate materials confiscated on May 1, 2015, he has not
confiscated any of Plaintiff’s materials. ECF 25-4, p.
1, ¶ 4.
filed Administrative Remedy Procedure (ARP) WCI-0525-15 on
March 28, 2015, complaining that on March 25, 2015, Robey
confiscated all of his legal and personal property, boxed it
out of his presence, and refused to allow Plaintiff to copy
and mail certain documents. ECF 25-4, p. 16. Plaintiff
indicated that on March 27, 2015, he was called to the
property room and advised that his property was there but he
could not access it until he made arrangements with the
housing unit lieutenant regarding an assessment of the
papers. Id., p. 17. Plaintiff complained that the
confiscation interfered with his access to courts and
agencies and sought immediate access to his paperwork. The
ARP was procedurally dismissed, pending resubmission as staff
determined that additional information was required in order
to investigate Plaintiff’s concerns. Id., p.
resubmitted ARP WCI-0525-15 on April 9, 2015, attaching the
requested information. Id., p. 3. He indicated that
he had been advised that he would be called to the property
room and provided 1.5 cubic feet of date sensitive paperwork.
He complained that he was not provided with the material or
access to it. Id. The Warden dismissed ARP WCI
0525-15 on April 14, 2015, after investigation, indicating
that Plaintiff had been provided an opportunity to go through
current case material and he was allowed to maintain 1.5
cubic feet of paperwork in his cell. Id., p. 4.
Plaintiff was directed to submit a written request to his
Case Manager for access to his paperwork in order to exchange
documents to stay within the 1.5 cubic feet limit. The
dismissal also reminded Plaintiff had previously been advised
of this procedure. Id.
appealed ARP WCI 0525-15 to the Commissioner of Corrections.
Id., pp. 11-12. Plaintiff alleged that he was not
allowed to select or sort his paperwork because it was
removed and boxed in his absence. Id. On June 5,
2015, the appeal was denied on the basis that the warden had