United States District Court, D. Maryland
Xinis United States District Judge.
before the Court is a motion to dismiss, or, in the
alternative, motion for summary judgment filed by Defendants
Western Correctional Institution (“WCI”), Warden
Richard Graham, Assistant Warden Denise Gelsinger, Security
Chief Bradley Butler, Lt. Allen Hall, Lt. Jeffrey C. Shimko,
Salem Humbertson, CO II Alicia Cartwright, and the Secretary
for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services
(“DPSCS”) (ECF No. 10). Plaintiff Angel Flores
filed a cross-motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 14). The
issues are fully briefed and the Court now rules pursuant to
Local Rule 105.6 because no hearing is necessary.
reasons stated below, Defendants' motion will be granted
in part and denied in part. Plaintiff's motion is denied.
February 7, 2016, Flores was attacked by another inmate while
serving his prison sentence at the Western Correctional
Institute. He was treated for injuries to his face, forehead,
and neck and placed on administrative segregation pending
investigation of the incident “Per 4-12 shift
Lieutenant (?. Hall) and Intelligence Lieutenant (?.
Shimko).” ECF No. 1 at 5. Flores could not immediately
identify his attacker, but video footage reviewed by Lt.
Shimko and another prison official identified the attacker as
James Morgan. See ECF No. 1-2 at 4; ECF No. 14-1 at
15. Flores's file was never updated to reflect the
attack. See Compl., ECF No. 1 at 7. Flores was
placed in administrative segregation following the attack.
See Id. at 5; see also ECF No. 10-2 at 3.
February 22, 2016 and March 1, 2016, Flores filed
Administrative Remedy Procedure (ARP) requests seeking to be
released from administrative segregation into the general
population. ECF No. 10-2 at 6-7, 8-9. Specifically, Flores
complained that he was entitled to be present at a hearing
regarding his segregated status and that he had not been
afforded such a hearing. He requested that an “ICC
representative” attend his next administrative review.
Id. at 9. Flores' ARPs were dismissed on the
ground that housing determinations concern case management
decisions that are not covered by the ARP process.
Id. at 6, 8.
4, 2016, Defendant Humbertson, the case manager for
Flores' housing unit, met with Flores for a
“monthly admin seg [sic] review.” At that
meeting, Flores signed a body waiver wherein he acknowledged
that he did “not have any known enemies at WCI and
feel[s he] can be safely housed in general population at this
time.” ECF No. 10-2 at 5; see also Id.
at 12. According to Flores, Defendant Humbertson told him
that he would email the investigating officers (Defendants
Hall and Shimko) and the warden, assistant warden, and
security chief regarding Flores's pending return to the
general prison population. Compl, ECF No. 1 at 5-6.
Humbertson allegedly also said that if Flores did not
“hear anything” by the following day, it could
mean that his case was still under investigation.
Id. at 5; see also ECF No. 10-2 at 12.
weeks later, Flores was still in administrative segregation
and had not received a reply from Defendants Hall or Shimko.
As such, he filed another ARP on May 18, 2016, “ARP
WCI-1114-16”, seeking to recant his body waiver. He
noted no change in his housing status and no updates
regarding the investigation of the February 7th attack. ARP
WCI-1114-16, ECF No. 1-1. Flores requested to be assigned to
a single cell and placed on recreation alone status until he
received written assurance from Defendants Hall and Shimko
that he was not at risk for further harm after the initial
attack. Id. at 2-3. Defendant Cartwright dismissed
this ARP the day after it was filed, again on the grounds
that housing determinations are a matter of case management
and cannot be properly challenged through the Administrative
Remedy Procedure. Id. at 2. Defendant Humbertson
claims that he never learned of Flores' desire to recant
his body waiver. ECF No. 10-2 at 16.
21, 2016, Flores was returned to the general prison
population and, notably, was housed on the same tier as James
Morgan, the inmate who had attacked him on February 7, 2016.
Within an hour of Flores' return, Morgan and three other
inmates stabbed Flores. Compl., ECF No. 1 at 6. Flores'
injuries included a “large laceration about 10 inches
long with multiple puncture wounds to the same area, ”
bruises, and several stab wounds. See Medical
Record, ECF No. 14-8 at 3.
the May 21st attack, four inmates (Grant Holley, James
Morgan, Jerrod Ward, and Raymond Murray) were thereafter
identified as Flores' “enemies” in the DPSCS
database for security reasons. Winters Decl., ECF No. 10-2 at
2. No such similar notation had been made to Flores' file
after the February 7th attack. Flores alleges, without citing
a particular policy, that this omission is contrary to prison
protocol. ECF No. 10-2 at 13. Sgt. Broadwater, however, told
Flores that “someone didn't do their job” by
failing to place a staff alert in Flores' inmate file
regarding the February 7th attack. Compl., ECF No. 1 at 7. No
information exists as to why Plaintiff was returned to
general population or the reasons for the delay in his
return. Winters Decl., ECF No. 10-2 at 1.
22, 2016, the day after the second attack, Defendant Shimko
met with Flores for the first time. According to Flores,
Shimko acknowledged at that meeting that Flores should not
have been returned to the general prison population. Shimko
further noted that he would have not allowed Flores'
return to the general population had he known of the
impending move from administrative segregation. Compl., ECF
No. 1 at 7. Flores was again placed on administrative
segregation pending investigation of the second attack.
the May 21st attack, Flores filed a series of ARPs and inmate
grievances, asserting that the institution had failed to
review properly his previous ARPs, especially the one
recanting the body waiver. See ECF No. 1-2 at 1;
see also ECF No. 10-2 at 10-11. These ARPs were,
again, procedurally dismissed, See ECF No. 14-6 at
2, 8, noting that Flores signed the body waiver voluntarily,
did not indicate that the ARP was an “emergency,
” and did not contact his case manager to request
retraction of the body waiver. Id. at 8.
then wrote the Executive Director of the Inmate Grievance
Office (“IGO”) to explain that he did not check
the “emergency” box on the ARP because he
considered himself safe while in administrative segregation,
and that his primary purpose in filing the ARPs was to
receive assurance that he was not in danger of further
attack. See ECF No. 1-3 at 5; see also ECF
No. 1-2 at 10. After Flores filed the IGO letter, he was
transferred from WCI to Jessup Correctional Institution. The
IGO therefore dismissed the letter as moot on August 12,
2016, describing Flores' concern as being that he was
“improperly placed on Administrative
Segregation.” ECF No. 14-4 at 1.
filed the instant action on August 24, 2016 after exhausting
his administrative remedies and notifying the Maryland State
Treasury of his intent to bring suit. See Compl.,
ECF No. 1; ECF No. 1-4 at 2. Flores alleges that Defendants
violated his rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth
Amendments of the United States Constitution. Specifically,
Flores asserts that the Defendants failed to afford him a
hearing while he was on administrative segregation and
subsequently failed to protect him from other violent
inmates. He seeks compensatory damages in the amount of $160,
000 against each Defendant, jointly and severally, and
punitive damages in the amount of $60, 000 against each
Defendant. Id. at 4.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
motion is styled as a motion to dismiss, or in the
alternative, for summary judgment, and they have attached
additional materials to it. This implicates the court's
authority under Rule 12(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure to convert a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss into a
Rule 56 motion for summary judgment. See Bosiger v. U.S.
Airways, 510 F.3d 442, 450 (4th Cir. 2007);
Kensington Vol. Fire Dep't., Inc. v. Montgomery
Cty., 788 F.Supp.2d 431, 436-37 (D. Md. 2011). When a
defendant attaches documents to a motion to dismiss that are
not “integral to the complaint, ” the Court
cannot consider the documents unless it treats the motion as
one for summary judgment. See CACI Int'l v. St. Paul
Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 566 F.3d 150, 154 (4th Cir.
2009); Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d). Before doing so, “[a]ll
parties must be given a reasonable opportunity to present all
the material that is pertinent to the motion.”
Id. Flores has been put on notice by the Defendants
styling the motion as one for summary judgment and attaching
additional materials. In fact, Flores filed his own
cross-motion for summary judgment, thereby acknowledging his
awareness and acquiescence to the same. The Court, therefore,
will treat the motions as ones for summary judgment. See
Laughlin v. Metropolitan Wash. Airports Auth., 149 F.3d
253, 260-61 (4th Cir. 1998).
judgment is governed by Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a) which provides
that “the court shall grant summary judgment if the
movant shows that there is no 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 ...