United States District Court, D. Maryland
J. MESSITTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
12, 2017, self-represented Plaintiff Douglass Bridgeford
filed a paper titled “Motion under U.S.C.A. §1983
Civil Rights of Prisoners to Dismiss All Litigation Without
Prejudice” (“the Dismissal Motion.”).
Bridgeford asks that all pending cases be “discontinued
on ECI [Eastern Correctional Institution] Warden, Staff of
Medical and Classification….” Dismissal Motion
at p. 1. Consonant with Bridgeford's intentions, the
omnibus Dismissal Motion was docketed in all Bridgeford's
pending cases, and it will be treated as a Motion for
Voluntary Dismissal under Fed. R. Civ. P 41(a).
support of his Dismissal Motion, Bridgeford states Warden
Foxwell and Assistant Warden West have been very professional
and helped him with this Americans with Disabilities Act
concerns. Dismissal Motion at p. 1. He also expresses
satisfaction with the actions of the Medical Department, Mrs.
Trigg, and nursing staff, although he expresses
disappointment that TTY services for hearing impaired inmates
still needs to be activated by cable network. Id.
Further, Bridgeford, who was granted leave to proceed in
forma pauperis in consolidated Civil Action No. Civil Action
No. PJM-17-533, asks the Court to order the prison to stop
deducting partial payments, which he calls
“garnishments” from his prisoner account to pay
his civil filing fees. Dismissal Motion at p. 2.
Action No. PJM-17-533 (consolidated with Civil Action No.
PJM-17-533, Bridgeford seeks to compel the reopening of
Jarboe v. Md. Dep't of Public Safety and Correctional
Servs., Civil Action No. ELH-12-572, 2013 WL 1010357 *1
(D. Md. Mar. 13, 2013) (a “putative class action”
brought by five Maryland state prisoners who are profoundly
deaf, alleging inter alia, violations of the
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)) and
compliance with OPS 200-004 for deaf inmates. Bridgeford, who
states that he is 100% deaf in his left ear and 40% deaf in
his right ear, claims that he has been subjected to cruel and
unusual punishment because he arrived at ECI without a
classification, and is not receiving health care, programming
or a prison job as required by prison policy. Bridgeford
claims Defendants are violating his rights under the ADA by
failing to provide him with assistive technology, medical
assistance for his chronic care issues, an ADA coordinator,
and a case manager who will arrange for a prison job and
prison programming for him. In Civil Action No. PJM-17-843
Bridgeford claims he has been denied programming, a job that
accommodates his handicap, and the assistance of an ADA
coordinator, in violation of the ADA and Maryland law.
2, 2017, the Court ordered Civil Actions No. PJM17-533 and
PJM-17-843 consolidated under Civil Action No. PJM-17-533.
Bridgeford was also ordered to pay the initial filing fee.
See Civil Action No. PJM-17-533, ECF No. 7 (ordering
the Financial Officer at Eastern Correctional Institution to
pay $10.40) toward as the initial partial filing fee. No
payments have yet to be received according to the docket in
the consolidated case. On July 5, 2017, Bridgeford filed a
Motion for Leave to Proceed in the consolidated action (ECF
No. 13), which will be dismissed as moot.
12, 2017, Bridgeford filed the omnibus Dismissal Motion (ECF
No. 14). In requesting dismissal of his case without
prejudice Bridgeford expresses satisfaction with the help he
has received from Warden Foxwell, Assistant Warden West, the
Medical Department, Mrs. Trigg, and nursing staff members.
Although counsel has entered an appearance for some of the
Defendants in this case, none of the Defendants has filed a
Response to the Complaint. Accordingly, the Court will grant
Bridgeford's Motion (ECF No. 14), treated as a Motion for
Voluntary Dismissal, and the case will be dismissed without
prejudice. The Court shall order the Finance Officer at
Eastern Correctional Institution to cease any and all payment
in this case toward payment of the filing fee.
Court notes that five days after Bridgeford filed the
Dismissal Motion, he submitted correspondence generally
alleging there are false records, corruption and abuse by
public officials. ECF No. 15. Bridgeford complains he
receives one pair of hearing aids each year and must pay for
additional ones and that he has dental problems that require
attention. ECF No. 15. These concerns appear related to a
letter Bridgeford received from J. Michael Zeigler, Deputy
Secretary of Operations for the Department of Public Safety
and Correctional Services. ECF No. 15-1. Ziegler's letter
informs Bridgeford he is scheduled to receive a new right ear
hearing aid. Inmates are allowed one hearing aid per year. If
an inmate loses or breaks the hearing aid prior to the end of
that year, the inmate is responsible for the cost of
replacement. Id. Ziegler's letter also states
Bridgeford has access to a TTY telephone system at his
request. Id. Because none of the housing units in
ECI have a fixed TTY telephone system, the telephone unit is
placed in the operations area and Bridgeford is allowed to
use the telephone. The letter states further that dental
treatment provided for inmates is clearly outlined in Chapter
II, of the Medical Evaluations Manual, Oral Health Care
Program provides accessory treatment such as crowns are not
authorized services. Ziegler notes that Bridgeford has
acknowledged he has no discomfort except that his tooth cuts
his lip and tongue, and Bridgeford refused any offers to
smooth the jagged edges of the tooth. Id.
import here, Bridgeford does not state that he wants to
withdraw the Dismissal Motion. Bridgeford does not allege
that Defendants in consolidated civil action PJM-17-533 were
personally involved in or responsible for his hearing aid,
TTY, or dental concerns. Further, these new concerns appear
unrelated to the claims raised in this case. Indeed,
Bridgeford's correspondence was written as a general
letter to the Court without a case number affixed by
Bridgeford. To the extent Bridgeford might want to pursue new
claims, he may file a separate complaint.
Action No. PJM-17-1556
filed this case on June 6, 2017, and was directed to
supplement and clarify the Complaint. Service has not been
obtained on Defendants and no initial partial payments toward
the filing fee were ordered or received. On September 12,
2017, Bridgeford filed a Motion to Withdraw the Complaint
without prejudice. ECF No. 4. On September 12, 2017,
Bridgeford filed the omnibus Dismissal Order in his pending
cases. ECF No. 5. Bridgeford's Motion to Withdraw the
Complaint (ECF No. 4) and his subsequent Motion for Voluntary
Dismissal (ECF No. 6) will be granted, and the case will be
dismissed without prejudice.
Action No. PJM-17-1765
filed this case on June 26, 2017. Service has not been
obtained on Defendant and no payments toward the filing fee
were ordered or received. Bridgeford's Motion to Proceed
in Forma Pauperis (ECF No. 2) will be dismissed without
prejudice. The Motion for Voluntary Dismissal (ECF No. 3)
will be granted, and the case will be dismissed without