United States District Court, D. Maryland
K. BREDAR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
27, 2016, the court received for filing Robert Gary
Moore's self-represented 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil
rights action. Moore seeks injunctive relief and damages from
unidentified medical personnel and a prison administrator at
the North Branch Correctional Institution
(“NBCI”). Pending are Wexford Health Sources,
Inc.'s (Wexford”) motion and supplemental motion to
dismiss or in the alternative, for summary judgment, filed on
behalf of defendant “The Person in Charge of Medical
Entity.” ECF Nos. 11 & 17. Defendant Warden
Bishop has also filed a motion to dismiss or, in the
alternative, motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 13. Moore
has filed an opposition response and Wexford has filed a
reply. ECF Nos. 19 & 20.
matter is ready for disposition; no hearing is deemed
necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For
reasons that follow, defendants' motions, construed as
motions for summary judgment, ARE GRANTED.
alleges that he was subject to a due process violation and
“medical neglect” because his grievances and
sick-call claims regarding contaminated drinking water at
NBCI (and his medical conditions arising from same) were
ignored. He asserts that the main sewage pipe at NBCI
ruptured and defendants should have known that he and other
inmates were drinking “deadly water” after
several prisoners had developed symptoms caused by deadly
bacteria. Moore contends that he received no response to his
administrative remedy procedure (“ARP”) grievance
concerning contaminated drinking water. He states that he
submitted an ARP in June of 2016, complaining of contaminated
drinking water, and the ARP was destroyed. ECF No. 1, pp.
4-5. Moore further alleges that he was never seen for
sick-call slips concerning breathing problems and pain
submitted in June and August of 2015 and January of 2016.
Id., p. 5.
Standard of Review
motions are styled as motions to dismiss under Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) or, in the alternative, for
summary judgment under Rule 56. A motion styled in this
manner implicates the court's discretion under Rule 12(d)
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Kensington
Vol. Fire Dep't, Inc. v. Montgomery Cty., 788
F.Supp.2d 431, 436-37 (D. Md. 2011). 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, 510 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 opportunity to present all the material that is
pertinent to the motion.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d). When the
movant expressly captions its motion “in the
alternative” as one for summary judgment and submits
matters outside the pleadings for the court's
consideration, the parties are deemed to be on notice that
conversion under Rule 12(d) may occur; the court “does
not have an obligation to notify parties of the
obvious.” Laughlin v. Metro. Wash. Airports
Auth., 149 F.3d 253, 261 (4th Cir. 1998).
contrast, a court may not convert a motion to dismiss to one
for summary judgment sua sponte, unless it gives
notice to the parties that it will do so. See
Laughlin, 149 F.3d at 261 (stating that a district court
“clearly has an obligation to notify parties regarding
any court-instituted changes” in the posture of a
motion, including conversion under Rule 12(d)); Finley
Lines Joint Protective Bd. Unit 200 v. Norfolk So.
Corp., 109 F.3d 993, 997 (4th Cir. 1997) (“[A]
Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss supported by extraneous
materials cannot be regarded as one for summary judgment
until the district court acts to convert the motion by
indicating that it will not exclude from its consideration of
the motion the supporting extraneous materials.”);
see also Fisher v. Md. Dept. of Pub. Safety & Corr.
Servs., Civ. No. JFM-10-0206, 2010 WL 2732334, at *3,
2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68772, at *8-10 (D. Md. July 8, 2010).
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.
defendants have filed and relied on declarations and exhibits
attached to their dispositive motions, their motions shall be
treated as a summary judgment motions.
judgment is governed by Rule 56(a), which provides in part:
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 judgment; the requirement is that there be no
genuine issue of material fact.
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
247-48 (1986). In analyzing a summary judgment motion, the
court should “view the evidence in the light most
favorable to…the nonmovant, and draw all inferences in
her favor without weighing the evidence or assessing the
witnesses' credibility.” Dennis v. Columbia
Colleton Med. Ctr., 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.
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 ...