United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
J. HAZEL United States District Judge
Calvin Lorenzo Hardy, a patient committed to the Clifton T.
Perkins Hospital Center within the Maryland Department of
Health and Mental Hygiene, brought the instant action against
three doctors ("Defendants") for alleged violations
of his constitutional rights. ECF No. 1. Defendants moved to
dismiss based upon Plaintiffs failure to comply with the
initial partial filing fee and fee payment schedule, ECF No.
7, and later moved to dismiss based upon failure to state a
claim, qualified immunity, and the applicable statute of
limitations, ECF No. 12. Following the appointment of a
guardian ad litem, the Court has reviewed and now accepts the
findings of the guardian ad litem deeming Plaintiff competent
to represent himself in this matter. For the following
reasons. Defendants* Motion to Dismiss. ECF No. 7, is
August 12, 2016, Plaintiff filed a self-represented civil
rights action against three doctors at Clifton T. Perkins
Hospital Center ("CTPHC") seeking money damages and
release from the institution. ECF No. 1 at 3. Specifically.
Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated his constitutional
rights by treating him with ineffective medications that have
sedated him and caused his condition to worsen, and questions
why he is still institutionalized nearly 15 years following
his arrest for second-degree assault. Id. Plaintiff
also filed a Motion for Leave to Proceed in Forma Pauperis on
August 12, 2016. stating that he was unable to pay the
$350.00 filing fee and costs associated with this action. ECF
September 2, 2016, the Court entered an Order requiring the
Finance Officer at CTPHC to file within 21 days an inmate
account summary information sheet for the past six months of
Plaintiffs incarceration, along with a certificate indicating
the average monthly balance in the account for the six month
period immediately preceding the filing of the Complaint and
the average monthly deposits to the account during that time.
ECF No. 3 ¶ 2. On September 23. 2016. the Finance
Officer filed an inmate account summary information sheet and
a certificate indicating the average monthly balance in the
account for the six-month period immediately preceding the
filing of Plaintiffs complaint was $51.20 and the average
monthly deposits to the account during that time was $20.00.
ECF No. 4 ¶ 2.
September 29, 2016. the Court ordered Plaintiff to pay an
initial partial filing fee of $10.24 with monthly payments of
twenty percent of each preceding month's income credited
in his account toward the $350.00 fee as required by statute.
ECF No. 5 ¶ 1-2. The Order warned that Plaintiffs
failure to comply with the terms of the Order "will
result in dismissal of this case without further notice from
the Court." ECF No. 5 ¶ 6. On October 20, 2016.
Plaintiffs social worker. Michael Jordan. LCSW-C. attempted
to obtain Plaintiffs consent to release the $10.24 for the
initial partial filing fee required pursuant to the September
29, 2016 Order. ECF No. 7 ¶ 2. Plaintiff indicated that
he was not willing to provide any portion of the filing fee
and acknowledged that he was aware that his failure to make
payments would result in dismissal of his complaint. ECF No.
7 ¶ 3. These statements were formalized in a letter
signed by both Mr. Hardy and Mr. Jordan on October 20, 2016.
ECF No. 7-1.
October 21, 2016, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss based
on Plaintiffs refusal to allow the partial filing fee to be
taken from his institutional account. ECF No. 7. On November
2. 2016. Plaintiff filed a response to Defendants"
Motion to Dismiss, essentially reiterating the claims and
requests set forth in the Complaint. ECF No. 9. On November
9. 2016. this Court appointed a Guardian Ad Litem for
Plaintiff for the limited purpose of reviewing the pleadings
in this case, determining Mr. Hardy's status at CTPHC,
and advising the Court of the propriety of Mr. Hardy*s
continued participation in the litigation. ECF No. 10 at 2.
This appointment was made due to the Court's concern that
Plaintiff "suffers a mental impairment causing him to
act against self-interest by filing a lawsuit that may state
constitutionally valid claims, then prohibiting his lawsuit
to proceed for a response based on a failure to comply with
the partial filing fee." ECF No. 10 at 1. The Guardian
has submitted a well-reasoned, detailed report with exhibits,
including an evaluation of Plaintiff s clinic status and a
recommendation as to the propriety of his continued
participation in the litigation. ECF No. 16.
November 18. 2016. Plaintiff filed a response, objecting to
the appointment of the Guardian and expressing an affirmative
desire to represent himself or have his parents act as
guardians. ECF No. 11-1. Specifically. Plaintiff stated,
"I feel disappointed because there [are] some false
accusations ... I still have a Mother and Father. 1 don't
need a Guardian. I'm still fi[li]ing a law suit for
keeping me on medication that's making me slow and
retard[ed]...I plead N.C. M [sic] because I thought it will
only give me five years . . ." Id.
Significantly. Plaintiff also stated, "I could not pay
the court fee ... I have only hospital money ... if I could
pay with that I will . . ." Id. The Court
rejected and returned the response to Plaintiff on November
21, 2016. because it lacked an original signature.
November 28, 2016, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss, or
in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment based on Plaintiffs
failure to state a plausible claim for relief.
Defendants" qualified immunity, and the applicable
statute of limitations. ECF No. 12. The previously-filed
motion to dismiss, ECF No. 7. and this motion are now
pending. On December 16, 2016. Plaintiff filed a Response in
Opposition to the Guardian s Request for Extension to File
Written Statement, requesting that the Court deny the
extension request. Specifically. Plaintiff contended that he
"did not ask for a guardian" or "go to court
to be appointed a guardian." and that appointing him a
guardian ad litem "is not in my best interest or helping
me to get my case in your court or [with] my release."
ECF No. 14. The extension was granted on December 21, 2016.
extending the deadline to file the Report to March 7. 2017.
ECF No. 15.
Investigation by the Guardian Ad Litem
Court-appointed Guardian requested and obtained Plaintiffs
complete patient CTPHC file, consisting of all annual
reports, individual treatment plans, forensic reports
regarding incompetency or criminal responsibility, physician
orders, progress notes, nutrition and somatic records,
medical and psychotherapy records and all "legal"
documentation. A summary of 27 documents, spanning more than
fifteen years are indexed and included in the guardian's
report, and summarized below.
Placements and Clinical Status
November 29. 2000. Hardy was found Not Criminally Responsible
("NCR") for second-degree assault for acts
occurring on December 15. 1999. ECF No. 16-1 at 2. As a
result. he was committed to the Department of Health and
Mental Hygiene ("DHMH") for institutional,
inpatient care and treatment, pursuant to Md. Code.
Health-Gen. § 12-111. Id. Hardy was initially
treated at Walter P. Carter Center and then transferred to
Spring Grove Hospital Center where he remained until January
2002. ECF No. 16-23 at 2. On January 17. 2002. Hardy was
transferred to CTPHC after he assaulted a staff member and
eloped from confinement at Spring Grove Hospital Center.
about February 21. 2014. Hardy was charged with second-degree
assault and sex offense in the fourth degree for allegedly
assaulting a female staff member at CTPHC on or about
September 20. 2013. ECF No. 16-11 at 2; see also ECF
No. 16-23 at 2. On April 11. 2014, Hardy's counsel filed
a motion claiming that he was incompetent to stand trial
because he was unable to understand the nature or object of
the proceedings or to assist in his defense. ECF No. 16-12 at
2. Counsel requested the court issue an order to evaluate
Hardy's competency. Id. A competency examination
was ordered on April 15, 2014, and a Medical Officer from
DHMH's Office of Forensic Services conducted the
examination and published a report on May 2, 2014. ECF No.
16-13 at 1. The Medical Officer concluded that he did not
believe that Hardy understood the nature and object of the
proceedings against him and did not think that he would be
able to assist in his own defense. Id. On May 30.
2014, the District Court of Howard County. Maryland, found
Hardy incompetent to stand trial and ordered that he be
immediately returned to the custody of CTPHC. ECF No. 16-15
at 2. As a result, Hardy's hospital commitment status was
updated to "Incompetent to Stand Trial"
("ITS")- ECF No. 16-16 at 2.
28. 2015. pursuant to court order, Hardy was subjected to a
second competency examination by Christopher M. Wilk
("Wilk"), a Forensic Psychiatry Consultant from
DHMH. ECF No. 16-17 at 3. This time however, the examiner
concluded that Hardy had a "very good understanding of
the nature and object of the proceedings against him"
and was "competent to stand trial." Id. at
6. On June 19. 2015, Hardy appeared in the District Court for
Howard County. ECF 16-18 at 2. After reviewing the DHMH
examiner's findings and recommendations regarding Hardy*s
competency, the court determined that Hardy was competent to
stand trial. Id. at 3. Hardy received a nolle
prosequi for the sex offense charge, but was ...