United States District Court, D. Maryland
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW United States District Judge
Gregory Toran, a prisoner incarcerated at North Branch
Correctional Institution (NBCI), filed a civil rights
complaint raising both constitutional and state tort claims.
ECF No. 1. Defendants responded to the complaint with a
motion to dismiss or for summary judgment. ECF No. 14. Toran
has not filed a response in opposition although he was
advised of his right to do so (ECF No. 15) and was granted
additional time (ECF No. 17). For the reasons stated below,
Defendants' motion, construed as a motion for summary
judgment,  will be granted with respect to
Toran's constitutional claims and supplemental
jurisdiction will be declined with regard to the state tort
November 20, 2015, Toran was confined to a cell located in
the disciplinary segregation unit of NBCI. ECF No. 1-1 at p.
3. Toran states in the unverified complaint that he had a
“verbal confrontation with Officer Lepley who slammed
his hand in the feed up slot of his cell door and started
calling him Niggas.” Id. Toran does not
clarify whether the incident involving the feed up slot
occurred before, during, or as a result of the verbal
confrontation, nor does he explain what the verbal
claims that when his hand was slammed inside of the slot
door, he yelled out for help and asked for medical
assistance, that Lepley refused his request, but states that
he was “eventually” seen by “the medical
department” and was treated for three scratches to his
left wrist and forearm. ECF No. 1-1 at pp. 3 - 4.
relief, Toran seeks compensatory and punitive damages
totaling one million dollars. Id. at p. 4.
Toran's claim that Lepley assaulted him was the subject
of an investigation conducted by the Internal Investigation
Division (IID) for the Department of Public Safety and
Correctional Services (DPSCS). The IID concluded that there
was no evidence to support Toran's claim he was
assaulted. ECF No. 14-3 at p. 14.
declaration under oath, Lepley states that on November 20,
2015, at approximately 3:45 p.m., he was in Toran's
housing unit where he was opening the slots in each cell door
to allow for delivery of meal trays to the inmates in each
cell, a process known as “feed-up.” ECF No. 14-4.
When Lepley opened the slot on Toran's cell door to
permit his food tray to be delivered, Toran pushed his arm
through the slot in an attempt to prevent it from being
closed. Id. Despite Toran's action, Lepley was
able to get the door half-way closed without touching
Toran's arm. Id. Lepley then walked away from
Toran's cell and continued with his job on the rest of
the tier. Prior to walking away, Lepley did not observe any
injuries to Toran's arm. Id.
returned to Toran's cell to collect the meal tray and it
was then that Toran accused Lepley of assaulting him.
Id. Toran showed Lepley two small scratches on his
left arm, claiming they were the result of the alleged
assault. Id. Lepley then informed the housing unit
Sergeant about Toran's allegations. Id. Lepley
denies assaulting Toran and denies ever making any racist
approximately 8:53 p.m. on the same day of the alleged
assault, Toran was seen by Dawn Hawk, R.N. ECF No. 14-3 at
pp. 30 - 31. At that time, Toran claimed that his arm had
been caught in the slot on his door and that it had been cut
several times; he voiced no other complaints. Id.
Hawk noted three scratches on the underside of Toran's
left wrist and forearm that were scabbed over with no active
bleeding, swelling, redness, or bruising. Id. The
medical attention provided consisted of cleaning the areas
submitted a copy of the surveillance camera footage from
Toran's housing unit tier during the time the incident is
alleged to have occurred. ECF No. 14-6. The camera angle
together with the poor quality of the picture renders the
video of little to no evidentiary value.