United States District Court, D. Maryland
JAMES A. HENSON, JR. Plaintiff
LIEUTENANT SAWYER, et al., Defendants
RICHARD D. BENNETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
is a Motion to Dismiss FILED BY Defendant Wexford Health
Sources, Inc.ECF 26. Also pending is a Motion to Dismiss, or
in the alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment FILED BY
Defendant Lieutenant Sawyer. ECF 37. Plaintiff has responded.
ECF 44.Upon review of the papers filed, the Court
finds a hearing in this matter unnecessary. See
Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons stated below,
Defendants' dispositive motions will be GRANTED.
case was instituted upon receipt of a civil rights Complaint
filed by Plaintiff James Henson, an inmate currently confined
at the North Branch Correctional Institution
("NBCI"). ECF 1. Plaintiff named as Defendants
Lieutenant Sawyer, Subordinates in Housing Unit #2, and
Wexford Health, Inc. ECF 1, p. 1. He alleges that Defendants
have violated his constitutional rights by denying him
chronic care medical treatment for high blood pressure, pain
medication for his lower back and right shoulder, and
treatment for "possible diabetes" for which he has
a family history. He states that unnamed Defendants
"continue to use force" to put him in a cell with
known violent criminals in order to cause him serious bodily
harm, torture, and "unpleasantness." He alleges this
is done in retaliation for his having filed grievances and
lawsuits against influential Maryland state officials. He
alleges that the conduct complained of has occurred from
September, 2015 throughout 2016. He also alleges that
Defendants conspired so transmit false oral and written
statements with the intent to deceive. Id.
Complaint contains no specific allegations as to Defendant
Sawyer. In a subsequent filing, however, Plaintiff alleges
that Sawyer would not process any of Plaintiffs complaints
and failed to train and supervise his subordinates. ECF 5, p.
4. As relief, Plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive
damages, protective custody, a federal investigation, and an
Interstate Corrections Compact Transfer. ECF 1, p. 3.
indicate that Plaintiff was transferred from Housing Unit 1
at NBCI to Housing Unit 2 on November 5, 2015. ECF 37-3, p.
2; ECF 37-4, ¶ 3. Plaintiff was housed on Housing Unit
2, in a single cell, from November 5, 2015 to January 13,
2016. Id. Lieutenant Thomas. Sawyer was assigned to
NBCI at that time and supervised the staff in Housing Unit 2.
ECF 37-4, ¶¶ 1 & 2.
Plaintiffs assignment to Housing Unit 2, Sergeant Forney and
Sergeant Thomas were also assigned to the unit. ECF 37-5.
¶ 3; ECF 37-6, ¶ 2. They were responsible for
transmitting any grievance filed by an inmate on Housing Unit
2 to the Administrative Remedies Procedure ("ARP")
Coordinator. ECF 37-5, ¶ 3. Correctional officers
assigned to NBCI receive training on the ARP process
including institutional directives concerning processing
ARPs. Id. Forney and Thomas aver that they did not
interfere with or hinder Plaintiff from filing ARPs. ECF
37-5, ¶3; ECF 37-6, ¶ 3. Sergeant lames was a
relief sergeant for Housing Unit 2 and worked on the unit
occasionally. ECF 37-7, ¶ 3. He also declares that he
did not interfere with or hinder Plaintiff from filing ARPs.
Id. Sawyer indicates that Plaintiff never complained
to him that any of his grievances were not filed ECF 37-4,
¶ 4. Additionally Sawyer was not aware that any officer
failed to follow the ARP process for Plaintiff. Id.
Zais is the ARP Coordinator for NBCI. ECF 37-8, ¶ 2. As
ARP Coordinator Zais receives, acknowledges and directs the
investigation of ARPs submitted to the Warden's Office by
NBCI inmates. Zais records each complaint submitted by every
inmate at NBCI. Id. Each ARP submitted is logged
under the inmate's DOC number as well as under its own
individual number and the ARP log can be accessed and the ARP
retrieved using either number. Id. The ARP
Coordinator also keeps records of appeals from adverse
decisions. Id. Zais searched Plaintiffs ARP record.
Plaintiff filed a complaint on January 4, 2016, while housed
on Housing Unit 2, complaining that the finance office stole
money from his account. Id., ¶ 3. No other ARPs
were filed by Plaintiff during the relevant time period.
Id. Plaintiffs ARP index lists 185 ARPs filed by
Plaintiff from August 14, 2009 to July 17, 2016. Id.
Neverdon, Sr., Executive Director of the Inmate Grievance
Office ("IGO"), avers that Plaintiff filed eight
grievances with the IGO from November 6, 2015 to July 25,
2016. ECF 37-9, ¶ 3. None of the grievances were filed
while Plaintiff was housed on Housing Unit 2 at NBCI or
concerned his inability to file grievances. Id.
Plaintiffs claim regarding denial of medical care. Sawyer
avers that he has no personal involvement in the provision of
medical care. ECF 37-4, ¶ 5. He has no authority to make
decisions concerning inmates' medical care. Inmates may
submit sick calls slips to the medical department at any time
and medical staff determine if medical evaluation or
treatment is needed and make the appropriate arrangements for
the inmate to be seen. Id. If an appointment is made
for an inmate on segregation, correctional staff are
responsible for handcuffing the inmate and escorting him to
the unit medical room or to the Medical Department.
Id. Inmates housed on disciplinary segregation tiers
who are prescribed medication receive their medication daily
from medical staff at their cell. Sawyer avers that he did
not interfere with, hinder, or delay medical treatment or
care for Plaintiff. Moreover, he is unaware of any
correctional officer doing so. Id.
deny that Plaintiff was involved in any use of force while
housed in Housing Unit 2. Id., ¶ 6. Sawyer
avers that he did not use excessive force against Plaintiff
nor is he aware of any correction staff having used excessive
force against Plaintiff. Id. Correction staff are
trained on the use of force policy which prohibits excessive
use of force to be used against inmates. Id.
Additionally, Serious Incident Reports are created when an
inmate is involved in an assault and also to document any
injuries or assaults on staff. Id., %1. The serious
incident report log indicates that Plaintiff was not involved
in any serious incident reports while housed on Housing Unit
avers that he did not make any false statements as to
Plaintiff and did not retaliate against Plaintiff.
Id., ¶ 8. Sawyer also indicates he is not aware
of any other correctional staff retaliating against
Motions to Strike
filing the initial Complaint, the Court received 25 letters
from Plaintiff referencing 183 exhibits. See ECF
5-10, 12-13, 15-18, 22-24, 29-31, 33, 35-36, 41-43, 46, 48.
Wexford Health Sources, Inc. and Lt Sawyer have filed Motions
to Strike ECF 5-10, 12-13, 15-18, 22-24, 29-31, 33, 35-36.
ECF 25 & 39. Defendants accurately observe that
Plaintiffs handwritten filings are nearly indecipherable and
do not pertain solely to the allegations in the initial
Complaint. Additionally, Plaintiffs filings do not comply
with Fed. R. Civ. Pro. Rule 15(a) or 15(d) regarding
supplemental pleadings or amended complaints.
Plaintiffs self-represented status, the Motions to Strike
shall be denied. The documents filed by Plaintiff, which
consist primarily of copies of inmate grievances, medical
records, orders of this Court, documents filed in and by
State courts, with Plaintiffs handwriting over top and around
the pages, shall remain on the docket and have been reviewed
by the Court. The filings shall not, however, be treated as
supplemental or amended Complaints.
extent Plaintiff claims in these filing a vast conspiracy
against him, this conspiracy claim has been investigated and
found unsubstantiated, resulting in the dismissal of the
claim both administratively and judicially. See e.g.
Henson v. Likin, Civil Action No. RWT-11-2719 (D. Md.);
Henson v. Miller, Civil Action No. RWT-12-763 (D.
Md.); Henson v. Lambert, Civil Action No.
RWT-12-3271 (D. Md.); Henson v. Smith, et al, Civil
Action No. RWT-13-2266 (D.Md.); Henson v. Bishop,
RDB-14-2131 (D. Md.) (dismissing for failure to exhaust
administrative remedies but noting affidavits of all
correctional staff that they had not: submitted false
incident reports, encouraged the submission of falsified
medical reports, or instructed anyone to house Plaintiff with
violent, dangerous gang members.) Those claims will not be
addressed again. To the extent Plaintiffs filings include
claims not included in his initial filing, those claims are
not properly before the Court and will not be addressed.
pending are Plaintiffs Motion for an Order Compelling
Discovery and Motion for Production of Documents. ECF 20
& 21. Plaintiff seeks an Order directing Defendant Sawyer
to provide him the following documents:
1. Maryland State Police Forensic Expert Test in Case No.
K-2009-2263, Anne ...