United States District Court, D. Maryland
ANTHONY Q. KELLY, #352736 Plaintiff,
SHAYLA LEASE, Management Specialist DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND CORRECTIONAL SERVICES Defendants.
RICHARD D. BENNETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
September 26, 2016, the Court received for filing inmate
Anthony Kelly's self-represented 42 U.S.C. S 1983 civil
rights action. The Complaint seeks damages from the Maryland
Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services
("DPSCS") and Shayla Lease, a North Branch
Correctional Institution ("NBCI") Case Management
Specialis.. Defendants have tiled a Motion to Dismiss or, in
the Alternative, Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 20), as
well asa legal memorandum (ECF No. 201),  and Declarations.
ECF No. 20-2 and 20-3. Kelly has filed an Opposition and a
Motion to Schedule Date for Bench Trial. ECF Nos. 22 &
matter is ready for disposition. No hearing is necessary.
See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). Defendants'
Motion, construed as a motion for summary judgmen,, IS
GRANTED for reasons to follow.
who is currently confined at the NBCI, alleges that on August
II, 2016, he requested that Case Management Specialist Lease
have his legal documents (a proof of service to accompany his
mandamus petition) notarized so that it could be sent to the
U.S. Supreme Court. He maintains that Lease refused to
notarize his legal documents due to Kelly's litigation
against another NBCI Case Management Specialist. ECF No. I,
p.3. Kelly contends that every time he tiles an
administrative remedy procedure CARP") grievance, the
prison official will state that it was not received or it has
been misplaced. IcL p. 4.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Motion is styled as a Motion to Dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(6) or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. A motion styled in this manner implicates
the Courfs discretion under Rule 12(d) of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure. See Kensington Vol. Fire Dept.. Inc.
v. Montgomery County, 788 F.Supp.2d 431, 436-37 (D. Md.
201I). Ordinarily, a court "is not to consider matters
outside the pleadings or resolve factual disputes when ruling
on a motion to dismiss " Bosiger v. U.S.
Airways, 5I0 F.3d 442, 450 (4th Cir. 2007). However,
under Rule 12(b)(6), a court, in its discretion, may consider
matters outside of the pleadings, pursuant to Rule 12(d). If
the court does so, "the motion must be treated as one
for summary judgment under Rule 56, " and "[a]ll
parties must be given a reasonable opportuntty to present all
the material that is pertinent to the motion"'
the movant expressly captions its motion "in the
alternative" as one for summary judgmen,, and submits
matters outside the pleadings for the courfs consideraiion,
the parties are deemed to be on notice that conversion under
Rule I2(d) may occur; the court "does not have an
obligation to notify parties of the obvious."
Laughlin v. Me/ro. Wash. Airports Autk7
149 F.3d 253, 261 (4th Cir. 1998).
district judge has "complete discretion to determine
whether or not to accept the submission of any material
beyond the pleadings that is offered in conjunction with a
Rule 12(b)(6) motion and rely on it, thereby converting the
motion, or to reject it or simply not consider it." 5 C
WRIGHT & MILLER, FEDERAL PRACTICE & PROCEDURE ~ 1366,
at 159 (3d ed. 2004, 2011 Supp.). This discretion
"should be exercised with great caution and attention to
the parties' procedural rights." Id. at
149. In general, courts are guided by whether consideraiion
of extraneous material "is likely to facilitate the
disposition of the action, " and "whether discovery
prior to the utilization of the summary judgment
procedure" is necessary. Id. at 165, 167. Given
the exhibits presented here (which were also presented to
Kelly), the Court has ample information with which to address
the pleading as filed for summary judgmen..
judgment is governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a), which provides in
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.
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 judgmen;: the requirement is that there be no
genuine issue of material fact.
Anderson v. Liber/y Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
247.48 (1986) (emphasis in original). In analyzing a summary
judgment motion, the court should "view the evidence in
the light most favorable to...the nonmovan,, and draw all
inferences in her favor without weighing the evidence or
assessing the witness credibility." Dennis v.
Columbia Colle/on Med. Or.. Inc., 290 F.3d 639, 644-45
(4th Cir. 2002); see Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); FDIC
v. Cashion, 720 F.3d 169, 173 (4th Cir. 2013).
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»..
But, the 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 oj
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.
Kelly is self-represented, his submissions are liberally
construed. See Erichon 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, ...