United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
J. HAZEL UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
11, 2016, the Court received for filing a self-represented
"Emergency Petition for Injunctive Relief" filed by
Jose David Contreras. a state inmate currently housed at the
Western Correctional Institution ("WCT"). Contreras
alleged that on March 17, 2016. he was attacked and stabbed
by several unidentified prisoners at WCL medically treated
for his injuries, and placed on administrative segregation
pending an investigation into the matter. ECF No. 1. The
following month, he was informed by case management personnel
that because no "culprit" had been caught, he was
to be transferred out of WCI. Contreras claimed, however,
that on May 4, 2016. WCI Corporal Winebrcnner informed him
that he was going to be sent back to general population
pending available bed space and a transfer out of WCI was not
necessary because Contreras was not able to identify his
attackers. Contreras argued that he "will face imminent
injury of another attack. ..if he is returned to the general
population..." He sought to enjoin his return to general
population and requested a transfer out of WCI to a
"suitable" facility. Id.
Petition was construed as a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil
rights action and on May 16, 2016. counsel for the Maryland
Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services
("DPSCS") was ordered to file a show cause response
to the Complaint to provide verified information regarding
Contreras" safely and housing situation. ECF No. 2.
Contreras was directed to remit the $400.00 filing fee or to
move to proceed in forma pauperis, Id.
date, Contreras has filed neither the civil filing fee nor an
in forma pauperis application. On June 13, 2016
counsel filed a Show Cause Response. ECF No. 4. The response
relied on exhibits filed outside the scope of the pleading
and substantively responded to Contreras" allegations
regarding his safety and DPSCS housing. It was treated as a
motion for summary judgment and under the dictates of
Roseboro v. Garrison. 528 F.2d. 309 (4th Cir. 1975).
Contreras was placed on notice of the re-characterization of
counsel's filing and of his entitlement to file an
opposition response with materials in support thereof. ECF
Nos. 5 & 6. He was granted an additional period of time
to file a responsive pleading. As of the within signature
date. Contreras has not tiled an opposition.
DEFENDANTS' SHOW CAUSE RESPONSE (MOTION FOR SUMMARY
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion for summary judgment will be granted only if there
exists no genuine issue as to any material fact and the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a); Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby. Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 (1986); Celotëx
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The moving
party bears the burden of showing that there is no genuine
issue as to any material fact. Additionally, no genuine issue
of material fact will be found if the nonmoving party fails
to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of his
or her case as to which he or she would have the burden of
proof. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-323. Therefore,
on those issues on which the nonmoving party has the burden
of proof, it is his or her responsibility to confront the
summary judgment motion with an affidavit or other similar
evidence showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.
allege a constitutional failure-to-protect claim, Contreras
must demonstrate the ways in which Defendants knew of and
disregarded an excessive risk to his health and safety.
Defendants must both be aware of the facts from which the
inference could be drawn that a substantial risk of serious
harm exists, and must also draw the inference. See Farmer
v. Breiman. 511 U.S. 825. 837 (1994). Thus, Defendants
must have knowledge both of the risk of harm and also that
their conduct is inappropriate in light of that risk. See
Rich v. Bruce. 129 F.3d 336. 339-40 (4th Cir. 1997).
Moreover. Contreras must allege ways in which
Defendants" actions (or inactions) resulted in
"serious or significant physical or emotional
injury." De'Lonla v. Angeloné, 330
F.3d 630.634 (4th Cir. 2003).
the law in this Circuit, the party seeking a preliminary
injunction must demonstrate: (1) by a "clear
showing" that he is likely to success on the merits at
trial; (2) he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the
absence of preliminary relief: (3) the balance of equities
tips in his favor: and (4) an injunction is in the public
interest. See Winter v. Natural Resources Defense
Council. Inc., 555 U.S. 7. 20-24 (2008): Real Truth
About Ohama. Inc. v. Federal Election Com'n. 575
F.3d 342. 346-47 (4th Cir. 2009), cert, granted, judgment
vacated. 559 U.S. 1089(2010). adhered to in pan.sub
nam. The Real Truth About Obama. Inc. v. F.E.C., 607
F.3d 355 (4th Cir. 2010).
to Defendants. Contreras's allegations that he was
attacked and stabbed by unknown assailants are contrived and
"undermined" by the medical records. Contreras was
medically evaluated by Nurse Cortez two days after the
alleged attack on March 19, 2016. She reported that Contreras
had informed her that his cell mate had inflicted the wounds
the day before. She found the wounds to the lip. chest, right
arm and right shoulder to be a "superficial injury to
the skin" and that they appeared older than 24 hours.
ECF No. 4-1 at 14-18. On April 17, 2016. Contreras was seen
by Dr. Stallworth for a follow-up provider visit. No
infection was noted and Contreras had no complaints of pain
or other symptoms related to his injury. Id. at
20-21. Stallworth noted that the puncture wounds to
Contreras' left upper lip. left ami, left scapula and
interior chest wall were well healed. Id.
Lieutenant MeKenzie affirms that on March 19, 2016. he was
informed by Contreras that he had been assaulted. No staff
had witnessed the incident and Contreras could not give
MeKenzie any specifics as to when or where it occurred, what
kind of weapon was used, who assaulted him, or why he would
be assaulted. ECF No. 4-2 at MeKenzie Decl. MeKenzie
maintains that Contreras was placed on administrative
segregation pending an investigation into his claims.
Although Contreras informed medical staff that he was
attacked by his cell mate, he told MeKenzie during a
re-interview that he was assaulted by multiple assailants,
but could not idenlifx them, or discuss how many there were,
when it occurred, or what type of weapon was used. MeKenzie
completed his investigation on May 3, 2016. Due to
inconsistent and vague information, he could not verify
Contreras" claims. He recommended that Contreras be
removed from administrative segregation. Contreras was
removed from administrative segregation on May 4, 2016.
has failed to show that he will succeed on the merits of his
case and that he is subject to immediate and irreparable harm
if emergency relief is not granted. There is no demonstration
of deliberate indifference on the part of WCI staff.
Contreras was placed on administrative segregation for
approximately 45 days pending an investigation into his
claims. The unrefuted record shows that his allegations ...