United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW United States District Judge.
William Allen Legg was charged with second-degree assault on
a correctional employee occurring July 27, 2006. His
competency was challenged and he was placed at Spring Grove
Hospital Center (“SGHC”) per judicial
order. On August 8, 2016, Legg filed this civil
rights action seeking money damages and immediate release
from SGHC, stating he has been forcibly medicated and
repeatedly returned to the facility without cause. ECF No. 1
at p. 3.
have filed an unopposed motion to dismiss or, in the
alternative, for summary judgment. ECF No. 5. Because the court
will consider exhibits outside of the pleadings to determine
the outcome of this case,  the motion will be treated as one for
summary judgment under Rule 56. No hearing is needed to
resolve the pending motion. See Local Rule 105.6 (D.
judgment is governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a), which provides,
in part: “The court shall grant summary judgment if the
movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” The Supreme Court has clarified that
this does not mean that any factual dispute will defeat the
motion: “By its very terms, this standard provides that
the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute
between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly
supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is
that there be no genuine issue of material
fact.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986) (emphasis in original).
party opposing a properly supported motion for summary
judgment ‘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)
(alteration in original) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)),
cert. denied, 541 U.S. 1042 (2004). The court should
“view the evidence in the light most favorable to . . .
the nonmovant, and draw all inferences in her favor without
weighing the evidence or assessing the witness'
credibility.” Dennis v. Columbia Colleton Med.
Ctr., Inc., 290 F.3d 639, 644-45 (4th Cir.
2002); see FDIC v. Cashion, 720 F.3d 169, 173 (4th
district court's “function” is not “to
weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter but
to determine whether there is a genuine issue for
trial.” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249. Moreover,
the trial court may not make credibility determinations on
summary judgment. Jacobs v. N.C. Administrative Office of
the Courts, 780 F.3d 562, 569 (4th Cir. 2015);
Mercantile Peninsula Bank v. French, 499 F.3d 345,
352 (4th Cir. 2007); Black &. Decker Corp. v. United
States, 436 F.3d 431, 442 (4th Cir. 2006);
Dennis, 290 F.3d at 644-45. Therefore, in the face
of conflicting evidence, such as competing affidavits,
summary judgment is generally not appropriate, because it is
the function of the fact-finder to resolve factual disputes,
including matters of witness credibility.
to defeat summary judgment, conflicting evidence, if any,
must give rise to a genuine dispute of material
fact. See Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48. If
“the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could
return a verdict for the nonmoving party, ” then a
dispute of material fact precludes summary judgment.
Id. at 248; see Libertarian Party of Va. v.
Judd, 718 F.3d 308, 313 (4th Cir. 2013). On the other
hand, summary judgment is appropriate if the evidence
“is so one-sided that one party must prevail as a
matter of law.” Id. at 252. And, “the
mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the
plaintiff's position will be insufficient; there must be
evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the
Legg is self-represented, his submissions are liberally
construed. See Erickson v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94
(2007). But, the court must also abide by the
“affirmative obligation of the trial judge to prevent
factually unsupported claims and defenses from proceeding to
trial.” Bouchat, 346 F.3d at 526 (internal
quotation marks omitted) (quoting Drewitt v. Pratt,
999 F.2d 774, 778-79 (4th Cir. 1993), and citing Celotex
Corporation v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986)).
Competency to Sue
the court can examine the issues in this case, the question
of Legg's current mental competency must first be
examined. By Defendants' own admission, Legg has
previously been found not competent to stand trial and has
been involuntarily committed. ECF Nos. 5-2,
His current mental health status is not apparent based on the
Civ. P. 17(c)(2) states:
A minor or an incompetent person who does not have a duly
appointed representative may sue by a next friend or by a
guardian ad litem. The court must appoint a guardian ad
litem-or issue another appropriate order-to protect a minor