United States District Court, D. Maryland
L. Russell, III United States District Judge
MATTER is before the Court on Defendants', Warden J.
Philip Morgan, Assistant Warden Jacquelene Shank,
Correctional Officer Greg Wade, and Sergeant Ray Foust,
Motion to Dismiss, or in the Alternative, Motion for Summary
Judgment. (ECF No. 12). The Motion is
unopposed. Upon review of papers and exhibits filed,
the Court finds no hearing necessary. See Local Rule
105.6 (D.Md. 2016). For the reasons stated below, the Court
will grant the Motion.
a state inmate then confined at the Maryland Correctional
Training Center (“MCTC”), alleged that on May 22,
2015 at approximately 3:00 a.m., he notified officers that he
feared for his safety and needed to be removed from his cell
before his cellmate assaulted him. At approximately 8:00
a.m., McDonald had not been removed from his cell and advised
another officer that he had been assaulted by his cellmate
and needed to be removed from the cell immediately. During
the lunch meal, McDonald again advised officers of the
incident with his cellmate and that his cellmate threatened
to assault him again if the officer left the area. The
officer saw that McDonald had a bruised and blackened eye and
removed him from the cell.
8, 2015, McDonald filed a complaint through the
Administrative Remedy Procedure (“ARP”). (ECF No.
12-5). The ARP complaint only alleged that Faust, Wade, and
other officers took his sneakers without returning them.
Id. McDonald requested that the sneakers be returned
to him or that he receive adequate compensation for them.
Id. The ARP complaint was dismissed with directions
for McDonald to resubmit it providing additional information
about the sneakers. Id. McDonald neither resubmitted
the complaint nor appealed the dismissal to the Commissioner.
(ECF No. 12- 6).
Standard of Review
considering a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the court must construe
the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff,
read the complaint as a whole, and take the facts asserted
therein as true. See Harrison v. Westinghouse Savannah
River Co., 176 F.3d 776, 783 (4th Cir. 1999) (citing
Mylan Labs., Inc. v. Matkari, 7 F.3d 1130, 1134 (4th
Cir. 1993)). But “[w]hen matters outside the pleading
are presented to and not excluded by the court, the
[12(b)(6)] motion shall be treated as one for summary
judgment and disposed of as provided in Rule 56.”
Laughlin v. Metro. Wash. Airports Auth., 149 F.3d
253, 260-61 (4th Cir. 1998) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d)).
Under Rule 56(a), the Court must grant summary judgment if
the moving party demonstrates there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.
reviewing a motion for summary judgment, the Court must draw
all justifiable inferences in the non-moving party's
favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 255 (1986) (citing Adickes v. S.H. Kress &
Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158-59 (1970)). Once a motion for
summary judgment is properly made and supported, the opposing
party has the burden of showing that a genuine dispute
exists. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio
Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986). “[T]he mere
existence of some alleged factual dispute between
the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported
motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be
no genuine issue of material fact.”
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48.
“material fact” is one that might affect the
outcome of a party's case. Id. at 248; see
JKC Holding Co. v. Wash. Sports Ventures, Inc., 264 F.3d
459, 465 (4th Cir. 2001) (citing Hooven-Lewis v.
Caldera, 249 F.3d 259, 265 (4th Cir. 2001)). Whether a
fact is considered to be “material” is determined
by the substantive law, and “[o]nly disputes over facts
that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing
law will properly preclude the entry of summary
judgment.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248;
accord Hooven-Lewis, 249 F.3d at 265.
party opposing a properly supported motion for summary
judgment ‘may not rest upon the mere allegations or
denials of [his] pleadings, ' but rather must ‘set
forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue
for trial.'” Bouchat v. Balt. Ravens Football
Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514, 525 (4th Cir. 2003)
(alteration in original) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). The
court should “view the evidence in the light most
favorable to . . . the nonmovant, and draw all inferences in
[his] favor without weighing the evidence or assessing the
witness' credibility.” Dennis v. Columbia
Colleton Med. Ctr., Inc., 290 F.3d 639, 644-45 (4th Cir.
2002). The court must, however, also abide by the
“affirmative obligation of the trial judge to prevent
factually unsupported claims and defenses from proceeding to
trial.” Bouchat, 346 F.3d at 526 (quoting
Drewitt v. Pratt, 999 F.2d 774, 778-79 (4th Cir.
rely on exhibits attached to their Motion. Because the Court
will consider Defendants' exhibits, the Court must
convert the Motion to Dismiss to motions for summary
argue that McDonald failed to exhaust his administrative
remedies. The Prisoner Litigation Reform Act
(“PLRA”) provides that “[n]o action shall
be brought with respect to prison conditions under section
1983 of this title, or any other Federal law, by a prisoner
confined in any jail, prison, or other correctional facility
until such administrative remedies as are available are
exhausted.” 42 U.S.C. § 1997e (2012). The
PLRA's exhaustion provision requires inmates to pursue
administrative grievances until they receive a final denial
of the claims, appealing through all available stages in the
administrative process. Chase v. Peay, 286 F.Supp.2d
523, 530 (D.Md. 2003), aff'd, 98 F.App'x 253