United States District Court, D. Maryland
RICHARD D. BENNETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
above-entitled civil rights complaint filed by Plaintiff
Derrick Dirton concerns allegations that Dirton has been
denied needed psychological services and medical care and
that he has been subjected to excessive uses of force by
unnamed correctional officers at North Branch Correctional
Institution (NBCI) where he is incarcerated. ECF I and 8.
Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss or for Summary
Judgment in response to the complain.. ECF 26.
Dirton was advised of his right to file an Opposition
Response and of the consequences of failing to do so, but he
has filed nothing further in this case. ECF 37. For the
reasons that follow, Defendants' motion shall be
construed as a Motion to Dismiss and shall be granted.
alleges that he suffers from severe mental health issues as
well as a seizure disorder which causes him to suffer grand
mal seizures, facial weakness, and right-sided motor
weakness. ECF 1 at p. 2. He claims his mental health issues
cause him to experience "psychotic misbehavior
episodes" and, for that reason, he was transferred to
Patuxent Institution in 2014 for purposes of receiving
treatment. Id. He states that On December 21, 2015,
he was "abrubtly and without warning or reason"
transferred to NBCI from Patuxent despite his continued need
for the services offered at Patuxent. Id. Dirton
claims that on January 8, 2016, he was told by Psychology
Associate Lauren A. Beitzel and Sgt. Janet Puffenbarger that
he was transferred back to NBCI because of behavioral
problems at Patuxent. Id.
asserts that since his transfer to NBCI he has relapsed and
has been subjected to "a perpetual pattern of
abuse" and retaliatory misconduct. Id. He
claims the abuse and retaliation includes withholding of his
meals, stolen property, refusal of medication, falsified
charges of rule violations, and denial of psychiatric
treatment. Id. Dirton asserts he has filed
"several complaints and letters" regarding these
allegations but "several of his complaints" were
stolen, never returned, or dismissed. Id.
January I1, 2016, Dirton filed a "complaint" after
seeking help from Bruce Liller and Laura
Booth-Moulden. ECF I at p. 3. On January 20, 2016, Dirton
states he filed "another appeal" regarding his
administrative remedy procedure complaint ("ARP")
designated "ARP NBCI-0100-16"" Id. He
claims he never received a response to the appeal. The ARP
concerns Dirton's transfer from Patuxent to NBCI and
alleges that Dirton is being denied access to psychiatric
services in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act
and the Rehabilitation Act. ECF 1-2 at pp. 19 - 21. The ARP
was dismissed for procedural reasons with the notation that
case management decisions are not subject to the ARP process.
Id. at p. 19. In the appeal to the Commissioner,
Dirton asserted that the procedural dismissal was erroneous
because case management has nothing to do with delivery of
psychiatric services. ECF 1-2 at pp. 22- 23. Dirton never
received a response from the Commissioner of Correction. ECF
1 at p. 3.
claims he filed complaints with Defendant Holwager who is the
"clinical director." ECF 1 at p. 3. Dirton claims
he has been subjected to biased and prejudicial treatment at
NBCI due to the multiple grievances as well as civil
litigation he has filed. Id. Dirton references ARP
NBCI-1391114 with regard to Holwager. ECF 1-2 at pp. 8 - II.
In that ARP, Dirton claims he is on a hunger strike and has
not been seen by either Holwager or Social Worker Wilson.
Id. Dirton stated that he had "been going threw
(sic) mental health things" during his hunger strike,
but was not provided with mental health services.
Id. at p. 9. He further claimed that Holwager and
Wilson allowed custody staff "to control inmates"
and that he had a mental break down due to the oppression he
was subjected to. Id. Dirton stated in the ARP that
Holwager and Wilson refuse to report abuse by officers and
that they are unfit to be mental health workers. Id.
at p. 10. The ARP was dismissed as frivolous. Id. at
p. 8. It was noted that while Dirton claimed he needed to be
transferred to a qualified mental health facility, he was
advised he would not be transferred unless case management
determined it was necessary. Id.
asserts that he has attempted to receive proper psychological
and medical care since 2014. ECF 1 at p. 3. A letter dated
December 17, 2013, addressed to "Psychology Department
Laura Booth" asserts that Dirton should be on medication
for attention deficit disorder ("ADD") and
states he also suffers from bipolar disorder, post-traumatic
stress disorder ("PTSD",, and schizophrenia. ECF
1-2 at p. 1. The only claim raised in the one-page letter is
that Dirton should be taking adderol for ADD, the
remainder of the letter simply states what each disorder
claims, without describing specific instances, that he has
been "beaten, mistreated, and falsely charged/convicted
to punitive segregation out of malice retaliation""
ECF 1 at p. 3. He further states that Defendant Bishop
''has adamantly refused to address his
subordinate"" including both security and
psychology staff and claims he has been subjected to electric
shock twenty times and that he has been maced. Id.
Dirton adds that he has suffered multiple assaults and his
family has made both the Commissioner of Correction and the
Warden of NBCI aware of the "misfeasance of both psyche
(sic) and custody staff but the Commissioner and Warden have
failed to take action to correct it. Id. at p. 4.
Dirton further claims that the Governor of Maryland and his
staff as well as the director of Patuxent and the Director of
Treatment Services were also informed of the alleged abuse he
has suffered. Id.
alleges that Captain Jason Harbaugh visited him while he was
confined at Western Correctional Institution
("WCI") during a hunger strike he chose to engage
in. ECF I at p. 4. He claims that Harbaugh harassed him and
"offered innuendo" which harmed him psychologically
because Harbaugh "participated in the death of prisoner
Ifeanyi A. Iko." Id.
alleges that the hunger strike he began on January 6, 2016,
was in response to being denied his medication and mental
health treatment. He claims the objective of the hunger
strike was to obtain the treatment he needed, but instead he
was subjected to further physical and psychological abuse
leading to a suicide attempt. ECF 1 at p. 4.
asserts he "has the mental capacity of a child"
because of his brain injury and multiple diagnoses of mental
illness. He asserts that his diminished abilities should
excuse him from exhausting administrative remedies with
regard to his claims, especially in light of the manner in
which his claims are continuously dismissed. ECF 1 at pp. 4 -
"Amended Complaint, " Dirton asserts that
correctional staff are retaliating against him for this
lawsuit, but does not provide a narrative explaining how the
officers are engaging in retaliation. ECF 14. The Amended
Complaint is supported by a Declaration under Oath from
another inmate, Michael Jones. ECF 14-1. Jones avers that
April 28, 2016, Dirton provided legal mail, along with
paperwork authorizing expenditure of funds in his account to
cover the cost of certified mail, to Sgt. Charles Bielanske.
Id. at p. I. The following day, Dirton's mail
was returned to him with a notation that Dirton was sending
it out as an indigent inmate when in fact Dirton had provided
a means to pay for the fees. Id. at p. 2. The mail
was given to Bielanske again on May 6, 2016, and Dirton
received the expenditure receipt ...