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Enow v. Green

United States District Court, D. Maryland

March 20, 2017

NDOKEY ENOW, # 435-845, #199085 Plaintiff,


          Paul W. Grimm United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Ndokey Enow, who refers to himself in his court filings as “Dr.” and “D.Sc./Ph.D., ” and evidently has a doctorate from Capitol College, has filed serial (unsuccessful) actions in this Court relating to his conditions of confinement awaiting trial at Montgomery County Correctional Facility (“MCCF”), and (following his conviction for solicitation to commit first degree murder) while confined by the State of Maryland. His multiple filings have earned him three strikes under the Prisoner Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1915(g), yet this has done little to deter his repeated filings, which impose a significant burden on both the Clerk's office and the Court. In this action, Enow seeks to assert 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and related state claims against a variety of correctional and medical defendants alleging deliberate indifference to his personal safety, and serious medical conditions. Because he has failed to exhaust his administrative remedies, his federal claims are dismissed with prejudice, and the Court declines to exercise jurisdiction over the state claims. His Motion for Summary Judgment will be denied as moot.

         Background [1]

         Enow, proceeding pro se, filed this lawsuit against the “Warden” on October 15, 2015, and subsequently amended the Complaint to add Defendants Robert Green, Shelford Gilliam, Anthony Mudalue, Robert Andrews, Joshua Pheabus, and Dulphine Nicol (collectively, the “Montgomery County Defendants”), as well as Dr. Donald Rhoades, M.D. ECF Nos. 1, 7, 11, 14.[2] The Complaint presents claims of deliberate indifference for failure to protect and failure to provide adequate medical care during the time he was a pretrial detainee at MCCF, premised on the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Maryland law. Am. Compl.; Second Am. Compl. Enow filed exhibits and affidavits with his Complaint, and the Amended Complaints are verified. Compl. 8, Pl.'s Aff. 1, ECF No. 11-4; Pl.'s Aff. 1, ECF No. 11-3; Am. Compl. 14 ¶ 28 (affirming that the facts in the Amended Complaint are true to the best of his knowledge); Second Am. Compl. 14 ¶ 29 (affirming that the facts in the Second Amended Complaint are true to the best of his knowledge).

         Enow was confined at MCCF from June 7, 2014 through March 4, 2015. Am. Compl. 5. He claims that, from approximately November 2014 through February 2015, he was assaulted by other inmates. Id. at 7. On January 13, 2015, inmate Christopher Brown assaulted Enow. Compl. 2. Enow faults Officers Pheabus and Andrews for failing to stop the attack immediately. Second Am. Compl. 11, ¶ 23. He sustained permanent vision loss to one eye and injuries to his eye, nose, and face, and he now suffers from dizziness and migraines. Id. at 6, ¶ 9.

         Enow claims that, “despite the severity of the plaintiff's injuries, and the excruciating pain plaintiff suffered as a result of these injuries, only 400 mg of Aspirin and hydrogen peroxide were administered, ” without “any additional pain killer.” Id. at 9, ¶ 17. Additionally, Nicol “told a colleague that plaintiff was a ‘crybaby.'” Id. at 9, ¶ 18. Enow alleges that Dr. Rhoades “exercised deliberate indifference to plaintiff's health following the attack by Christopher Brown . . . by failing to provide adequate medical care care to the plaintiff, ” and Defendants Rhoades and Nicol “intentionally did not administer stitches to [a] deep cut in plaintiff's mouth and refused to fulfill any of plaintiff's requests for follow-up care as recommended by Dr. Sandra Cremers.” Id. at 12, ¶ 24.

         Enow's medical records (copies of which he filed with his pleadings, his Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, and his Motion for Summary Judgment) show that, twenty minutes after the January 13, 2015 incident, a nurse at the Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation determined that sutures were not needed; Enow denied experiencing nausea, dizziness, or vomiting; and his neurological signs were within normal range. The nurse recommended that his vital signs be rechecked an hour later and that he see a physician the next morning. Med. Recs., ECF No. 1-2, at 23; Med. Recs., ECF No. 11-3, at 31; Pl.'s Opp'n Ex. 2, ECF No. 32-2; Pl.'s Mot. Sum. J. Ex. 1, at 12, ECF No. 31-5. Dr. Sandra Cremers, M.D., an ophthalmologist, saw Enow on January 15, 2015 for the injury to his eye. Med. Recs., ECF No. 11-3, at 32-36. She recommended a follow-up visit in two weeks. Id. The medical records that Enow attached to his filings do not include a record from a follow-up visit. Enow transferred out of MCCF on March 4, 2015. The earliest request for follow-up care that he included with his medical records was from March 12, 2015, after he had left MCCF. Id. at 40. He received an eye exam on April 8, 2015. Id. at 39, 42.

         Enow was charged with, but found not guilty of, several institutional rule violations stemming from the incident with Brown. Notice of Infraction, ECF No. 1-2, at 31; Inmate Adjustment Disposition, ECF No. 1-2, at 28. Four days later, he filed a grievance form, asking the Assistant Warden to file criminal charges against Brown. Jan. 19, 2015 Inmate Grievance Form, ECF No. 1-2, at 34. Notably, on the grievance form, he did not complain that Defendants failed to protect him or that he received inadequate medical care. See Id. Thereafter, a criminal case was brought against Brown. Notification, ECF No. 1-2, at 33.

         After Brown assaulted him, Enow “complain[ed] to . . . Officer John Doe of assaults and threats of extreme violence from Christopher Brown's gang members” who were trying to dissuade Enow from testifying against Brown for assaulting him. Second Am. Compl. 4. As best I can discern, although Enow does not state explicitly, he asked the unidentified officer at that time to transfer him to protective custody. See Id. But, instead of placing him “in administrative custody pending approval into protective custody, ” the unidentified officer placed him in disciplinary segregation, where McNair Demonte, a “cellmate with affiliations in Christopher Brown's gang, ” was housed. Id. It appears (although Enow again fails to state explicitly) that he then asked Lieutenant Mudalue to transfer him or Demonte to a difference cell on the same housing unit. See Id. at 11, ¶ 22. He claims that “defendant L[i]eutenant Mudalu[e] exercised deliberate indifference to the plaintiff's health, safety and security by refusing for no reason to authorize a cell transfer of either plaintiff or cell inmate, McNair Demonte to available cell in housing unit N1-1 [disciplinary segregation].” Id.

         After the unnamed officer placed Enow in disciplinary segregation and Lieutenant Mudalue refused to transfer his or Demonte's cell, Demonte attacked him and Enow sustained injuries. Id. at 4. Then, an unidentified “jail guard . . . deliberately denied plaintiff access to medical treatment after plaintiff complain[ed] of dizziness after assault by fellow inmate, McNair Demonte.” Id. at 7-8, ¶ 13.

         He claims that he complained to the unidentified officer of threats on February 2, 2015 and was transferred to disciplinary segregation that day, yet he claims that Demonte's assault occurred on January 29, 2015 or February 1, 2015. Id. at 4; Am. Compl. 8, ¶ 15; Pl.'s Opp'n 3, ECF No. 32. And, the exhibits Enow attached show that he already was housed on N1-1 (disciplinary segregation) when he was charged with, and found guilty of, additional infractions on February 1, 2015. Inmate Adjustment Disposition, ECF No. 11-3, at 30. Mindful that Enow is proceeding without counsel, I construe his pleadings to allege that Demonte assaulted him in disciplinary segregation after he was transferred there, rather than to protective custody as he requested, as no other reading makes sense. Although the exact dates are unclear, what is clear is that Enow felt threatened, he voiced his fears and asked to be moved for his own safety, and he was moved, but to a unit where he was assaulted for the second time in a month.

         It also is evident that he filed a grievance on February 2, 2015 (after Demonte attacked him), claiming that he “was placed in a wrong pod on the 30th of January, 2015, ” asking “to be put into protective custody, ” and asserting that what he previously sought was a transfer to protective custody. Feb. 2, 2015 Inmate Grievance Form, ECF No. 11-3, at 35 (“I am grieving because I was placed in a wrong pod on the 30th of January, 2015 because I came here but for reclassification. I would like to be put into protective custody. That is the reason I requested for re-classification.”); see Second Am. Compl. 4. He did not mention Demonte's attack or that guards denied his access to medical treatment. After he filed that grievance, he was placed in protective custody. Am. Compl. 5.

         Dissatisfied with his treatment, Enow filed this suit, seeking $500 million in damages and “an Order declaring that the Defendants have acted in violation of 42 U.S.C. Section 1983.” Second Am. Compl. 14. The Montgomery County Defendants have moved to dismiss Enow's Complaint, ECF No. 29, and the parties fully briefed the motion, ECF Nos. 29-2, 32, 34, 34-1. Enow also filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 31, which the parties fully briefed, ECF Nos. 33, 33-1, 37, 38. Having reviewed the filings, including the supporting exhibits, I find that a hearing is unnecessary. See Loc. R. 105.6.

         Standard ...

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