United States District Court, D. Maryland, Southern Division
J. HAZEL, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Tehron George, an inmate at the Central Maryland Correctional
Facility, brings this pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983
claim against Defendants Warden Mary Lou McDonough. Dr.
Mercedes Hernandez and Law Librarian B. McTernan for denying
him access to the law library at Prince George's County
Detention Center ("PGCDC"). denying him access to
the grievance process, and placing him in an unclean cell
after George went on a hunger strike. ECF No. 1. Defendants
McDonough and McTernan have filed a Motion to Dismiss or
alternatively for Summary Judgment. LCF No. 12. The Court
finds a hearing in this matter unnecessary. See
Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2016). For the reasons that follow.
Defendants' Motion, construed as a Motion for Summary
Judgment, shall be granted, and the claims against McDonough
and McTernan are dismissed. Plaintiff shall be given the
opportunity to amend his complaint against Defendant
George is currently an inmate at the Central Mankind
Correctional Facility in Sykesville. Maryland, where he has
resided since at least October 2016. While previously housed at
PGCDC as a pre-trial detainee from July 2015 to August 2015
and from January 2016 to June 2016, George filed a
self-represented civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983, seeking money damages against PGCDC Warden Mary
Lou McDonough. Dr. Mercedes Hernandez, and Law Librarian 13.
MeTernan. ECF No. 1. George states that during his first stay
at PGCDC, on July 1. 2015. he was banned from using the
library. Id. at 4. When George returned to PGCDC in
January of 2016. the ban allegedly remained in effect,
Id. George states that after his return. McTernan
failed to provide copies of case law at his request, sending
him "what she wants, sometimes nothing at all."
Id. George further alleges that he was denied a
grievance form until he began a hunger strike; and after
initiating the hunger strike. George was stripped of his
clothing and possessions, including his water cup. and placed
in a dirty cell. Id. As a result. George was
allegedly unable to drink water and could not participate in
programs or work release. Id.
Access to Library
support of his claim. George provides copies of his case law
requests and responses from library personnel relating to his
most recent contacts with library personnel. ECF No. 14-1. On
February 8, 2016. library staff informed George that the
"definitions you have asked for are in the civil law
area, and we do not provide this information."
Id. at 10. The note also informed George that staff
does not provide copies from books, and suggested that George
obtain the information requested from his
sent another request for case law on February 19, 2016. ECF
No. 14-1 at 1.On February 23, 2016. "Law Library
Staff' indicated that entire citations to cases were
needed before they could provide the requested copy work.
Id. at 9. A second request on February 26, 2016.
received on March 2, 2016. elicited a response from Law
Library staff indicating that George had provided
insufficient information for them to find the requested
cases, that his second request that week exceeded the ten
case limit, and that one case was unrelated to George's
criminal case, and thus presumably would not be provided.
Id. at 8.
March 7, 2016. George again complained that he did not
receive all the cases he requested. LCF No. 14-1 at 2. On
March 10, 2016. Law Library Staff notified George that they
had provided five of the ten items requested, but did not
include the remaining copies because the subject matter was
not relevant, or could not be found with the citation
provided, Id. at 6. On April 25, 2016. George again
requested copies of case law. Id. at 3.
days later, on April 27, 2016. George complained that he had
received nothing, despite three requests spanning three
weeks. ECF No. 14-1 at 4. That same day, April 27, 2016, Law
Library Staff informed George that the cases requested
related to use of excessive force during arrest, a civil
matter, and thus were not related to his current criminal
ease. Id. at 7. Staff noted that the library
"only providers] Maryland criminal legal information
related to your current case.'' and that if George
could explain how the material related to his current
criminal case, it would be provided. Id. On June 9,
2016. George requested copies of the Civil Rights Act. 42
U.S.C. § 1983. several cases, and a copy of his court
print-out. Id. at 5. The outcome of this request is
not noted in the record.
Access to Grievance Forms
February 29. 2016. George requested a grievance form. ECF No.
14-1 at 13. On March 9, 2016. Major Gamble responded that the
first step in the grievance process is informal resolution,
speaking with the housing unit officer or zone commander to
discuss the problem, before requesting an Inmate Grievance
Form. Id. The record does not indicate whether
George filed additional formal requests for grievance forms
prior to the time he began his hunger strike in April of
Placement in Unclean Cell, Deprivation of Resources
Complaint, George states he was stripped of clothing and
possessions, including his drinking cup. and placed in a
dirty cell after he initiated a hunger strike. ECF No. 1 at
4. His exhibits show that on April 11, 2016. Dr. Hernandez
ordered George's placement on medical isolation in the
special management housing area because he was on a hunger
strike. ECF No. 14-1 at 11. That same day. George filed a
grievance, expressing displeasure at being placed on suicide
watch after initiating a hunger strike and complaining that
he was being fed peanut butter three times a
day with no fruit. ECF No. 12-1 at 1. He also stated that he
was unfairly banned from the law library and denied the case
copies he requested and access to books. ECF No. 12-1 at 1:
ECF No. 14-1 at 12. Zone Commander Sgt. Godson investigated
the grievance, and on April 11, 2016. Sgt. Godson indicated
that 1) the food was nutritionally adequate. 2) policy
dictated a detainee on a hunger strike be placed on medical
isolation, and 3) the library would forward requested
materials to him. ECF No. 14-1 at 12. The shift commander
concurred with the findings on April 12, 2016. and on April
14, 2016. a Lieutenant determined that the grievance lacked