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Hardy v. Sayed

United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division

May 30, 2017

CALVIN LORENZO HARDY, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
KALID EL SAYED, et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          GEORGE J. HAZEL United States District Judge

         Plaintiff 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 granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Procedural History

         On 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.[1] 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 No. 2.

         On 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.

         On 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.

         On 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.

         On 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. Id.

         On 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.

         B. Investigation by the Guardian Ad Litem

         The 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.

         1. Placements and Clinical Status

         On 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. Id.

         On or 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.

         On May 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 ...


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