United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Hernandez Fleming, a federal prisoner,  alleges in a
civil rights Complaint filed May 10, 2016, that he was
assaulted on three occasions while detained in Maryland state
facilities awaiting trial. ECF 1. To date, five of the nine
Defendants named in the Complaint have been served and have
responded, filing a Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment
(ECF 12), which is opposed by Fleming. ECF 15. After
considering the pleadings, exhibits, and applicable law, the
Court now rules pursuant to Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016),
as a hearing is deemed unnecessary. For reasons to follow,
the Motion filed by Defendants Department of Public Safety
and Correctional Services (“DPSCS”), Baltimore
City Detention Center (“BCDC”), DPSCS Secretary
Gary D. Maynard, Executive Director of the Maryland
Commission on Correctional Standards Howard Ray, Jr., and
BCDC Warden Ricky Foxwell, construed as a Motion for Summary
Judgment,  will be GRANTED.
states that during a bail hearing he “had words with
members of [a] gang called the Black Gorilla Family
(BGC).” ECF 1 at p. 8. After his bail hearing, and
despite concerns for his safety expressed by Sgt. Lucas, a
female officer in the Intel Unit, he was moved from Central
Booking to the “steel side” of BCDC. His safety
concerns were ignored by Lt. Thomspon, who “walked
away” while nine officers assaulted him before tossing
Fleming into a cell. This incident occurred on or about
November 12, 2013. Id. at pp. 8-9.
claims the second assault occurred in January of 2014 at the
hands of fellow detainees while he was housed in protective
custody following his transfer from the Jail to the Maryland
Reception and Diagnostic Classification Center
(“MRDCD”). He states he was then returned to BCDC
and assaulted a third time by gang members on an unknown date
while housed at BCDC's Women's Detention Center
(“WDC”). ECF 1 at pp. 10-11.
five Defendants who have been served seek summary judgment in
their favor on several grounds: they are not amenable to
suit; they are not amenable to suit in in their official
capacities; and they were not personally involved in the
opposition response, Fleming does not respond to
Defendants' arguments in support of their dispositive
Motion. Instead, he states he has witnesses to the incidents
and requires appointment of counsel to assist in the
development of his case. ECF 15.
was a pretrial detainee while detained at BCDC and MRDCC. He
alleges that those responsible for his well-being failed to
protect him from harm from both fellow detainees and
detention center employees who assaulted him without
provocation. The constitutional protections afforded a
pretrial detainee as provided by the Fourteenth Amendment are
coextensive with those provided by the Eighth Amendment.
See Bell v. Wolfish, 441 U.S. 520, 535 (1979).
“Due process rights of a pretrial detainee are at least
as great as the eighth amendment protections available to the
convicted prisoner.” Hill v. Nicodemus, 979
F.2d 987, 991 (4th Cir. 1992), citing Martin v.
Gentile, 849 F.2d 863, 870 (4th Cir. 1988).
judgment is appropriate if “there is no genuine dispute
as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed. R. Civ. P 56(a);
see Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322
(1986). “A material fact is one ‘that might
affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.'
” Spriggs v. Diamond Auto Glass, 242 F.3d 179,
183 (4th Cir. 2001) (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby,
Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). Disputes of material
fact are genuine if, based on the evidence, “a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. In order to
avoid summary judgment, the nonmoving party “
‘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. Baltimore Ravens Football
Club, Inc., 346 F.3d 514, 525 (4th Cir. 2003) (quoting
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)). While the Court must view the evidence
in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party,
Francis v. Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Inc., 452
F.3d 299, 302 (4th Cir. 2006), it must also “prevent
factually unsupported claims and defenses from proceeding to
trial.” Drewitt v. Pratt, 999 F.2d 774, 778-79
(4th Cir. 1993) (internal quotation marks omitted). Against
this legal standard, the Court examines Defendants'
defenses and arguments.
Amenability to Suit
core, a civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 is
directed to unlawful conduct under color of law. See
Owens v. Baltimore City State's Attorney Office, 767
F.3d 379 (4th Cir. 2014). Section 1983 of 42 U.S.C. provides,
Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance,
regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or
the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be
subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person
within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution
and laws, shall be liable to the party ...